The Stump restaurant group closes the Forthright Oyster Bar & Kitchen

Citing challenges in hiring managers and chefs, standout South Bay chef Jim Stump and his restaurant group announced Thursday that they may downsize their portfolio and shut Forthright Oyster Bar & Kitchen later this month.

It will likely be at least a year before restaurant owner Jim Stump's oyster bars - Forthright in Campbell and the recently opened Lamella Tavern in Willow Glen - feel the effects of the heat wave that hit oyster farms in British Columbia and Puget Sound in July. (Archive by Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)
Fresh oysters are the star of Forthright's menu. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group Archive)

The Campbell's restaurant's website and social media thanked customers and promised special offers for a couple of more weeks before Forthright, a sustainable seafood specialist, closes its doors. The restaurant has been in business since 2016.

“The high cost of living, the pandemic, the culture change have resulted in people not wanting to work in our industry,” co-owner Angelique Stump said in an email, noting that ads in search of trained managers and experienced chefs have found few applicants at that level.

And because the Stumps operate six restaurants under the Hot Behind You Hospitality Management Group umbrella, it's difficult to offer quality food and repair to all guests, the Stumps said, in order that they'll deal with their five remaining concepts.

Angelique Stump said they’d give The Table in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood “a little bit of a reboot,” resuming seven-day operations and focusing totally on Shepherd & Sims, their large restaurant in Los Gatos.

The group also owns two small kitchens – Lamella Tavern in Willow Glen and The Vesper in Campbell – in addition to Jim Stump's Tavern at San Jose Mineta International Airport.

June 23 will likely be Forthright's last day of business. “To enjoy the unique atmosphere and deliciousness one last time, we encourage you to visit us soon,” the note reads. “We have some incredible specials planned for the coming weeks and would love to share one last meal with you.”

In addition to oysters (fresh and roasted in butter), Forthright also offers halibut, crab and squid — and sells a variety of clam chowder. In a 2018 Bay Area News Group article about great clam chowder, Stump said he learned the recipe as a youngster at Pruneyard's Outlook after which refined it during his years at Los Gatos Brewing Company.

A cup
Chef-restaurant owner Jim Stump says he has spent years refining his clam chowder recipe. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

In their message to customers, the Stumps added: “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to each guest who has walked through our doors. Your laughter, conversations and love for our food have made Forthright a truly special place. Whether you were a regular at the bar enjoying oysters at happy hour or celebrating a milestone with a grand seafood feast, we have enjoyed being part of your memories.”

Details: Open Wednesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to eight:30 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to eight p.m., 1700 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell;

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