Rock and Rye Oyster House: Fresh Seafood & Classic Sips

by Megs Thompson

Rock and Rye Bellingham

As one of the newcomers to the downtown Bellingham area, Rock and Rye have definitely made their mark and proven that they aren’t messing around. The small location on N. State Street on the street level of the historic Herald Building is constantly bustling, no matter the day or time, and for amazingly delicious reasons. Staying true to their mission, to bring together craft food and cocktails with a delicious locally sourced and seasonally inspired menu, focusing on oysters and seafood, Rock and Rye has quickly become a popular watering hole amongst locals and tourists alike.

Embracing the buildings’ unique personality, its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, vintage schoolhouse lights, and dark wood finishes, Rock and Rye has achieved the trifecta (ambiance, atmosphere, & address) when it comes to cultivating a haven for sipping whiskey, slurping oysters, & catching up with friends.

My personal favorites on the cocktail menu are the Amelia, a smooth sip of vodka, lemon, elderflower liqueur, & blackberry, and the Winter Rose, a light blend of gin, lemon, prickly pear, & rose flower water – both are perfect for these warm summer months. When it’s a bit colder outside I’m a Hot Whiskey Toddy kind of girl. Then of course there are the delectable munchies, like the fish tacos, house-cut fries, and of course, the steamer mussels.

Rock and Rye Bellingham

What many don’t realize is that Rock and Rye is the brainchild of the same man that brought us another downtown hotspot, Bayou on Bay, a Cajun/Creole restaurant that’s been tickling our taste buds since 2007. Stephen Croiser, has been in the biz for 30 years, managing nightclubs, restaurants, and the memorable Seattle Underground Tours in Pioneer Square. After relocating to Bellingham, Croiser opened Bayou, and two years later the Oyster Bar, at the same location. Then, in 2014, the Oyster Bar was reincarnated, and relocated, to its current location, under the name Rock and Rye.


Alongside Croiser is his Chef De Cuisine, Jacob Grisham, who also handles marketing, design, event and menu planning. Grishams’ talents don’t stop there though, he was also a part of the construction team that designed and built the Rock and Rye Oyster House. The third musketeer of the R&R team is the locations general manager, and executive chef, Harrison Gilbert. Gilbert also started at Bayou on Bay, after receiving his B.A. Culinary Arts from Bellingham Technical College in 2007.

So, if you’re looking for a great spot for swilling whiskey, sipping cocktails, or slurping oysters (sourced locally and abroad), but sure to stop into Rock and Rye. Your palate will thank you.

For a full menu, as well as any upcoming events, be sure to visit their website at or find them on Facebook.

Open Tues-Sunday 3-11pm