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Taylor Shellfish (Cap Hill)

I've seen this brought up a few times as an option for oysters and wanted to get more information.

I've seen the website and understand it to be a shellfish vendor (raw goods) more than anything else. What is the "dine-in" option. Looks like there's a small counter? We can order crab, chowder and oysters to enjoy there? No menu is listed on the website. Is there seating at the counter? Does it get crowded?

Thinking of doing an off-beat dinner there on Friday (we're not trying to hit their happy hour), and wanted to know what to expect.

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  1. Here is a thread with my review of first visit there. Been back a few times since. Great place.


    If you use the search function at top right of the page and put in Taylor Shellfish, you will find several other threads that mention more as well.

    Search function is very helpful to check for any questions on the board before you post a thread; you can find out if someone else has allready asked your ? and gotten the answers for you...:)

    1. this may be the best place to mention that disabled patrons must make a phone call (is there no one without a cell phone?) to have someone open the door and activate the knarly chair lift - no doorbell, no ramp, no staff attention at the entrance. as this is a new build-out these problems could have been better handled

      1 Reply
      1. re: howard 1st

        Thank you, Howard, it sure could have been.
        Twenty-two years after the adoption of ADA, this egregious failure is disheartening.

      2. Thanks for the response, Shelley. I know the search function and my questions are still not answered.
        Can we order crab, chowder and oysters there? Or are oysters the only regular offering...the rest on event nights? There is not menu listed. Does it get crowded?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ethereal

          "For those dining in, enjoy fresh shucked oysters, Dungeness crab, and a chowder bar courtesy of award winning chef Xinh Dwelley."

          It's basically a retail store with tanks of oysters, crabs, etc. There are a couple of tables where you can eat oysters or a cup of chowder.

        2. I just ate there this weekend! It is definitely a unique dining space. Half the room is taken up by coolers and tanks and the other is a few high top tables, stools and a counter that runs along the window.

          From what I saw there were several different options for oysters (ranging in price from $11.99-20+ depending on size and variety) and two soups that were "serve yourself". They also had a small wine list. I don't think they serve any other type of prepared shellfish.

          We had a dozen of the small pacific oysters ($13.99) and they were quite large and very delicious. One cool part of the experience was that the girl went to the tanks on the other side of the room, picked out our oysters and shucked them all in our view behind the counter. Also, the wine we had was the cheapest white option ($19/bottle, coming from Canada that is DIRT CHEAP) and it was fantastic (called Krakenes I think?).

          I would definitely recommend it for a drink and snack, unless you think you can fill up on oysters. We started with a two top and ended up with around 8 of us there eating and drinking and the girls working were very accommodating (charged us for a bottle of wine since we had ordered enough glasses, etc.) We were there on a Monday night just after Happy Hour and it was nearly empty.

          We also bought a few crabs from them for an at-home BBQ and they were delish!

          1. Terra Plata is right around the corner if that doesn't hold you!

            1. Does anyone know if Taylor Shellfish (the local shellfish monopoly) has been adversely effected by the sinking of the derelict ship in Penn Cove?

              5 Replies
              1. re: PeteSeattle

                Yes, Pete - it's been all over the news, suprised you could have missed it.

                Penn cove operations shut down for now. Harvesting from other beds for now, but the spill threatens this years entire crop, as now is the time of year that mussel and oyster 'seed' is planted....

                1. re: gingershelley

                  Thanks Ginger. It's been over the news, but having been born in Virginia's Tidewater region, I've been unable to get my mind around the story. I can't believe that they would just "let" a derelict ship endanger farmed shellfish. I can't get my mind around the fact that all shellfish in Washington State is handled by a single company who has a monopoly. (In Virginia, that's a shooting offense, and there have been killings between Virginian oystermen and Maryland oystermen over "property rights." Hmm, maybe just writing that explains why Washington State has a monopoly.

                  I can't get my mind around Taylor allowing itself to have this situation exist without taking some steps of its own, and if it is a monopoly, i can't understand why taxpayers of the state and the feds are having to foot the bill for cleaning up a mess so that they can continue to have a monopoly.

                  It all makes me very nervous.

                  1. re: PeteSeattle

                    Taylor is not a monopoly, or even the only operator in Penn Cove. Yes they are the largest; they're also the oldest. They don't own the waterway, and had no standing to take any action themselves beyond complain to the WA Department of Natural Resources about the apparently derelict vessel anchored in the public waterway.

                    You are concern-trolling.

                    1. re: PeteSeattle

                      I'm not sure where you got your info about Taylor having a monopoly. Most of the shellfish from Penn Cove comes from Penn Cove Shellfish: http://www.penncoveshellfish.com/, and there are certainly many other shellfish farmers around--I happen to like Hama hama very much for their bluepool oysters. Taylor is popular, yes, but certainly not a monopoly. Also, I'm not even entirely sure they have a farm in Penn Cove (I believe they do a lot of their mussels in Totten Inlet).

                      1. re: dagoose

                        To the best of my knowledge, Taylor doesn't have any operations in Penn Cove. Taylor is a signicant player in the shellfish market, harvesting around 50 million oysters per year, but Coast Seafoods, who is in a joint venture with Penn Cove, is larger, owning and operating more than 14,000 acres of Pacific Coast tidelands. Last year, Coast was purchased by Oregon seafood giant Pacific Seafood Group.

                        The State Department of Health has reopened the northern part of Penn Cove for recreational and commercial shellfish harvesting, but the southern portion, south of Mueller Park, is still closed. Predictions are that this portion will also reopen soon.

                        My gripe with the oysters at Taylor’s retail store in Melrose Market is that they are put into tanks with artificially salinated water, thus destroying all the delicious oyster “liquor” from the plankton-rich natural seawater. I’d much rather eat a live oyster that is put on ice with all of its natural liquor intact.