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BRATTLEBORO — A well-known Brattleboro eatery has just expanded.

The Oyster Bar at Peter Havens opened on Thursday, June 2, in the space located off the back room of the restaurant.

The space had been used for several endeavors over the years. Dosa Kitchen was there for about three months prior to the restaurant having to close due to COVID-19 restrictions and they ultimately decided to move out of the space. It was then rented to Nicole’s Community Kitchen, but that was not the right fit. After COVID restrictions were lifted and Peter Havens had reopened, the space was still vacant.

At that time, Peter Havens was very busy.

“It was like the dam was held back for people wanting to go out … and when we finally opened up, we were busier than we’ve ever been,” said owner Zachary Corbin. “The bar was always packed, and we were turning people away because we were full.”

Because of the high volume of bar patrons, Corbin realized he had the opportunity to convert the space into a second bar, which he felt would help the business.

“At the time that I thought to open this, we were already super busy over there,” Corbin said. “So, it wasn’t a worry that I was overextending myself or anything.”

Corbin purchased the bar itself from what was once Bacody’s, and later The Beacon, located on Putney Road.

When it came time to open the bar, Corbin asked Will Bissonnette, whom he has known for over 15 years, if he would be interested in running it.

“We have a mutual friend. My chef mentor, best friend, they worked together at the Three Mountain Inn. That’s where I first met Will, and he was my bartender at the Flat Street (Brew Pub),” said Corbin. “I always got along great with Will, and I always thought he was a great bartender.”

Corbin had previously talked to Bissonnette about opening a pizza place, an idea that didn’t materialize because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bissonnette had been interested, so when the concept of the oyster bar arose, Corbin reached out.

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“I said, ‘I want to show you this,’” Corbin said. “He walked in the door and he immediately had an ear-to-ear grin, and I said, ‘Oh, he wants to do it.’ So, he left me on hold for a couple days and then came in and said, ‘Let’s do this thing,’ and it’s been great.”

Peter Havens already is known for its oysters, Corbin said. Prior to opening the oyster bar, Corbin said Peter Havens was selling 400 oysters a week. With the addition of the oyster bar, that number has risen to over 1,000, and is still growing. Corbin said he believes that, in time, they will be selling over 1,500 oysters a week.

“The whole concept is to make it simple and a little more casual than Peter Havens and more approachable,” said Corbin.

Peter Havens had tried working with oyster sellers from Duxbury, Mass., several years before, but at the time the company was still figuring out their shipping methods, which led to some negative experiences. However, Bissonnette, whose nephew Jaime Bissonnette is a James Beard Award winning chef who owns restaurants in Boston and New York, used the company extensively. While Jaime Bissonnette acknowledged that Island Creek Oysters had some “growing pains,” he recommended them and gave Will Bissonnette the contact information for Bill Weiss, the director of its sales division.

“Zach and I had a three-way call, and Bill was really great about explaining exactly what was going on at the time, that Zach was trying to work with them, and how they worked it out, and so far, it’s been great,” said Bissonnette. “The oysters are great, and the selection is amazing.”

Some of the oysters also are brought in through Adams Seafood, a company Corbin has used exclusively for fish and shellfish for the last 20 years, even prior to owning Peter Havens.

While there is some crossover between the menus for The Oyster Bar at Peter Havens and the restaurant itself, such as the oysters, shrimp cocktail and ahi tuna tartare, Corbin and Bissonnette said they are striving for it to be a unique entity.

In addition to the food menu, Corbin said that Bissonnette has brought some of his own cocktail creations, which will begin being rolled out at the bar.

So far, Bissonnette said the crowd has been a mix of younger people, Peter Havens regulars or people that knew him when he was a bartender at Flat Street Brew Pub. The oyster bar also has been a place for patrons to spend some time either before or after their dinner reservations, Corbin and Bissonnette said.

“If they’re full over there, people can come over here and get the same level of service, the same quality of food, just a little different atmosphere and selection,” Bissonnette said.

The Oyster Bar at Peter Havens is open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 10 p.m.