It is the last weekend for Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House. The Philadelphia institution is closing after 103 years. Located at 1020 South 2nd Street for the past 40 years, the restaurant’s closing further shuts the door on the tradition of the Philadelphia oyster house.
Third generation owners, Ken and Skip Snock are both in their 60s and looking to step away from the business. The property has been for sale since late 2014.
In the 1870s, Philadelphians consumed 12 oysters a week and some 2,419 Philadelphia hotels, oyster houses, restaurants and saloons served oysters. And that’s not counting the roving peddlers and curbside stands. By the late 1950s, 95% of the Delaware Bay’s oysters had been wiped out by disease. With the dropoff in local oysters, oyster houses also faced extinction.
In recent years oyster production has picked up and local oysters often show up on local restaurants menus.
Of the old-school oyster houses in Philadelphia, Sam Mink’s Oyster House remains on Sansom Street and Pearl’s Oyster Bar still operates in the Reading Terminal Market. Jose Garces gave the old seafood house a jolt when he reopened the bar at Old Original Bookbinders as the Olde Bar. Anastasi Raw Bar in Manayunk is another raw bar that has recently opened. And then there’s Doc Magrogan’s chain of oyster houses which keeps the torch lit with four locations and another one coming.
But if you want to try an original, Snockey’s is open till 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, its final day.
Oyster industry statistics were found in “History of Oystering in the United States and Canada, Featuring the Eight Greatest Oyster Estuaries” produced by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
If you believe you are an oyster connoisseur, you can compete in Oyster House‘s sixth annual shucking contest and win a $100 gift certificate to the Sansom Street restaurant. Or you can pay five bucks and leave the shucking to the professionals, while you enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The annual shucking contest takes place Saturday, April 18 beginning at 2 pm at Oyster House (1516 Sansom Street). The $5 admission includes complimentary tastes of all the varieties of shucked oysters. Narragansett Lager and Del’s Shandy will be $3 for the 16 oz tallboy cans.
The first shucking competition will be for the professionals, competing for a $200 cash prize and the coveted oyster shell medal. Professional shuckers include Oyster House employees as well as employees from Pennsylvania 6, Juniper Commons, The Olde Bar and Ocean Prime. An amateur contest will follow and any prospective contestants can sign up the day of the event.
Oyster House [Official]
The Gaslight in Old City is offering a shot and shuck deal for $5.
While the oyster and mignonette of choice will be changing weekly, the deal is going on until December 21st. No matter when you get to Gaslight, you’re getting a shot of Jim Beam.
Check out the schedule for shuck and a shot »
We’ve been keeping track of National Oyster Day happenings. There’s the big four-course dinner at Oyster House and of course the $100 for 100 oysters, a bottle of Champagne and hotel room in Chestnut Hill. But now that the big day is here, there are other deals around town.
A.bar (pictured) on Rittenhouse Square is offering $1.50 oysters all day.
Read more »
Next Tuesday is National Oyster Day, and we already told you about the Oyster House’s big four-course $50 oyster dinner. Well, over in Chestnut Hill, they’ve got a deal of their own. Read more »
We hope you’re hungry.
Starting Monday, July 14th, The Hattery Stove & Still is unveiling some of the best summer deals in town.
Chef Hakeem Otenigbagbe and his team will be serving up Buck-a-Shuck Oysters, $14 Endless Mussels and a Complimentary Bacon Bar.
Yes, you read that correctly, free bacon. Dreams really do come true.
Read more »
Matthew Ridgway, owner of The PASS in Rosemont, NJ is hosting a new Sunday supper, simply named “Oysters and Charcuterie.” The meal is served from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Ridgway says, “we know our local guests will love it, and we think it will be a great light supper for weekenders and daytrippers who are shopping in Lahaska, New Hope and Lambertville, or antiquing in Bucks and Hunterdon Counties.” Ridgway, who has made his name with his PorcSalt brand of sustainable, artisanal and local charcuterie.
Philadelphia diners may recognize the guy running the front-of-the-house, it is Steve Schiavo, who won the 2011 Best of Philly award while he was working at Fond.
The PASS is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
The PASS [Foobooz]
Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co. is celebrating oysters this month. In addition to daily buck-a-shuck oyster deals, chef Mike Stollenwerk is preparing oysters in different ways for the month that ends in ‘R’. Among the options, baked oyster and chorizo, fried oyster tacos and to wash it down, oyster shooters.
Oysterfest menu »
Last week’s report that Jose Garces had signed a lease to the original Bookbinders space at 2nd and Walnut created more questions than it answered. Today we have an official statement from the restaurant group that at least sets the context.
Official statement »
What was that rule? No oysters in months that don’t have the letter R? Well good thing it’s Septemberrr, because on Friday, September 20th from 6:30 to 8:30, Fair Food and Reading Terminal Market, in partnership with Market vendors Molly Malloy’s Bar & Grill and Pearl’s Oyster Bar, are hosting their first ever OysterFest! Twelve varieties of oysters (a few of them cultivated in Cape May), each paired with a locally-brewed, craft beer, and served up side by side for your sampling pleasure.
Local oysters – shucked by their producers! – will include the new-to-Philadelphia Cape Shore Salts and Salty Lady (Salty Ladies?), and the already popular Cape May Salts. To provide contrast, Dave Braunstein of Pearl’s Oyster Bar has curated a selection of oysters from elsewhere which will (tentatively) include Rocky Shore, Rappahanock, Blackpoint, Bluepoint, Village Bay, Fanny Bay, Misty Point, Hollywood, Wianno, and Wellfleet.
Net proceeds of the event will go to support the work of Fair Food, a sustainable agriculture non-profit organization in Philadelphia that operates the Fair Food Farmstand, also in Reading Terminal Market.
Tickets are $50 a head and only 150 are being made available. Do we need to tell you that they’re going fast? Get yours through the link below.
Oysterfest at Reading Terminal Market [Official]
Oysterfest tickets [Ticketleap]