Ostras! Tapas and Bottleshop Opens on Plaza
Ashland restaurateur Billy Harto is on the move again, with the opening of Ostras! Tapas and Bottleshop at 47 N. Main on the Plaza. Billy is the owner of Thai Pepper in Ashland, and also started Kobe, plus the Asian Grill and Bambu in Medford. His love for food and wine and the restaurant business has him perpetually looking for the next big food trend and restaurant concept.
“I have been fascinated with Spain’s tapas culture for many years now and have been exploring ingredients, recipes and menus with an eye on bringing excellent tapas to Ashland should the opportunity arise,” Billy said.
When the space on the Plaza became available, he offered one of his employees, Oliver Fix, a chance to join him in the venture. Oliver accepted the offer.
“Tapas are a great way to enjoy and share unique flavors on small plates,” Oliver said. “Since wine is a natural complement to Mediterranean flavors, we decided to trial a unique dual concept to benefit wine enthusiasts and local winemakers alike.”
So beside the restaurant, Ostras! has a wine shop, where wine is priced at retail.
“We specialize in local wines, Oregon Pinot Noir and fun items from around the world,” Oliver said. “Restaurant patrons can purchase a bottle from the retail shop to enjoy at their table without having to pay a corkage fee, which means they get to enjoy that wine at literally half the cost they would find at a typical restaurant.”
Oliver was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. in 2002. He has worked in the service industry since 2005, when he worked at a Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii. Prior to that he had completed a professional athletic career in Whitewater Slalom at the Olympic Games in 1996 and a coaching career as British Olympic Head Coach in 2004. From Hawaii, Oliver moved to Ashland in 2010, where he continued to develop as a service professional and wine aficionado mentored by Billy at Thai Pepper and at Larks.
“At Ostras! you will find an unprecedented number of bottles available for sampling due to our Argon gas-based wine dispensation system,” Oliver said. “Patrons can either enjoy flights with their meals or sample wines to make better purchase decisions.”
The restaurant also sports some of the most innovative craft cocktails with fresh local and seasonal ingredients expertly assembled to create a true wine and cocktail bar atmosphere with enjoyable foody food to finish off the day.
The restaurant is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday, sponsors wine tastings and wine dinners, has creekside and balcony dining, and welcomes groups and special events.
For more info, call 541-708-0528 or go to ostrasashland.com.