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The quintessence of hospitality is providing an experience that delivers DISCOVERY. Sophisticated consumers find value in “dining out” when they discover unexpected, exciting and rare product, service and knowledge.
— Kevin Joseph, Master Mermmelier & Founder, Empire Oyster

This is the difference between eating and dining: Eating fills your belly. We EAT at Chipotle or Panera. Dining fills your heart & soul too.

Dining affords a guest the experience of being engaged and exchanged by something of special value. We dine in establishments who deliver something special, new, creative and/or informative. For dining to be "worth it", it must deliver many or all of these things or it will hold no value. Value is the margin earned by restaurateur in the premium pricing for a premium product, service and experience. Those, who can provide it to a guest willing to pay for it, earn it and stay in business. Those, who don't, close their doors.

Empire Oyster Bars deliver a lot more value to our guests than other oyster experiences in comparable markets. We do so at roughly the same prices as our competitors. This delivers a tremendous value to the value-driven consumers. We are able to do this by flipping the model of the oyster bar from what it has been for 150 years to something we believe to be much better. We strive to be to the oyster bar, what Uber has been to a taxi cab. Our offering, service, product knowledge and experience is head and shoulders above almost anyone else in our space. We know because we've been told this by some of the savviest, well traveled gourmands and epicureans anywhere. 

RESTAURATEURS, CHEFS & PROPERTY OWNERS: If you'd be interested in partnering with us in a venue you currently own or operate, please free to reach out to us through our contact page. We are seeking locations in hip coffee shops, that can work with us to develop a cocktail program for the evening hours, which will compliment our oyster offering. Existing restaurants looking to leverage distressed indoor our outdoor space can do so by working with us to set up a temporary or permanent oyster bar to leverage for publicity and marketing and attract value-driven consumers. Finally, experienced and established operators looking to partner with us on permanent restaurants are also welcome to reach out. 


Empire Oyster was founded as an event concept in 2014 which was part of New York Oyster Week III. It became a vertically integrated oyster company that has been producing oysters, providing consulting services to oyster growers, restaurants & distributors and opening oyster bars ever since. 

Our first oyster bar opened in St. Petersburg, FL on March 1st, 2017. Our second opened in NYC on July 19, 2017. Openings in Hoboken, NJ and Harlem, NYC are planned for late summer and early fall, 2017. Dozens more are planned for locations all over in the short, medium and long term. 

We’ve innovated an Omakase Style Oyster Service which engages and enchants our guests as it edu-tains them. We Raise The Raw Bar with our elite oyster catering and oyster bar experiences. With our consulting services we help other oyster bars, restaurants and chefs to do the same. 

Empire Oyster was founded by Master Mermmelier Kevin Joseph in New York City. For him this company was a way to Live on Purpose and help others to do the same. For Kevin, this was not just a way to make a living, but a way to make a difference too. His success in a commitment to the protection, preservation and restoration of oyster producing habitat and jobs is something is something he re-visits daily.

Kevin was born into a seafood restaurant family with operations in East Hampton (Montauk & Springs). The Family & the operation migrated south to Bonita Springs, FL in 1977. Kevin grew up working in the kitchen and on the floor of that store (McCully’s Rooftop Restaurant) and continued to work in seafood forward restaurants in Boulder, CO after moving there to attend University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2009 Kevin moved back to NYC and created a life and a living with oysters by founding and operating New York Oyster Week & The OysterHood. He committed all of his time and energy to oysters since then.