For ten years, Blue Dust, a Homestead gastropub located just before The Waterfront’s train tracks, has held events at their location and under the Homestead Grays Bridge.
Frank Cunniff, the graphic designer and one of the founding group of family members who opened the bar in 2009, said the longevity of their business is what they were hoping for from the beginning.
“People really like what we bring to the table,” said Cunniff. “It feels really good to know what we are serving to the people made them happy and made them want to keep going.”
Blue Dust will celebrate the milestone with their 7th annual Oysterfest, under the bridge from 2 PM to 10 PM on May 11th.
They receive the oysters the day of the festival from Rogue Ales Brewery, one of the sponsors of the event, based in Ashland Ore.
“They are really good and buttery,” said Cunniff. “There are so many varieties of [how the oysters are served] at the festival it’s hard not to find one you don’t like.
People can get oyster shooters, fried oysters, and in a sandwich to name some of the ways they are cooked at Oysterfest. Other types of seafood and a variety of food trucks will also be under the bridge, and craft beer is on tap.
Live music is also a highlight of the festival. Two bands, Hill Jordan and The Flow Band, are returning from last year’s festival. David Nemo, who played in bands that provided entertainment in previous years of Oysterfest will open the show with an acoustic set.
“He’s great to see, and he’ll warm up the crowd,” said Cunniff. “There’s enough variety between all the acts so pretty much anybody regardless of musical preference will have a good time.
Cunniff is still involved with all of Blue Dust events, but his biggest contribution is the annual “Brawl Under The Bridge.” Professional wrestlers from the Keystone State Wrestling Association will be attending the festival to kick off ticket sales and raffling free passes to their Homestead show on July 20th.
On the same day, the Three Rivers Comic-Con will begin its two-day festival. Cunniff and Blue Dust have been talking to Todd McDevitt, the owner of New Dimension Comics about promoting Oysterfest to people who are going to their convention.
“It’s a selling point on social media to get people out there and interested,” said Cunniff. Our bar has a background with comics. My wife and I are nerds and make comics so it would be great.”
Above everything, Cunniff recommends people get to Oysterfest early because the oysters go fast, especially the west coast oysters. Despite the ample amount, they have sold out before especially in the first few years of the festival.
“We do our best to order appropriately and make everybody happy,” said Cunniff. “But once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Cunniff.