PARK SLOPE — The owners of the Grand Central Oyster Bar in Park Slope are working around the clock in hopes of opening on Dec. 1, they said Thursday.
As hammers pounded and saws buzzed in the background, co-owners Jonathan Young and Bruce Fox took reporters on a "hardhat tour" of the sprawling restaurant and revealed some of their plans — including a possible "frequent eater" rewards program for oyster lovers.
Young, who spent 10 years working at the original Oyster Bar inside Grand Central Terminal, is an oyster nut who says he wants to spread the word about the mollusk.
"Our staff is going to have to know oysters backwards and forwards, and I'll be around all the time," Young said. "I always go up to tables to talk to people about oysters. Sometimes I tell them, 'Just let me know when you want me to shut up.'"
Young envisions Saturday morning classes where people will learn how to shuck oysters and events where diners can sample oysters with unusual pairings such as Scotch.
The restaurant will span across three storefronts at Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street, which formerly held Fornino. One section will be a small fresh seafood market complete with a lobster tank. That area will also have counters with stools where diners in a hurry can grab a quick bite.
The next room will be a bar and lounge area, with 10 beers, mostly craft labels, on tap. A wine list of about 40 or 50 bottles will focus mainly on whites from "seafood areas" such as Sardinia, Sicily and Portugal, Young said. The restaurant is also looking at the possibility of having prosecco on tap.
The main dining area will have some decor inspired by the Manhattan Oyster Bar, and an 8-foot wide chandelier from the original location will hang from the ceiling. All told the restaurant will seat between 135 and 150 people. It will be open until 11 p.m. during the week and until 1 a.m on weekends.
The Park Slope franchise of the Oyster Bar will incorporate many of the tried and true elements of the Grand Central location, such as its soups, stews and pan roasts. But the Brooklyn menu will include more pastas and a kids menu.
"We will do fish sticks, but they're going to be from scratch," Young said.