Roy Boys opened last Friday in the Atlantic Plumbing building in Shaw, giving the neighborhood a neon-lit spot for fresh oysters and fried chicken dishes engineered to soak up lots of alcohol after hours. Blocks away from the 9:30 Club, Roy Boys will stay open until 2 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant in the former Tasty Burger space includes a wall of bright yellow busts in the shape of chicken heads and nods to ‘90s hip-hop stars to pay homage to its iconic neighbor, the 9:30 Club. Before opening, the restaurant came under under fire for murals that slapped chicken beaks over the mouths the Death Row Records crew and depicted Notorious B.I.G. with a full, feathered bird head.
Artist Christopher Lynch worked fast to remove the chicken references, which had been criticized as examples of dehumanization and cultural appropriation on a podcast by celebrity chef Rahman “Rock” Harper. The opening date was bumped by a few days as a result.
Chef Will Sullivan, most recently chef de cuisine at Clarendon’s Green Pig Bistro, is manning the menu. There are five fried chicken sandwiches and four variations of fresh oysters to go along with hushpuppies, peel-and-eat shrimp, salads, and ice cream tacos.
Roy Boys Menu by on Scribd
Bar manager and Jack Rose alum Frank Mills crafted an opening lineup of six cocktails ($13 each), including one on draft that’s made with Shinju Japanese whisky. In addition to canned and all-local draft beers, beer is served in mini “pony” bottles ($4 each).
Booze also makes its way into oyster shooters and daily bloody marys in a frozen mug, rimmed with with kosher salt and black ground peppercorn ($10 each). Customers can opt for a traditional red or verde house-made mix with tequila or vodka. A skewer with a chicken wing, shrimp, bell peppers, red onion, and pickled okra comes with a $6 upcharge.
Happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day) includes $5 drafts, $5 40-ounce bottles of wine, and $10 cocktails. Oysters will run for $1 a piece all day on Mondays.