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Originally published March 20, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Page modified March 20, 2013 at 4:32 PM

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They’re back: 69-cent oysters at Whole Foods

Whole Foods reprises its 69-cent oyster happy-hour deal.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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There are happy hours that are hipper and happy hours with more pizazz. But there’s no happy hour that stirs folks into a frenzy more than the 69-cent oyster deal at Whole Foods Market in Westlake.

The line sometimes snakes through the store, past the deli and the wine aisle — and that’s before the shucking even begins.

The oyster deal doesn’t come around often — the next one is Tuesday — and it’s an event folks plan and strategize for in advance. Patrons come early to claim a table at the store’s cafe and dispatch a party member to wait in line to buy dozens of oysters.

Whole Foods goes through 120 to 180 dozens within two hours. Their oysters are big and plump, not the small, castoff bivalves that often end up on the happy-hour menu at other seafood restaurants.

The oysters served will be Barron Points from Puget Sound — meaty, buttery and sweet — served with lemon wedges, vinaigrette, horseradish and cocktail sauce.

What makes this happy hour a better deal than your average watering hole’s is the drink selection. You can grab any beer or wine in the store to pair with your oysters. No corkage fee. No additional mark up. No tips. (Grocery- store employees here are prohibited from accepting gratuity.)

Two dozen oysters and a bottle of sparkling wine will cost around $30.

Tuesday’s happy hour starts at 5 p.m. If you’re one of the unfortunate souls — rookie! — who’s still waiting after 6:45 p.m., chances are the oysters may be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line.

The details

Whole Foods Market, 2210 Westlake Ave., offers 69-cent oyster happy hour next Tuesday, March 26, from 5-7 p.m. or until it’s sold out; 206-621-9700 or wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/westlake. (Note that the 69-cent deal is only at the Westlake store, and that different branches run different happy hours.)

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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