All photos courtesy of Docks Oyster Bar website
I witnessed it with my own eyes -- Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill on the Upper West Side is CLOSED! All that's left are chairs and tables and a half a dozen or so barstools resting on the retro black and white tile floor and a sign in the window thanking patrons for their business. No Chris, no Ruth, no Larry, no Maine lobsters or oysters from Long Island. No west side neighbors drinking martinis at the bar. In fact, no sign of life at Docks at all. DOCKS IS CLOSED.
I don't mean to be overly dramatic but I met my husband at Docks in August 2001. We fell in love at Docks over lobster Fra Diablo and spaghetti, Maryland crab cakes, Prince Edward Island Mussels, sauteed Maine scallops, tuna steaks, french fries, creamed spinach, local and far away oysters, California chardonnay and the loud din of customers having a great time. We plotted our future together at Docks.
While not exactly a locavore restaurant, this LightHearted Locavore found plenty of fresh fish and shellfish caught on the eastern seaboard (and an occasional key lime pie or berry cobbler). Docks has a place in midtown east that I'll have to try for its fresh and creative seafood but much of the greatness of the west side Docks was the awesome people.
We made friends at Docks -- Dann, Judith, quite a few bartenders (Chris, Ruth, Larry). Docks was the closest place to the fictional restaurant CHEERS that I've spent time in - ever -- with it's own share of characters and situational comedy. I probably ate dinner at Docks over a hundred times -- mostly just with Henry and only at the bar. Hours of conversation with old and new friends and passing acquaintances. A sad day for upper west siders. And, a really sad day for me and Henry.