The restaurant business is a fickle one – almost half of the eateries across the U.S. that open wind up closing after a year or two. Couple those odds with the seemingly high turnover on Thayer and Hope Streets on the East Side of Providence, and you wonder how Pizzico Oyster Bar (formally Pizzico) has managed to stay open for 30 years...and counting. So, how do the current owners Jim Harris and Dan Teodoro do it? Their secret lies with remaining in tune with the current food trends. That’s why, Jim explains, the Italian restaurant has become an oyster bar, serving oysters and clams harvested from Rhode Island.
“Ice cold shellfish is a hot concept (pun intended) that is best represented with a beautifully displayed raw bar (as opposed to the product coming out of a closed kitchen). A significant number of diners these days, young and old, prefer to dine at the bar.” This isn’t the first time the establishment has tinkered with their food concept to keep up with the latest food fad. Jim says that farm-to-table cuisine is also something that customers look for. That’s when Pizzico started to add locally sourced specials to its menu.
The new raw bar is state-of-the-art and lends additional bar seating to the restaurant. Jim notes that customers like the interactive experience of eating raw seafood. “[There are] a total of 35 seats between the two [bars] and plenty of room for standing and mingling while watching the ‘shucker’ get to work opening dozens of local oysters and clams,” he says.
The original cocktail bar is still small and intimate, where customers are able to watch the bartender mix cocktails whilst sucking down a creamy pasta dish. If you’re still going to Pizzico for classic Italian, not to worry. Those menu items are there to stay. Pizzico offers buck-a-shuck Wednesday-Saturday 4-6pm and all day Sunday-Tuesday. 762 Hope Street