In the 1920’s, the Rockpoint Oyster Company was started on Samish Bay by E. N. Steele and J. C. Barnes. During the Great Depression, the market for fresh oysters fell and so a shack was built on Washington State’s first scenic highway, Chuckanut Drive, where oysters were sold by the plant manager Zenzabaro Maekawa to the travelers that passed by. The little stand did so well that it was soon enclosed, a lunch counter was added and the Rockpoint Oyster Restaurant was born. The Maekawa family was interned during World War II and the restaurant sat empty from 1942-1946.
When Otto Amos bought the restaurant in 1946 his wife renamed it the Oyster Bar and they coined the slogan “the oysters that we serve today slept last night in Samish Bay.” The menu consisted of deep fried oysters and a ham dish. When Blanche and William Reinstra bought the restaurant in 1954, they made major renovations and expanded the menu to include prawns, scallops, fish and chips and clam chowder.
Pat and Al Digerness bought the Oyster Bar n 1970, but sold it to Thomas Lee in 1971. Mr. Lee gave the Oyster Bar sophistication with wonderful menu and structural improvements. Mick, Cheryl and Alex August bought the restaurant in 1977 and expanded the wine cellar. Since 1987 the Oyster Bar has been owned and operated by Guy and Linda Colbert who brought new ideas from their previous restaurants in southern California.
The Oyster Bar has become a premier dining destination spot. The spectacular views of the San Juan Islands are the perfect backdrop for the stunning dishes served at candlelit tables. The wine cellar consistently wins the Best of Award of Excellence and provides a wonderful array of choices for wine lovers from around the world. The restaurant was renovated in 2000 and has a wonderful lodge flavor that compliments the surrounding water, fir trees and wildlife.