Press Rooms

Back to Press Room
Press Image

Is Ivar’s Clamosaurus Blocking Bertha?

When Ivar Haglund’s prized proto-clam went missing in 1937, most believed the giant shellfish escaped into the bay. But did it burrow instead?

SEATTLE – Dec. 17, 2013 It’s the question on everyone’s mind: what’s blocking Bertha? The cause of the sudden obstruction to Bertha in digging Seattle’s tunnel has been causing speculation among historians, engineers and Seattleites this past week. Today, Ivar’s announced it may have the answer: a 70-foot clamosaurus.

Ivar’s records and historical anecdotes reveal restaurant “flounder” Ivar Haglund bred an oversized “proto-clam.” Ivar’s mysterious pet was a prized possession spotted around town until it abruptly disappeared in 1937 when Haglund moved his Seattle aquarium from Harbor Avenue in West Seattle to Pier 3 (now Pier 54). Legend has it the 70-foot shellfish fell off a truck bed near South Jackson Street, approximately where Bertha is currently stuck. Coincidence?

“Ivar was a great storyteller and spoke fondly about his clamosaurus,” said Bob Donegan, president of Ivar’s. “Ivar’s notes say he thought the clam reverted to its natural instincts and burrowed for the water – or else sought safe, deep ground. The evidence shows the clamosaurus could be blocking Bertha. If WsDot or Seattle Tunnel Partners find it, we are eager to regain it and put it on display at Acres of Clams, which Ivar named for the clamosaurus.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Seattle Tunnel Partners are working to identify the blockage and put a removal plan in place by this Friday. In the meantime, public speculation has suggested it could by anything from a locomotive, to a marine bunker or a meteorite.

“Bertha can cut through dirt and debris, so whatever she’s dealing with has to be significantly fossilized,” said Feliks Banel, a noted Seattle historian. “I’ve heard the clamosaurus lore and when you look at the history, maps and Ivar’s notes and anecdotes, the clamosaurus blockage lines up as a real possibility.”

Any other predictions? Enter the “What’s Blocking Bertha” contest on Ivars.com to receive a free cup of clam chowder. Plus, the most creative submission will win free chowder for a year*! To stay updated as the story unfolds, follow Ivar’s on Facebook and Twitter.

About Ivar’s

Ivar opened one of Seattle’s first aquariums on Pier 3, now Pier 54 in 1938. The fish and chips and chowder bar at the front entry grew into Acres of Clams. Today, there are 23 Ivar's fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service restaurants: Ivar's Acres of Clams, Ivar's Salmon House and Ivar's Mukilteo Landing. Ivar's Seafood, Soup and Sauce Company develops and sells Ivar’s award-winning soups, chowders and sauces both nationally and internationally. The company also operates regional stadium concessions including Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, KeyArena, Bank of America Arena, Husky Stadium and Cheney Stadium. Learn more at www.Ivars.com.

Media Contact:

Bob Donegan

206 587 0436 direct

206 793 9979 cell

Download PDF