Not since Doc Magrogan’s closed in downtown West Chester five years ago has there been any substantial access to live lobsters and fresh fish, clams and bay oysters. Credit Alfredo Giannaccari with reversing that trend. The Naples, Italy, native recently unveiled Greystone Oyster Bar on Church Street, just around the corner from Mercato, his other local venture. “I simply love the energy of West Chester,” he says. “The people here support local businesses, and they really enjoy dining out.”
In an 1860s-era building that once housed a law office and hair salon, the new interior is historically accurate and architecturally sleek, with a rustic bent, Italian-made light fixtures, warm wood and white subway tiles. The textured black-and-white marble bar is double the size of Mercato’s. A well-stocked raw bar sits at one end, giving sidewalk strollers a colorful glimpse of fresh seafood piled atop mounds of ice.
The interior is split into two dining areas, one featuring an Italian-made stainless steel brew station with a hop-masher and boiler. Handsome floor-to-ceiling windows open up to the sidewalk for a pleasant alfresco experience.
On Greystone’s underground floor, Giannaccari has installed an on-site microbrewery with a six-barrel system overseen by award-winning brewer Scott Morrison (a hole had to be cut into the first floor to get all the equipment down). House lagers include Church St. and Munich Dunkel, along with the Cherry Bomb and Passionfruit kettle sours.
The food menu includes plenty of single-serve and shareable selections. Mystic, Stormy Bay and Wellfleet oysters are the standbys in a rotating selection, and the Cherrystone clams hail from Virginia. Whole chilled lobsters arrive as an individual dinner or part of the signature Greystone Seafood Tower (half lobster, seafood salad, oysters, shrimp and clams) or a clambake for two (whole lobster, steamed clams and mussels with sausage, potatoes and corn).
Other highlights: fish and chips, a well-stocked cioppino, a beautiful ahi tuna poke bowl and a rich lobster roll (add the crab-seasoned fries). Oysters Rockefeller, lobster mac and cheese, fried calamari, and lobster Napoleon (with avocado, mango and citrus drizzle) are standouts among the smaller plates.
For turf lovers, there’s roasted chicken, gnocchi, a burger, crispy Brussels sprouts, creamed spinach and grilled asparagus (topped with truffled quail eggs). Kick off your meal with a warm and hearty bowl of Boston clam chowder or lobster bisque.
Pennsylvania distilleries Boardroom, Bluecoat and New Liberty get top billing on the cocktail list. Aside from an Old Fashioned, Kentucky Mule and other classics, there’s the tequila-tinged Church St. Paloma and an espresso martini already popular at Mercato. Or try an icy grapefruit, orange or Key lime pie “crush.”
And don’t leave without sampling a piece of decadent ricotta cheesecake.