Broadway Oyster Bar to open second location in Illinois

Illinois oyster lovers won’t have to cross the Mississippi River to get their bivalve fix once the Grafton Oyster Bar opens in mid to late February. Having received approval from the city of Grafton (and a standing ovation from the 30 or so citizens attending the meeting), co-owners John and Vicki Johnson and chef Brad Hagen plan to see Broadway Oyster Bar through 2016 Mardi Gras festivities, then launch the new location on the river at 215 W. Water St.

John Johnson said the time was right to open another oyster bar after recently completing seating expansion the downtown location. “We’ve been talking about a second location for a long time,” Johnson said. “A large percentage of our customers come from Illinois, and there aren’t many restaurants in Grafton. We hope to bring something a little different.”

The first difference may be the operating hours. Johnson said some restaurants in Grafton close during slow times of the year; he intends to be open year-round, offering food to summer boaters and winter eagle watchers alike. The 175-seat restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, including an area at a swimming pool adjacent to a boat slip.

Hagen said the food menu will be 75 percent the same as the Broadway location with additional items exclusive to the Grafton like beef medallions with brown butter and lump crab, as well as mussels with andouille and a Cuban sandwich. Look for Illinois brews and a selection of canned beer, as well as similar cocktails and wines as at the Broadway location.