Jackson’s Catfish Corner officially returns to the Central District
By a warm and bright Juneteenth, Jackson’s Catfish Corner – a quick and laid back favorite for decades – has returned to the Central District with great fanfare, seven years after leaving its original location and a few other stops and starts. There was a traditional ceremony of cutting the red ribbon and throwing champagne as a large crowd gathered to join in the celebration. the Marshall Law Band performed outside the new location at 2212 S. Jackson Street, and Seattle City Council member Girmay Zahilay and King County Director Dow Constantine showed up to mark the occasion. Owner Terrell Jackson called the grand reopening a “huge success.”
The triumphant return was well deserved after years of uncertainty surrounding a new fixed location. Jackson’s Catfish Corner was born not too far away, on the corner of Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 1985. Founders Woodrow and Rosemary Jackson closed this outpost in 2014, but their grandson, Terrell took over the facility. ‘business, first through pop-ups, then a brief stint on 21st Avenue and Yesler Way in 2016. (There is currently a Catfish Corner Express at Skyway that is no longer associated with the Jackson family, which sold this restaurant has new owners).
When Jackson’s Catfish Corner outpost Yesler closed in 2018, Jackson had already hinted that another place in the neighborhood was imminent, and in June 2020, he posted a video on YouTube to the new project in its infancy Community House Mental Health Agency’s Patricia K Apartments, a building that provides affordable housing for people with chronic mental illness. Jackson’s Catfish Corner has a 15 year long term lease on the space now.
On Saturday there were long lines outside the door to welcome the restaurant to the neighborhood and a full menu that included the coveted fried catfish, snapper, burgers and chicken sandwiches. Once COVID restrictions are fully lifted, the 4,500 square foot space will offer more options, including beer and wine. And Terrell Jackson hopes to build on the momentum of the enthusiastic reopening response, creating a regular gathering place for the community.
“I thought I was going to give up – I couldn’t give up,” Jackson said during a ribbon cutting speech. “For us to be here today, it’s amazing.”