This Black Rock bar and restaurant is a friendly neighborhood spot. A place you can go for good food and drink at great prices. A place where regulars hang out, where there is frequently live music and the bar is often full of conversation. A place that reminds me of some of my favorite waterside watering holes and seafood restaurants in Florida.
Its name, BRYAC, is an acronym for the Black Rock Yacht & Athletic Club, but the laid-back Bridgeport bar and restaurant is far less fancy than that name implies, and that’s a good thing.
On a recent visit, the hot buttered lobster roll is a standout, and at $12 every Wednesday and Thursday between 3 and 8 p.m., it is quite the bargain. “I think what appeals to our customers most about our lobster rolls is the simplicity of the dish,” says owner Mike Andre, who grew up in the neighborhood. “We let the fresh lobster meat do the talking, without over-seasoning it. We sauté it in drawn butter and load it into a grilled New England-style roll, a little garnish, and out it goes.”
The restaurant is also known for its raw bar, which can hold its own against pricier raw bars in the state. For happy hour — every weekday from 3-7 p.m. — there are buck-a-shuck oysters and 50-cent clams, as well as rotating specials like that $12 lobster roll.
“On most days our clams and oysters are fished, bagged and tagged that same morning. We don’t mess around with out-of-state product, and everything is locally sourced,” Andre says. “Blue Point oysters are the best and we get them right here in Long Island Sound. Also, all of our shells are recycled back into the Sound through the Town of Fairfield Shellfish Commission to help increase habitat growth.”
Beyond seafood, the restaurant offers an assortment of options including steak and chicken wings.
The restaurant’s house band, Alligator, plays Grateful Dead covers every Wednesday at 9 p.m., and popular area bands like Graylight Campfire, Alpaca Gnomes, The Red Planet, Fingersleeve, Eggy, and The Brotherhood perform at the restaurant regularly. Early birds take note: live music starts at 5 p.m. on Sundays. Speaking of Sundays, each week the restaurant offers brunch specials including all-day bloody marys and mimosas for $4 and lobster eggs Benedict.
3074 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 3 p.m.-1 a.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-2 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.