Legendary Catfish Corner Reopens in Rainier Beach/Othello

Legendary Catfish Corner Reopens in Rainier Beach/Othello

By Amber Campbell

Hate to say it, but the CD’s loss is the South-End’s gain.

With gentrification sweeping through Seattle like a tidal wave of doggy daycare, and black-owned eateries disappearing faster than you can say, “The rent is too damned high,” a Seattle legend has relocated to the last frontier.

Yes, those of you inclined to complain about southeast Seattle always getting the short end of the stick can think again, because Terrell Jackson — grandson of the original Catfish Corner owners — has brought the best of the best to Rainier Beach, and not just the food made from his family’s original recipes, but the family itself.

Jackson started working at his grandparent’s restaurant at just 14, first as a dishwasher, then a server and cashier. He says people have always called him “Catfish,” so he figured he had to do it.

“My grandfather created a legacy,” he said. And “I learned the roots of it all.”

Jackson’s family sold the business in 2000. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, the second owners closed last year after racking up thousands of dollars in rent and state taxes.

Now, Terrell has reopened under the name Jackson’s Catfish Corner — located in a tent at 4348 South Henderson Street near MLK, Jr. Way — with what he calls “the original crew” (his mom, brother, wife and others) serving fried catfish, hush puppies, fries and tartar sauce made from his family’s original recipes Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 am to 7 pm or until they run out of fish.

Don’t let the modest accommodations fool you though — Terrell says the pop-up shop has been serving 225 lbs. of catfish every day since they opened a few weeks ago.

Thrilled with the success and community support, he says he hopes to open a storefront in the South-End soon.

Rainier Beach neighbors are all for it.

“I am really, REALLY hoping that the Jackson’s Catfish Corner will open up in one of the shops along Rainier, in the same block as Maya’s and the former Tino’s,” says Rachelle Rose, co-founder of South-End Slice — a hyper-local foodie group.

If Terrell’s dedication, the quality of the food and the amount of community support is any indication, it won’t be long before Jackson’s Catfish Corner finds a new, permanent home in the Rainier Valley.

UPDATE (5/24/15): According to their Facebook page, Jackson’s Catfish Corner is moving to the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Garden Street next month. Their last day on Henderson Street will be Sun., May 31.

Photos/Jackson’s Catfish Corner


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