It began as Middleburg National Bank, an imposing, elegant, neoclassical structure now home to King Street Oyster Bar. Eating lunch at the original Leesburg location, it occurred to Councilman Peter Leonard-Morgan and new Vincent Bataoel, Economic Development Committee chair that the then-vacant building would be perfect for an oyster bar.

Great location, delectable fresh oysters, a full seafood menu, a well-stocked bar, what could be more inviting? Finally, after the fourth urging, partner Rick Allison ventured to see the space. It was love at first bite.

In its second month since opening, King Street Oyster Bar is a bustling hot spot for meeting friends for brunch, lunch or dinner, or enjoying a daily happy hour. A wooden host stand carved in the shape of a mermaid greets patrons and while you wait, you can watch oysters brought in from as far away as Canada and California being shucked behind a glass and marble enclosure. There’s an upstairs bar and seating as well for a bit more intimacy, but the two-story bank windows give the cozy space a big feel.

A diverse, creative menu includes American-style fare of scallops, king crab legs, trout, mussels, blue crab and corn chowder, Asian tuna, calamari, clams, shrimp, gumbo, salads, salmon, all kinds of sandwiches and po-boys, lobster rolls, trout, mahi, salmon, and filet mignon and chicken are added for the turf aficionado. Complementary side dishes and a divine dessert selection cannot be ignored. Kids have a menu too!

Adding an artistic elegance to the ambiance are three huge window murals painted by local artist Isabelle Truchon: one of shrimp, lobsters, and of course, oysters. Painted in acrylic on canvas stretched on wood, the panels add a wonderful sophistication to the space while honoring the crustaceans and seafood we higher forms of evolution so enjoy.

Every town needs a place to meet on a regular basis; it’s what small communities thrive upon, and with a $5 happy hour menu and dollar oysters, King Street Oyster Bar is a marvelous new addition to Middleburg.