The oyster house making waves in landlocked OKC

After 17 years in Cali’s blistering food scene, the Walters opened a seafood hotspot in the heartland — and it worked.

Meet Zach and Silvana Walters, the power couple behind Sedalia’s Oyster + Seafood. Ocean-fresh fare might not be what you expect of a landlocked state, but plainsmen are scooping up reservations nightly. Originally from Oklahoma City, Zach moved his family back home to open his dream fine dining establishment with less stress. In this episode of Flyover Stories, learn why the Walters swapped Los Angeles’ restaurant scene to start their family — and one of Bon Appétit’s best new restaurants — in OKC. 

I moved from Oklahoma City to San Francisco when I was 22 years old. I spent, basically, the next 17 years in California. Silvana and I were both ready to leave Los Angeles, which is where we were living at the time.

Outside the storefront of Sedalia's Oyster + Seafood restaurant.

I originally moved here with my family from Cochabamba, Bolivia when I was 13 years old. From the very beginning, it kind of forced me to adapt very fast to new environments. 

We didn’t really know where we wanted to relocate. After some research and talking it over, we decided we wanted to go to another market that would give us a little bit more opportunity and some financial stability. After a little bit of conversation and deliberation, we decided on Oklahoma

A lot of people don’t think of Oklahoma City as having a great oyster bar or a simple oyster bar or just fresh seafood, because there’s not an ocean nearby.

Zach preparing food in the kitchen of their restaurant.

We wanted to open something that would be competitive. Oklahoma in general is just a steak place. This is all we eat. Doesn’t matter what’s on your menu. You’ve got to have a burger. You’ve got to have a steak. I’m not saying I wanted to call anybody’s bluff, but we did what we did, and the response from the city has been overwhelmingly positive. The city is almost thankful that something like this opened up that gave them something different to enjoy.

If you lived in Oklahoma City and you were just doing your thing, the quality of life is so great. You’re able to own your own home, to have pets, to be able to have the autonomy of work in doing whatever you want to do without having the pressure of the “go, go, go” that you get in bigger cities. There are lots of shops and restaurants. Whatever you need, you have it. It’s available here.

Silvana and Zach shopping in a store full of decorative home items.

Being able to be in Oklahoma with our two-year-old is awesome. There is so much to do, like being able to take small trips out to places like Broken Bow. It’s nice to be able to take him outdoors and do things that I think will make him a better well-rounded individual.

Oklahoma has a very good way of hiding what is really great about this state and not shining that to the rest of the country. [The response to Sedalia’s] gives us a lot of hope and a lot of encouragement to continue doing what we’re doing.

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