Written By: Mercy Tee with Video By: Alice Liu
If you’re looking for some good seafood, a place with live music or if you’re looking to grab a drink and hang out with your friends after a Cardinals game, then Broadway Oyster Bar might be the place for you.
Hidden away in one of the oldest buildings in St. Louis, the Broadway Oyster Bar represents something different to each individual.
Throughout almost four decades, the Broadway Oyster Bar has had different owners, but it currently rests in the hands of John Johnson.
Affectionately known as B.O.B. by friends and family, the restaurant occupies a combination of three different buildings, with the oldest building from 1843. The Broadway Oyster Bar was founded about 45 years ago.
If you don’t want to come to Broadway Oyster Bar for the food, drinks, or music, you can come for the people. Broadway Oyster Bar is a melting pot of people from around the world. At the restaurant, you can find people who are young or old, rich or poor, with friends or with family.
“We get gay, straight, black, white, oriental,” Johnson says. “It’s a fun mix of people, and despite the diversity, everybody here gets along pretty well.”
A part of the attraction of the restaurant is the people watching, Johnson says. Since the restaurant has a very chill vibe, Johnson says not a lot of altercations or arguments happen. Many restaurants and bars have reported on political arguments or fights in their premises since the 2016 election, but Johnson says although people are on different sides of the spectrum, they can put away their differences at the Broadway Oyster Bar and have a good time.
Like many reputable restaurants, the Broadway Oyster Bar gets many regulars. But Johnson says they are regulars in their own way. Some come in before every baseball game, some come in for every festival, some come in for a drink every day after work, some come in for the live music.
“One of the keywords for the oyster bar is eclectic,” Johnson says. “There’s no one of anything here; the answer is always a variety of people, a variety of reasons, a variety of food.”
Johnson says he believes a positive experience at the restaurant is why guests keep coming back. The restaurant aims to provide a fun, upbeat experience for their guests.
“We try to provide a fun atmosphere so that people can forget about what’s going on in their daily lives,” Johnson says. “You know, you go here, and relax and have a good time, have a couple drinks, maybe listen to some music, eat some good food and forget about all that for a while.”