At the corner of 23rd Street and Walker Avenue in Oklahoma City is a concept that has been flourishing for quite some time now. It’s a fresh idea that one wouldn’t usually associate with the landlocked state of Oklahoma. It’s an oyster bar.
The Drake Seafood and Oysterette is a quintessential ode to the burgeoning 1960’s. Once you enter the place, you immediately notice the calm pool blue splashed upon the bar’s back walls, adorned with brass shelving and white marble counter tops. Spacious rotundas and brass dome lamps circle around the restaurant, all accents of mid-century modern design.
With her vibrant dyed hair, a color almost in sync with the restaurant’s surroundings, our waitress (and dual-role as a bartender) Amy, shows us the ropes about all the variations of oysters that The Drake has to offer. Each circular metal nest Amy brings out to us takes us on a seashore journey–from New Brunswick with the Saint Simon, to Rhode Island with the Moonstone, to Chesapeake Bay with the Wellfleet, and then west to Washington state with the Diamond Point. The array of sauces paired with the oysters are a kaleidoscopic fleet for the taste buds themselves. Even the chile-lime sauce infused fish tacos make for a delightful escape. Despite the busyness that the popularity of the place brings, Amy beams with energy. When she tells us that she enjoyed having a weekday date night with her husband, we can perceive that sort of break doesn’t affect the refreshment she gets from sharing with patrons about The Drake’s selection of oysters and bustling around the bar counter.
As we savor our seafood dishes, we cannot help but be mesmerized by The Drake’s interior. It parallels with the Earth’s counter part to land mass, the saline water that covers more than 70% of our world. Aside from the color of the bar walls, the sand hued surfaces of the tables and seagull white Eiffle dining chairs conjure up reminiscences of the sea. The oysterette is a mixture of glamour but yet quaint. It surprises you. Silverware is from estate sales, and each utensil is unique, just like The Drake itself.
Not only does The Drake bait you from within it’s walls, but once you leave the restaurant, you cannot help but stop and stare at its sign. It towers on top of the building, right at the corner of the street. The glitz of the multi-hued signage washes over you and then pulls you in like a lavender toned sunset dipping into the ocean.