Let's face it, nobody really wants to picture the burly dudes named Bimbo and Bubba peeling shrimp in the back of a restaurant kitchen. But stand six knobby-knuckled oyster shuckers in the middle of a restaurant and let 'em go to town? Wicked! Schlafly Tap Room owners Tom Schlafly and Dan Kopman have been hosting that kind of shindig, officially known as the Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival, for some time now. Every year the feast gets bigger — north of 25,000 oysters this past March — and the knuckles on Bimbo, Rawle and Thurman get redder and redder and redder. Flown in for the weekend from the East Coast, these fellas are used to bitter winters, which might explain why after five, six, seven hours of shucking at Schlafly they seem polite and friendly as ever. With steaming-hot plates of gumbo, grilled oysters and po' boys, in addition to the raw bar and the year's featured stouts, Schlafly's spread is totally, as they say up on Eastern shores, wicked.
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