On a warm, bright Juneteenth, Jackson’s Catfish Corner — a decades-old fast-casual favorite — made its return 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 red ribbon-cutting ceremony and sprays of champagne as a sizable crowd gathered to join in the celebration. The Marshall Law Band played outside the new location at 2212 S. Jackson Street, and Seattle city councilmember Girmay Zahilay, as well as King County executive Dow Constantine, showed up to mark the occasion. Owner Terrell Jackson called the grand reopening overall a “huge success.”
The triumphant return is especially heartening after years of uncertainty surrounding a new fixed location. Jackson’s Catfish Corner was born not too far away, at the corner of Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 1985. Founders Woodrow and Rosemary Jackson closed that outpost in 2014, but their grandson, Terrell took over the business, first through some pop-ups and then a brief stint on 21st Avenue and Yesler Way in 2016. (There’s currently a Catfish Corner Express in Skyway no longer associated with the Jackson family, who sold that restaurant to new owners).
When the Yesler outpost of Jackson’s Catfish Corner closed in 2018, Jackson had already hinted that another location in the neighborhood was imminent, and in June 2020, he posted a video on YouTube about the new project in its early development at the Community House Mental Health Agency’s Patricia K Apartments, a building that provides affordable housing to those dealing with chronic mental illness. Jackson’s Catfish Corner has a long-term 15-year lease on the space now.
On Saturday, there were long lines out the door to welcome the restaurant back to the neighborhood and a full menu featuring the much-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 from 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 speech at the ribbon-cutting. “For us to be here today, this is amazing.”
- Beloved Jackson’s Catfish Corner Plans Another Return to the Central District [ESEA]
- Jackson’s Catfish Corner Grand Opening [Converge Media: Morning Update Show]
- Black Ownership Amid a Wave of Redevelopment, Jackson’s Catfish Corner and Simply Soulful Are Coming to 23rd and Jackson [CHS]
- All coverage of Jackson’s Catfish Corner [ESEA]