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Jackson’s Catfish Corner Pop-Up Teases Portland Expansion

It’s the latest Seattle restaurant to migrate down I-5

Jackson's Catfish Corner.
Jackson's Catfish Corner.
Anne D./Yelp

Recently resurrected Central District phenom Jackson’s Catfish Corner is hoping to join a wave of Seattle restaurants that have migrated down I-5 to Portland.

Jackson’s is teasing the idea via a pop-up cart this weekend in Portland. On January 14 and 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. the catfish cult favorite will serve its popular fried fillets and prawns with fries and hush puppies at 84 NE Killingsworth St.

It’s all part of a larger plan to eventually open a food cart in Portland. Terrell Jackson tells Eater he hopes to open at the NE MLK and Beech pod this summer.

The Portland expansion for Jackson’s represents quite a turnaround for the restaurant that has twice flirted with extinction. The restaurant was born at the corner of Cherry and MLK in the Central District in 1985 as, simply, Catfish Corner.

Owners Woodrow and Rosemary Jackson closed their restaurant in 2014, only to have their grandson, Terrell Jackson, salvage the family business under the name Jackson's Catfish Corner. He slung catfish via a series of pop-ups and went brick-and-mortar at 7216 Rainier Ave S last year. The restaurant closed in July 2016, then finally resurfaced at its new location on 21st and Yesler in November.

Jackson's isn't alone in its bid for a Seattle-to-PDX migration. Rachel Marshall and Monica Dimas have brought their ginger beer-fried chicken sandwich combo to Portland, and husband and wife team Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have established a Revel sibling in Portland called Revelry. The trend goes both ways: Portland has sent a Sizzle Pie location Seattle’s way, and PDX chainlet Little Big Burger is planning multiple Seattle locations. Bend-based vegan burger restaurant Next Level Burger is eyeing Seattle as well.