Pearlstar Oyster Bar in Over-the-Rhine Sets Opening Date

The restaurant — located in the former A Tavola space — will serve East and West Coast oysters, burgers and steak sandwiches, plus old-school martinis.

click to enlarge Pearlstar will serve fresh East and West Coast oysters along with a full menu of other options. - Photo: Provided by Pearlstar
Photo: Provided by Pearlstar
Pearlstar will serve fresh East and West Coast oysters along with a full menu of other options.

Anticipated Over-the-Rhine oyster bar Pearlstar has set an opening date.

The restaurant will be open 3 p.m. Sept. 29, according to a note posted on its website. 

Located in the former A Tavola storefront on Vine Street, Pearlstar is the brainchild of Nashville restaurateur Terry Raley. (Raley is also slated to open a French brasserie soon in the old Tiffany's space downtown.)

Pearlstar will offer both East and West Coast oysters and other raw delicacies including crudo, ceviche and tartare. The kitchen — overseen by former Senate executive Chef Leroy Ansley — will also feature a wood-burning grill to create (non-raw) burgers and steak sandwiches. A release says the bar will "pour old-school martinis, frozen drinks and Lone Star Beer on tap."

In an interview with CityBeat, Ansley the menu will also include "a lot of vegan and vegetarian options."

"We didn’t want to do just seafood; we really wanted it to be a place where you can have something for everyone," he said. "I also believe Cincinnati is ready for some awesome oysters on a huge patio. I used to love going to The Anchor on Thursday nights for their oyster specials. There is a market for it, and I hope we can be a welcomed addition to the Over-the-Rhine dining scene."  

The 2,000-square-foot interior of Pearlstar will be complemented by a 2,000-square-foot outdoor space, with bocce ball courts, according to 3CDC.

"We wanted the space to feel completely different than what has been here before and I believe we accomplished that," chef Ansley told CityBeat. "Terrell did a great job on the design aspect of the restaurant and patio. It will be light and airy, somewhat nautical but transition to a candle-lit sexy-space at night time."

In the opening note on its website, the restaurant says in full: 

There may not be an ocean anywhere near Ohio, but at Pearlstar, the sand is just beneath your feet…the salty ocean air awaits just outside our doors. We are inspired by the delectable bounty of the sea, and the nostalgic messages written on the back of beach postcards from a bygone era that cover our walls. We value a simpler time and place when everyone cared enough to write home with messages of “wish you were here."

Shipped in fresh daily, we serve the finest oysters and sea foods in Cincinnati, but that doesn’t complete our story. We prepare dishes from both land and sea over a wood-fired hearth, from premium beef cuts to roasted oysters.

Enjoy a craft cocktail and a steak sandwich at the main bar, a cold beer and raw bar snacks in our courtyard oasis. play some bocce ball with new friends, and toast to old friends and glorious days to come in our breezy dining room.

We’re excited to meet you. wish you were here.

Pearlstar is located at 1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. For a full menu and more info, visit

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