They’re called Mooners and they will soon bring a fun and crazy dining experience to Jamestown.
Full Moon Oyster Bar and Seafood Kitchen is in the process of renovating the former dance studio at the corner of West Main Street and Oakdale Road. The site is between Perky’s Bistro and Rob’s Barber Shop. Once open – within three-to-four months – dining will never be the same in town.
Randy Russell is the president of Full Moon, which currently has locations in Clemmons and Southern Pines, with another in the works in Morrisville, close to the Raleigh-Durham area.
“Our slogan is, ‘Come as a stranger, leave as a friend,’” Russell said recently over the hubbub at the Clemmons restaurant.
With bar-seating only – no fancy linen tablecloths here – guests are encouraged to literally rub elbows with their neighbors.
“You’re sitting next to someone who’s looking at what you’re eating and you’re looking at what they’re eating and they might say, ‘You want a bite?’,” Russell said in a Raleigh-area newspaper.
“We’re based on a traditional North Carolina oyster bar,” Russell’s wife Carol said. “It’s bar seating and your server is your shucker, bartender, busboy, live entertainment – your everything.
“Our niche is, we bring the coast to you. We don’t do frozen, we don’t do fried as a mainstay. We’re fresh made-to-order.”
Russell has a background in food service, owning a fresh seafood company for seven years that serviced the Triad area. He has used his contacts to build Full Moon into a restaurant people are willing to travel miles to experience. If one of his fishing expeditions is successful, guests could expect to find a special delicacy on the menu that night.
Clemmons regulars will be disappointed that Rob Fox, a Mooner for 10 years, will be heading up operations in Jamestown.
“Rob’s an institution here,” said investor Rob Bostic. “People come here and he knows what beer they’re drinking, just like ‘Cheers.’”
As if on cue, a gentleman walked up and got a big hug and greeting from Russell. The man, Ira, lives in Guatemala but has several homes in the states. He had been away from Full Moon for a while.
Fox walked up to greet him.
“Rob, what kind of beer do I drink?” Ira said. With only a second or two thought, Fox said, “Newcastle.
“I know the majority of the people who come in (the Clemmons location) night after night,” Fox said. “It will be the same thing in Jamestown.”
“It’s going to be awesome,” Fox said between his duties behind the bar. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback.
Russell’s group is leasing the space from Ragsdale Brothers, LLC.
“Randy and Rob have a really good thing going,” said Will Ragsdale, “We truly believe that they will bring another level of positive attention to our town.
“It’s a fun place and an experience.”
One of Russell’s investors is Flake Koury, who owns Real Deal Auto in Greensboro and is the son of the late Fred Koury. In 2012 the town’s rumor mill purported that Koury planned an oyster bar in Forestdale Shopping Center. That rumor was probably the beginning of Full Moon’s venture into the town.
The original location in Clemmons opened 11 years ago and is crowded with diners each night, with only 42 seats around the bar. However, there is not much waiting room, something Russell and his investors plan to change in Jamestown.
The Jamestown site will have approximately 52 seats, a waiting area and an outdoor patio in the back, behind the barbershop. With the extra seating, the Jamestown location will be able to open for both lunch and dinner. And diners are welcome to come in shorts and flip-flops.
“We’re the weirdest restaurant you’ve ever see,” Russell said. “It’s a very unique venue.”
“We’re frothing at the mouth (about Jamestown,)” Carol said. “It’s something we’ve been salivating about for over two years.”
To view the menu at Full Moon Oyster Bar, visit www.fullmoonoysterbar.com.
Carol Brooks can be reached at 336-841-4933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.