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Central District says goodbye to legendary Catfish Corner

(Image: Catfish Corner)

(Image: Catfish Corner)

With an expensive judgement in a lawsuit brought by its MLK and Cherry landlord sealing the deal, a legendary Central District restaurant and community spot has shuttered.

Catfish Corner quietly closed earlier this month as the unlawful detainer case came to a close with the court ruling the Corner’s ownership owes more than $18,000 to building owners Cederstrand Rentals. A check of court records also shows a string of warrants for unpaid state taxes in recent years. Court documents indicate the space rented for around $1,800 a month.

The closure marks the end of 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner — and has many fans lamenting they didn’t get a last chance to say goodbye:

As a hub for information on the Black Community Catfish Corner will be missed by all for the Food and a gathering place.

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

Catfish Corner is owned by a company headed by the West family who have owned the business since the mid-2000s. The Go West company also produces Smartar Tartar

You’ll notice the difference in color. It’s not white with pickles. The texture is different because of all the other ingredients in it. And best of all, is the taste.

We’ve reached out to Go West and Smartar Tartar to learn more but have not yet heard back.

In the late ’90s, Catfish Corner founders Rosie and Woody Jackson sought to move the restaurant to 23rd and Jackson but were beat out by a little coffee company called Starbucks, according to the Seattle Times. A Kent Catfish Corner location lasted only a few years before shuttering in 2012.

There don’t appear to be any major overhauls lined up for the MLK and Cherry location known for its giant Martin Luther King, Jr. mural and we haven’t seen any permit activity that indicates a new tenant is ready to move in.

In the meantime, Catfish Corner fans are in mourning. “What are we gonna do now?,” one person lamented on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “I was raised on your fish. Why didn’t someone tell us so we could stock up? I am spinning right now.”

UPDATE 9/10/14: Following up on the story, we reached out to the owner of the Catfish Corner building to ask about the situation and what’s next for the space. The owner declined to comment at this time.

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BT Felix
BT Felix
6 years ago

Emerald City Fish & Chips… Ranier Ave S. Oh well…

Gina O.
Gina O.
6 years ago

Why wasn’t the black community and it’s followers alerted so we could help SAVE our Catfish Corner ??

the Donald
the Donald
6 years ago

Shell station at the top of holgate, crisis averted,

3rdEye
3rdEye
6 years ago
Reply to  the Donald

This is the shell station on Beacon? Up the Holgate bridge?

Raz Jones
Raz Jones
6 years ago

How about ya’ll learn how to cook some catfish. It was good, but I do believe that each one of us has the same ability as any restaurant.

Jackson
Jackson
6 years ago

There were many days when I was the only white person in there, but no one ever gave me a second look. I loved that place. They had the best food. I will miss them a lot, especially their red beans and rice.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

It wouldn’t have needed saving if enough people ate there. It’s gone for the same reason the Jewish bakery isn’t there anymore – people moved elsewhere.

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[…] 23rd/Madison shop’s closure follows this summer’s end of Catfish Corner which shuttered at MLK and Cherry after 30 years of business. That restaurant space remains […]

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[…] The announced closure joins a handful of popular, black-owned Central Seattle eateries to recently call it quits including Philadelphia Fevre (RIP) and Catfish Corner (RIP). […]

LaTasha
LaTasha
5 years ago

I’m very saddened that this iconic restaurant has closed. It was one of those landmark places to visit for Seattle with food that had a distinctive taste. What a terrible loss.

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[…] the former Kingfish Cafe will soon reopen as a Pike/Pine-powered Italian joint, the Catfish Corner is no more, and Philly Fevre has moved aside, but there’s hope for Seattle’s inner city soul food, […]

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[…] the former Kingfish Cafe will soon reopen as a Pike/Pine-powered Italian joint, the Catfish Corneris no more, and Philly Fevrehas moved aside, but there’s hope for Seattle’s inner city soul food, yet. Ms. […]

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[…] Later this year, Lalario will open Fat’s Fried Chicken and Waffles in the space left empty after the much-loved soul food joint suddenly closed last summer following 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner. […]

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[…] Jackson’s family sold the business in 2000. However, according to Capitol Hill Seattle, the second owners of Catfish Corner were forced to close after owing thousands in state taxes and […]