Every morning, Tyler Kean steps onto his boat in front of the home he shares with his wife and four children on Wolf Bay. He fires up the engine, putters into Bay La Launch, rounds Hatcher Point and directs the nose of the vessel towards work: OSO at Bear Point Harbor.
For those with four wheels, OSO is located at the eastern end of Canal Road in Orange Beach, but, like Kean, many of its patrons choose to make the trip by water. Kean can hardly blame them; the Louisiana native says he starts each workday with a cup of coffee, looking out over the serene water from the restaurant’s upper deck.
Many know Kean from his 19 years as owner and proprietor of the Fairhope Inn, but before that, he was just a 15-year-old kid peeling shrimp in Louisiana. After studying at the Culinary Institute in New York and running a fine dining restaurant in St. Francisville, Louisiana, he jumped at the opportunity to relocate to Fairhope in 2000.
In 2019, another opportunity presented itself at Bear Point Marina, in the space previously occupied by Flipper’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. Kean immediately set out to create a “coastal” menu that represented the entire Gulf Coast — Florida to Louisiana, Texas to Mexico. “That way, we’re not cornered into doing just one type of cuisine,” he says. Think etouffee and gumbo alongside burritos and charred pineapple shrimp. “It’s casual coastal food with a little lean towards Latin flavors.”
He found similar inspiration when deciding on the restaurant’s name; “Oso” is Spanish for “bear,” a tip of the hat to the marina at its back door. Upon OSO’s opening in January 2020, diners found a restaurant with a renewed focus on the local community and music. Lots of music.
“We are really music-driven,” Kean says, explaining that visitors find live music every night from a variety of musicians, making it a dynamic place for tourists and locals alike.
“The biggest compliment I can get is from a local who says, ‘I love what you’ve done, and thanks for putting the time and effort into us.’”
And it doesn’t stop there. For the early risers, Kean has opened the cleverly named breakfast spot OSO Early just down the road. A full day on a full stomach is calling, and it’s OSO perfect.
On the Menu
Garlic Parmesan Oysters
This plate of oysters baked in a cheesy, garlic concoction is best enjoyed in the glow of a sunset over Bear Point Marina.
A tray of tortilla chips is smothered with three cheeses, blackened shrimp, pico de gallo, house salsa, jalapeño slices and cilantro for a shareable snack.
Ancho-dusted rare tuna meets dark rum sauce, Sriracha chili mayonnaise and cilantro sour cream — all atop a bed of lime rice.
This signature cocktail of dark rum, coconut rum and banana rum gets even more tropical with pineapple juice and blended Bordeaux cherries.
OSO at Bear Point Harbor • 5749 Bay La Launch Ave., Orange Beach • 345-6738
osobearpoint.com • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Su – Th; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. F – Sa