Old Ebbitt Grill 25th Annual Oyster Riot

unnamed-9.pngOld Ebbitt Grill is pleased to announce a new date and venue for its 25th annual Oyster Riot. As this milestone year for the well-celebrated event coincides with renovations to the restaurant’s interior atrium, the Riot will be held outdoors under an expansive tent at The Bullpen at Nationals Park on Saturday, October 26. A Matinee Session will be hosted from 1 pm to 4 pm and the Evening Session will be held from 7 pm to 10 pm.

General Admission tickets, priced at $99/person, include unlimited oysters, wine, and beer. VIP tickets are also available for $150 and feature a VIP section with lounge-style seating, oysters, wine, and beer. VIP ticket holders also receive a signed and numbered 2019 Oyster Riot poster by famed concert poster artist, Mike DuBois.

Typically held the weekend before Thanksgiving, this year’s Riot was given an earlier date to take advantage of the fall weather. “With the atrium in the midst of a renovation, we decided to take the Riot on the road this year. We saw this as an opportunity to do something special and larger to help celebrate the 25th year. After an extensive search, we found the perfect spot at The Bullpen,” said David Moran, Area Director of Operations for Clyde’s Restaurant Group.

On October 14, a panel of Oyster Riot Judges will convene for the Old Ebbitt Grill International Wines for Oysters Competition. The Judges will select gold medal wines from among twenty finalists carefully curated from approximately 200 wineries in twelve different countries. The winning wines will be poured and celebrated at the Oyster Riot.

The world-renowned New Orleans Suspects will headline the event with their not-to-miss “Tribal Gold” show. Also opening each Riot will be The Crawdaddies, a high-energy, Baltimore-based party band.

Named “Best Outdoor Venue” by the Washington City Paper, The Bullpen is located in the popular Navy Yard neighborhood. Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.ebbitt.com/oysterriot/. This event is 21 years and older.


Old Ebbitt Grill International Wines for Oysters Competition was inspired by the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, organized over twenty years ago by seafood consultant Jon Rowley in Seattle. Mr. Rowley compared his competition to “a dating service for wines and oysters.” As far as can be determined, these two competitions are the only ones in the world in which wines are judged with oysters. In 1995, Tom Meyer, Clyde’s President, sent David Moran, Area Director of Operations, out to Seattle to be a judge in Mr. Rowley’s competition and immerse himself in Seattle’s oyster culture. Upon his return, David told Tom he would like to replicate an East Coast version of the competition on a larger scale at the Ebbitt. Tom replied, “Why don’t we just throw a great party with oysters and wine, that’s what we’re good at.” Over a few dozen oysters and a few glasses of Chablis, the International Wines for Oysters Competition and the Oyster Riot were born! We are eternally grateful to Michael Franz, wine writer, educator, consultant and editor of Wine Review Online, and Paul Lukacs, award-winning author, educator, wine writer and consultant, for their guidance and palates throughout the years to bring the Competition from its infancy to the celebration it is today.


Clyde’s Restaurant Group (CRG) is one of the nation’s most successful and enduring restaurant companies. In 1963, the original Clyde’s opened in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. and was recently recognized as one of the city’s “Top Workplaces” by The Washington Post. The brand has expanded to include 12 properties in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and the District of Columbia: Clyde’s of Georgetown, Clyde’s of Columbia, Clyde’s of Reston, Clyde’s of Chevy Chase, Clyde’s at Mark Center, Tower Oaks Lodge, Clyde’s of Gallery Place, Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm, Old Ebbitt Grill, The Tombs, 1789 Restaurant, and The Hamilton. All of Clyde’s restaurants, while distinctively different than the next, share the same reputation for exemplary customer service and a chef-driven menu featuring high-quality fresh ingredients. All Clyde’s concepts share a commitment to the people and the region they serve, proudly offering local produce, seafood, farm-raised meat, and air-chilled, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, humanely raised chicken.

Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest saloon, was founded in 1856 when, according to legend, innkeeper William E. Ebbitt bought a boarding house. By 1970, through an auction bid, Stuart Davidson (1922 – 2001) and John Laytham, original owners of Clyde’s of Georgetown, unexpectedly found themselves owners of a second saloon, the Old Ebbitt Grill. It was the first expansion beyond the original Clyde’s in Georgetown, and the “new” Old Ebbitt remains a historic landmark while consistently ranked 5th among top-grossing independent restaurants nationwide.


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