Mad River Union
WOODLEY ISLAND – The harbor district may build an oyster bar/restaurant on the western edge of Woodley Island near the Fisherman’s Memorial Statue.
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District (HBHRCD) Director Jack Crider said that the district is developing plans for a 4,850-square-foot single-story restaurant. The building would also include an outdoor patio area, as well as a picnic area where visitors could barbecue their own oysters.
The proposed restaurant is still in the discussion phase. However, if the harbor commission is supportive of the project, then the district would finalize its plans and obtain permits for the project.
Crider said the district would then seek a restaurant operator to sign a lease for the oyster bar. The district would then build the restaurant, which Crider estimated would cost about $1 million. The district would get its money back through the lease payments, according to Crider, who added that the existing restaurant at Woodley Island – Café Marina – is the district’s biggest revenue generator.
In researching the idea of building an oyster bar, Crider said he visited Hog Island Oyster Co. restaurants in Tomales Bay and in Napa. He has also consulted with the company, which recently set up an oyster operation in Humboldt Bay.
The oyster bar would serve oysters restaurant style, but could also sell raw oysters to customers, who could then use the outdoor barbecues to cook the oysters themselves, Crider said.
On the east side of the restaurant, there would be temporary vending areas, where local fishermen could sell crab, tuna and other seasonal catches.
If the district decides to pursue the project, it would need to obtain a coastal development permit, which could take a year or more to get.