THE WORLD FAMOUS PIKE PLACE MARKET covers nearly nine acres on a hill overlooking Seattle’s commercial waterfront. Though it encompasses retailers of all sorts, the market is best known for its seafood and produce merchants. And the oldest seafood market of them all is none other than City Fish.
CITY FISH SEAFOOD MARKET – SEATTLE’S ORIGINAL SEAFOOD COMPANY
A Fish Story…
1917 – As America was at war and food supplies rationed, seafood loving Seattleites were faced with a fish shortage of epic proportions. Enterprising businessmen, hoping to make a large profit on the meager supply, took advantage of the situation by inflating prices well beyond what average shoppers could afford. Citizens were outraged. Sensing a crisis, then Washington State Governor Ernest Lister stepped in, insisting on a plan to guarantee that a state controlled supply of fish be delivered by the City of Seattle to consumers at the lowest possible price. He asked that the Fisheries Commission turn over to the Seattle city government dead hatchery salmon that were killed for their eggs and sperm. On January 14, 1917, an emergency ordinance was introduced to the Seattle City Council by Washington State Fish Commissioner L.H. Darwin requesting that money be set aside from the general budget to establish, maintain and operate a city owned fish market.
On January 25th 1918, the Municipal Fish Market opened in one of the original stalls on Pike Place. Immediately, throngs of consumers swooped down on the business, buying their three and half pound limit of fish and oysters at a third of the previous cost. In fact, that first day over 1,391 pounds of salmon alone were sold to hungry Seattleites. The Municipal Fish Market was a hit!
In 1923, the city elected to get out of the fish business and leased the market to a private owner. Rechristened City Fish, Seattle’s original seafood company stood at the entrance to Pike Place Market, offering a full line of fresh seafood at a fair price, now direct from the fisherman to the consumer.
One hundred years later, Seattle’s original seafood company, City Fish Seafood Market, still stands in its original location in the heart of the Pike Place Market. Come by, take a photo and shop our wide selection of fisherman-direct fresh seafood at fair prices – from “boat to throat”!