By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 16, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Oak & Oyster is slated to open Friday at 4 p.m. in the lower level of Third Coast Provisions, 724 N. Milwaukee St.

An oyster bar was always a part of the plan for Third Coast Provisions, notes co-owner and chef Andrew Miller. But in recent months, it became clear the venue should operate as an independent entity.

"The bar started to take off on its own as a spot for later in the evening, especially when we were busy on Friday and Saturday nights," Miller says. "And giving it its own identity allows us to expand the menu, offering up a variety of more casual items."

Drinks

Something to look forward to at Oak & Oyster are a slew of yet unnamed barrel aged cocktails (hence the reference to "oak" in the name), which will be ready for consumption in the next week or two.

In the meantime, the bar features oyster shooters ($7-9), wines by the glass and a cocktail menu featuring options like the O+O Collins with cucumber-grapefruit gin, lime and seltzer ($9); Hades Trick with bourbon, Amaro Meletti, house grenadine and bitters ($8); a tequila mule ($8); and The Final Ward featuring rye whiskey, Chartreuse, maraschino and lemon ($12).

Beer and ciders include Starcut Ciders Pulsar, Miller High Life, and craft selections including Lakefront’s Hop Jockey, Great Lakes’ Elliot Ness, Upland Brewing’s Champagne Velvet and Door Co. Brewing’s Pastoral.

Eats

The initial menu features a number of items which overlap Third Coast Provisions offerings, including raw bar options like shrimp cocktail ($17), steak tartare ($15) an oyster platter ($19) and Alaskan King Crab bites ($23). There are also oyster and lobster roll sliders ($4 and $5 each, respectively), along with Third Coast’s delectable Parker House rolls, served with house-cultured honey butter ($7).

But there are new items too, most notably snacks and sandwiches, most with a seafood focus. Miller says the menu will evolve over time, distinguishing it even further.

Among the additions is smoked whitefish dip enriched with lemon aioli and served with crisp kettle chips ($9).

There’s also chicken liver mousse with pickled pepper-bacon beer jam served with grilled house sourdough bread ($8).

Fish tacos are made with fried Icelandic cod topped with lettuce, salsa verde, pickled shallot and cilantro (three for $13).

Po’ boys are also available in three varieties: house pastrami with Gruyere, tiger sauce, watercress and saurkraut ($14); crispy gulf shrimp with celery cilantro slaw, Thai chili mayo and marinated seaweed ($15); and fried oyster with lettuce, tomato, pickle and lemon aioli ($15).

Happy hour at Oak & Oyster will take place Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and will feature specials including $1 oysters, $2 shrimp cocktail, $3 oyster sliders and a weekly po’boy special for $5 (this week, it’s house-smoked pastrami, Gruyere, horseradish aioli, peppercress, and caraway sauerkraut). Drink specials will include $3 Miller High Life, $5 Weekly Crush (boozy crushed iced punch) and $2 off all other drinks.

A special late night happy hour will take place Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. featuring the late-night-only "Slutty Burger," a meaty brisket and short rib burger topped with caramelized beer onion jam, white American cheese, pimiento cheese and bacon ($10, includes a beer).

Bonus: During late night happy hour on March 17-18 and 24-25, burgers will be free with the purchase of any alcoholic beverage.

Beginning Friday, March 17, Oak & Oyster will be open Tuesday through Saturday 4 p.m. to close. The kitchen will serve from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.