Wheeler’s Oyster Bar

Whistable, United Kingdom | C.1856

Photo Credit: Bella Foxwell

Wheeler’s Oyster Bar was founded in 1856 by Richard “leggy” Wheeler who started as a Dredger Man and by 1850 was a Master Mariner. Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, in 1856 Wheeler’s Oyster Bar was born in the seaside town of Whitstable.

Whitstable is located on the north coast of Kent in south-east England, 8 kilometers north of Canterbury. With a population of about 32,000, Whitstable was famous for its ‘Native Oysters’ which were collected from beds beyond the low water mark from Roman times until the mid-20th century. Each summer this tradition is celebrated at the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival.

Archaeological finds indicate that the Whitstable area was inhabited during the Palaeolithic era, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age and that Oysters were harvested dating back to Roman times. The remains of a Roman building have even been found in the center of the town with charters indicating Saxon settlements where salt industires and coastal trades occurred.

As the oldest restaurant in Whistable, Wheeler’s continues their tradition in town with a small seasonal menu. Wheelers does not have an alcohol license, but you can bring your own wine as they do not charge a corkage or service charge.

Today Wheelers is run by Delia Fitt who inherited the business from her parents, and she is now partnered by Mark Stubbs, the chef who heads up a small team producing modern British European food for their very intimate Oyster Parlor and Seafood Bar.

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