Open Oyster LLC was founded in 2012 in the hope that, in some small way, we could return the oyster to its birthright: a place on the plate of every New Yorker. Long a staple of coastal indigenous peoples, the oyster was so common that Ellis and Liberty Island were first called Little Oyster Island and Great Oyster Island by the early Dutch colonizers. Soon, through overharvesting and the increasing pollution of New York Harbor, local oyster beds were devastated and the hearty mollusk all but disappeared. Oysters have since returned as a luxury item, currently prominent only on upscale dining menus, a far cry from their former days as a free snack at bars and markets. By bringing oysters back to New York’s outdoor markets and directly to events hosted by our customers, it’s our hope at Open Oyster to help reestablish the oyster as a staple of every New Yorker’s diet. Along the way we’ll strive to improve local knowledge about the history of the oyster in New York Harbor and the role it could play in restoring the Harbor to its former glory as a food provider for the City.