Oyster farmers to open restaurant in Urbanna
by Tom Chillemi
Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company, an oyster farming business at Wake, has received a Special Use Permit (SUP) to open a restaurant in the building that was previously occupied by Cafe Mojo at 240 Virginia Street, across from the ABC store.
All of the town’s six restaurants operate under SUPs, which can only be granted by the Urbanna Town Council.
Council’s approval followed a joint public hearing by the Urbanna Planning Commission and town council on October 21.
Business partner Doug McMinn told council and the commission he wants to open an informal restaurant where customers can see the oysters they raise on an oyster farm. He plans to offer seafood, including clams from the Eastern Shore, that can be eaten on premises or taken to go.
McMinn and partner Irvine Spurlock have been raising oysters for about 11 years and have oyster beds around Parrott’s Island in the Rappahannock River. Their restaurant will showcase their oyster farming. “When customers walk into the restaurant we want them to see what we are about,” said McMinn.
McMinn envisions a simple approach where customers can watch their food being prepared.
He said he plans to open temporarily for the Urbanna Oyster Festival, and reopen in December after modifying the interior to suit their operation.