Public Fish & Oyster preps for sister location and more local restaurant news

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Public Fish & Oyster GM Daniel Kaufman hopes the new Crozet location will be open by mid-September. Photo: Christian Hommel Public Fish & Oyster GM Daniel Kaufman hopes the new Crozet location will be open by mid-September. Photo: Christian Hommel

Public Fish & Oyster preps for sister location

Oyster season is just around the corner, and the guys at Public Fish & Oyster are gearing up to bring the chewy, briny delicacies beyond West Main Street. Last week, Public owner and general manager Daniel Kaufman announced his plans to open Public West Pub & Oyster Bar in the former Da Luca spot in Old Trail. The original Public has been serving up grub ranging from raw bar offerings to hearty seafood stew since February of last year, and the new restaurant will be the same, but different, he says.

“I had a feeling the residents of Crozet would welcome some new options, and we’ve had a lot of success with Public here in Charlottesville,” Kaufman says.

The menu will feature items that have become staples over the last 18 months, like the moules frites, mussels simmered in a variety of international-inspired broths with a side of house-cut, twice-fried Belgian fries and aioli. And of course there will be the extensive list of oysters from up and down the East Coast, served raw and on the half-shell in their own liquor, ranging in size and brininess. But if you’re looking for something a little more casual—”Not that we’re a formal restaurant by any means,” Kaufman says of the original Public—the new spot will also offer things like burgers, a crabcake sandwich and fried fish and chips. The space itself will also be a little more casual, but with a similar atmosphere.

“I think one of the great things we have going here is the restaurant feels very warm and inviting, and we want to make sure Crozet feels the same way when you walk in,” he says.

Kaufman and Executive Chef Donnie Glass will maintain their titles at both restaurants, but Kaufman says the plan is to bring in a front-of-house manager and chef de cuisine to manage day-to-day once the new place is up and running—which, he hopes, will be in mid-September.

Black Friday 

Say goodbye to endless apps. On Sunday, July 26, a post on the TGI Fridays Charlottesville Facebook page announced that the restaurant in the Hollymead Town Center would close its doors the following night. The national chain, founded in 1965, has hundreds of locations nationwide and features gimmicky menu items like all-you-can-eat appetizers for $10, “Happy Every Hour” drink specials and buy-one-get-one burgers.

Loyal customers commented on the Facebook page asking what happened, and the Fridays moderator responded with “Apparently we weren’t making enough money.” The phone at the Hollymead store rings with no answer or voicemail, and corporate TGI Fridays representatives did not return call for comment.

Bring on the burritos

It’s official—you’ll never have to leave your house again. At least, not for a rice bowl. As of last week, the Emmet Street Chipotle has joined the OrderUp family. The delivery minimum is $10, and hours are 11am to 9pm, so next time you’re either too hungover to move or buried under work, the OrderUp delivery guys will bring a barbacoa burrito and chips straight to your door. Guacamole is still extra, though.