T&W Oyster Bar opened its doors on October 15, 1971.
Our founders were Earl Taylor and Harold Watson, thus ”T&W.”
Earl and Harold were cousins and decided to build a little A-framed building on Earl’s family’s farm, because as Earl put it, “it was free!”
Earl’s father Herman thought Earl and Harold were nuts to build an oyster bar outside of town in the middle of nowhere, because “nobody is going to come all the way out here!”
Good thing Earl and Harold decided to ignore that advice and moved forward.
When T&W opened, it had a seating capacity of 25. They served fresh oysters with saltine crackers and clam chowder. As time went by, they slowly started adding other seafood items.
In 1974, Earl and Harold decided they could not make a go of it as partners, because T&W just was not generating enough money to support two families. So, Earl bought Harold out.
Going forward, when folks would ask Earl what the “W” in T&W stood for, he would jokingly say, “wife” referring to his wife Pat. Most evenings, you could find her running the cash register and keeping the books.
As the days, weeks, months, and years started to go by T&W began to become quite a popular place for locals and travelers headed to the beach.
As business continued to grow over the years, Earl saw 5 additional expansions to the existing building. The last being in 1985, which we refer to as “E” room, following “a”, “b”, “c”, and “d” rooms, each representing an expansion. Currently, we can seat up to 250 people.
After decades of shucking oysters for customers and virtually greeting anyone and everyone who entered his establishment, Earl was worn-out! He began having dreams of retirement. He did not want to close his beloved ”T&W,” so he began talking to Alex Gardner who had a thriving little place in Cedar Point called the Bogue House Restaurant. It had a similar menu, a good history, and was in proximity for Alex. Earl naturally thought this would be a good fit. At age 80, Earl decided it was time to make those dreams of retirement a reality and on October 15, 2015, T&W’s 44th anniversary, Earl sold T&W to Alex.
Today we love to hear our customers tell us about their individual experiences at T&W going back generation, after generation, after generation! Wow, these are true testaments to our being! We are so appreciative to all our customers, past and present. They have made us who we are today and allowed us to be the oldest restaurant in Western Carteret County. We will continue the legacy of T&W by providing the best oysters and seafood that our customers have come to expect.
Thank you and safe travels