The founder of Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants would have celebrated his 110th birthday this March. To celebrate, the chain offered customers buy one, get one entrees for $1.10 and free blueberry cheesecake bites to the first 110 customers at each location.
Seattle-native Ivar Haglund is remembered as the local legend who opened the city’s first aquarium in 1938, along with a fish-and-chips stand at Pier 54. Admission to the aquarium cost visitors a nickel. Ivar also developed a reputation for his humorous hijinks, including the octopus wrestling and clam-eating contests he hosted at the waterfront or the time he wheeled Patsy the Seal through downtown Seattle in order to visit Santa.
Seattle top chef Tom Douglas has praised Ivar’s, saying, “Ivar’s today is still the ‘go to’ spot for fish and chips, whether for feeding fries to the seagulls on Pier 54 or grabbing a cup of clam chowder at the ball park. Ivar Haglund was far more than jocular gent in a captain’s hat. He was also a marketing genius, a visionary, and a champion of the city’s treasures, like Seattle’s waterfront, the elegant, old-fashioned skyscraper Smith Tower, and the traditional family fun at 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks.”
Today, Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants include 24 fast casual locations across the state, from Bellingham to Tacoma, stadium concessions at Safeco Field, CenturyLink, and Key Arena, and three full-service, waterfront view restaurants: Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing, Ivar’s Salmon House, and Ivar’s Acres of Clams.
Now, you can also prepare dishes from this Seattle staple in your own kitchen. When the restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013, Sasquatch Books published Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook: The O-fish-al Guide to Cooking the Northwest Catch. Seafood recipes abound in the cookbook, as do the food puns, evidenced by the title.
Whether enjoyed at home, on the go, or at the waterfront, Ivar’s is the place for authentic Seattle fish-and-chips and clam chowder.