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Alexandria’s New Oyster Bar Uses an Old Dry Cleaning Conveyor to Hold 120 Whiskeys

Whiskey & Oyster offers weekday happy hour and overflowing seafood towers

Whiskey & Oyster packs in lots of glowing underwater elements, with a giant metal mermaid behind the main bar.
Whiskey & Oyster [official]

Alexandria’s Carlyle district recently got a new spot to slurp bivalves and sip cocktails with the arrival of Whiskey & Oyster.

Whiskey drinks obviously play a big role across the 100-seat, glowing space at 301 John Carlyle Street. A “Whiskey A-Go-Go,” made from a repurposed dry cleaning conveyor, holds more than 120 varieties and rotates above the bar and dining room.

Whiskey & Oyster, which opened late last month, comes from HomeGrown Restaurant Group and prolific Alexandria restaurateur “Mango Mike” Anderson, who’s opened 20 restaurants starting with Shooter McGee’s in 1979.

Brad Fazio curated the cocktail program, which includes classics like The Last Word and the Black Manhattan. A tiki-inspired rum elixir, the Clerical Error, comes with Cynar, Velvet Falernum, pineapple, and lime.

The seafood-centric menu includes broiled Virginia trout and bountiful towers like the tri-level Carlyle ($118) that comes with one whole lobster, shrimp cocktail, two dozen oysters, mussels, half a dozen clams, and two king crab legs. One section features 24-ounce, steam pots filled with clam chowder, hearty fisherman’s stew, or a lobster bouillabaisse in an Asian-style broth.

Patrons can saddle up to its whiskey and oyster bars for weekday happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with $4 beers, $5 rosé, and half-off apps like lobster bisque fries or crispy duck spring rolls. A large 55-seat patio area is coming soon.

Underwater design elements include octopus tentacles, a clock made of oar paddles, and oyster shell chandeliers above the shucking station.
Whiskey & Oyster [official]
The backside of the menu features a hand-drawn map by local artist Bobby Johnson that depicts where oysters are sourced.
Whiskey & Oyster [official]

Along with striped nautical banquettes dotting the driftwood-lined room, there are 18 seats at the bar and a dramatic 16-seat table in-laid with shells. Del Ray designer Sherri Farley crafted the seafaring look, adding pieces from local Torpedo Factory artist Chris Earney.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The restaurant is working with The Oyster Recovery Project to recycle its oyster shells, and 10 cents of every oyster sold goes towards Alexandria nonprofit ALIVE! ALIVE! to fight hunger.

Nearby, the Carlyle neighborhood is soon getting a place for people who want to drink something a little weaker than whiskey. Lost Boy Cider is opening a production facility and tasting room this weekend.

Whiskey & Oyster

301 John Carlyle Street, , VA 22314 (703) 567-1533 Visit Website