Seattle’s iconic Mutual Fish Company is closing

The 76-year-old market was a local seafood trailblazer.

The sign outside Mutual Fish Co. on Rainier Avenue in South Seattle

This sign has been a staple on Rainier Avenue for more than six decades.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Cherish every last filet, folks. The owners of Mutual Fish Company in South Seattle announced they are retiring and closing the iconic store on Saturday, Sept. 16.

It’s been a great run. The 76-year-old, third-generation family business became an institution, providing high quality seafood for not just home cooks but top local chefs throughout the decades.

Here’s why there will be big fins to fill at 2335 Rainier Ave. S.

Tanks for the memories

Mutual Fish was founded by “father of Seattle seafood” Dick Yoshimura, who was a fishmonger on the Seattle waterfront for years before being imprisoned during WWII in an internment camp.

He originally established his shop on the corner of 14th Avenue + Yesler in 1947 and then moved to the current Beacon Hill location in the 60s. Under Dick’s stewardship, Mutual Fish became one of the city’s trailblazers — it was the first to have live tanks in the store and fly in fresh fish from other locations like Hawaii.

In fact, out of all of the memorable seafood dishes you’ve had in Seattle, chances are high at least a few came from Mutual Fish. Famed restaurateur Tom Douglas was even a longtime customer and said he learned hospitality lessons from the store. Not too shabby.

End of the line

When Dick died in 2012 at the age of 98, the shop was passed down to his son Harry, daughter Lisa, and grandson Kevin. The Yoshimura family kept Mutual Fish going for the next decade through the difficult early pandemic days, and left much of the original memorabilia + newspaper clippings up on the wall.

Now that the place is closing, it’s received an outpouring of love from longtime customers on Facebook, and the owners are encouraging everyone to swing by over the next two weeks to say goodbye. One last geoduck for the road?