Oyster House set to reopen Tuesday

Olympia’s Oyster House, the popular downtown seafood restaurant that burned down about a year ago, is set to reopen Tuesday, the owner said.

Longtime owner Tom Barrett said in a voice mail Friday that the business, which is on Fourth Avenue and overlooks Percival Landing, will open at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The business burned down in July 2013, and Tom and Leticia Barrett had set out to reopen it near the one-year anniversary of the fire. They originally aimed for an opening date of July 20, but also said they wouldn’t open until employees were trained. They expect to employ about 50 people.

The Oyster House restaurant dates to the early 1920s and has had several owners over the years.

Barrett, a veteran restaurant operator who has run several Dairy Queen businesses throughout the Northwest, including in Olympia, bought the Oyster House property and business in 1996. The business was closed at the time and was in need of remodeling, something he undertook then, and again this year following the fire.

The Oyster House caught fire during last year’s Capital Lakefair, the annual summer festival that makes for a busy time downtown and along the city’s waterfront.

The fire became the attention-grabbing event that week, destroying a majority of the building and causing $1.2 million in damage — $800,000 in property damage and $400,000 in damage to the contents of the building, according to an Olympia Fire Department incident report.