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Our Favorite Ivar's Moments of the Last Decade

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Here at Ivar’s, we’re saying hello to the New Year and reminiscing on our favorite memories with a look back at our top 10 moments of the 2010s! So much happened in the area over the last 10 years, from the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl in 2014 to the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel -- and we witnessed it all. Join us in reminiscing on the past decade with some of our favorite moments. 

1. Ivar’s Returns to Puyallup 


Ivar’s Puyallup Seafood Bar grand opening bash

 

We started the decade shell-abrating our “flounder” Ivar Haglund’s 105th birthday (as we do every year – it’s tradition!) Our very own Dancing Clam participated in the Mascot Dash at Emerald Downs, losing to the Seattle Thunderbirds’ Cool Bird – but always first in our hearts. Then in 2011, we opened four locations at KeyArena, which is currently under renovations to welcome Seattle’s NHL team! That same year we reopened our Puyallup location after a decade-long hiatus, kicking off with a grand opening bash. This location included a drive-thru, all your Ivar's favorites and some new items too. Before we even opened, we had a huge line circling the restaurant, including a few overnight campers, in anticipation of the big opening (seafood swag and free fish 'n chips for the year is quite an incentive too).


Our customers lined up with chairs and blankets for hours
to win free chowder and fish n’ chips!

 

2. Shell-Out for Hunger 

In 2012, we launched the Shell-Out for Hunger food drive, matching each non-perishable food donation with a chowder to Northwest Harvest. Each patron who made a donation received a cup of chowder on the house to show thanks for their contributions. For those who couldn't make it to an Ivar's location and wanted to contribute, they could text "SHELLOUT" to Northwest Harvest for a one-time donation of $10. We continue to partner with Northwest Harvest and local non-profits in the communities we serve, donating more than a million dollars in food, gift cards and cash each year to families in need within our state.

Ivar's drops off pallet of chowder to Northwest Harvest

 

3. Ivar's Shell-Abrates 75 Year Clam-iversay

In 2013, we crossed the three-quarters of a century mark, shell-abating out 75th year in business. Anniversary offerings included $7.50 dining deals, crafted cocktails such as the "1938 Special" and even the release of our first cookbook! That's right, for the first time ever the crew at Ivar's gave readers access to more than 60 pages of our world-famous recipes to serve them up at home, complete with anecdotes of our history, marketing pranks and customer testimonials. 

 

4. Ivar’s Fools Day

Ivar Haglund was a prankster and known in the community as a marketing genius for the unique stunts and tricks up his sleeve. In 2014, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray honored all Ivar's practical jokes and endless puns by o-fish-ially proclaiming April 1 as "Ivar's Fools Day." 

 

  
   Chowder Machine  Ivars Gold Seal Insta Ivars

 

        The Ivar’s Chowder Select, our 2012 April Fool’s Day prank, and Insta Ivar’s, 2014 chowder on the go packet

 

Some of our most memorable pranks over the decade include:

1)  In 2011, when another prominent Seattle company debuted its new modern logo, we "rebranded" with a new simplified, minimalist logo dropping the classic cursive font, which of course ended up being a hoax!

2)  In 2012, we "launched" the Chowder Select, a ground-breaking vending machine to deliver customized chowders at the touch of a button. Unsurprisingly, many fell for our prank, however, the Chowder Select was just too good to be true. 


Our “new logo” in 2011

 

5. Dinner with a View

Later in 2014, OpenTable named Ivar's Salmon House, on North Lake Union, and Ivar's Mukilteo Landing, which overlooks Possession Sound, winners of its Diner's Choice Awards, scoring placements in the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in America amongst 19 thousand restaurants in all 50 states! To this day, both locations still offer beautiful views and it's no surprise why diners keep coming back for more. 


Ivar’s Salmon House looking over Lake Union

 

6. O-fish-ially Back in Business

After a 273-day closure, due to the Seawall Project construction and down to the studs remodel, our original waterfront restaurants on Pier 54 reopened their doors (and windows) on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Our flagship Ivar's Acres of Clams and Fish Bar welcomed guests to experience the $20 million "whale of a transformation," featuring an expanded state-of-the-art kitchen and seats with prime views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains! As our President, Bob Donegan, put it, "we started as a single fish bar in 1938 and now have multiple operations on the pier. Ivar Haglund would be proud as we enter a new chapter while still honoring his legacy. We're thrilled to unveil this unprecedented remodel to our guests." 


Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54

 

7. Straw-less in Seattle

Always ahead of the current, we were one of the first Seattle Restaurants to introduce an alternate compostable straw in place of the standard plastic straw. Our president, a board member for the Seattle Aquarium, immediately supported the ban as the right thing to do. Ivar's was also featured in the Peabody award-winning story, "The Plastic Problem," presented by PBS Newshour. The city of Seattle implemented the straw ban on July 1, 2018. 

 

8. Fish-aquah

On Oct. 15, 2018, we expanded further into Seattle's Eastside with the opening of our Seafood Bar in Issaquah, or what we like to call "Fish-aquah." This marked the first new location in five years, after the Bothell Seafood Bar opening in 2013. The 2,500 square foot location seats 83 guests and houses historic mementos, artwork and advertisements from throughout our company's history. At the grand opening shell-abration, Carl Taylor, director of operations, stated, "We look forward to serving this community, and hope our new location becomes a regular stop for lunch or dinner for residents or a stop on a road trip before or after the Snoqualmie Pass." 


Ivar’s Seafood Bar Issaquah’s opening ceremony

 

9. We’re Still Clamming Around 

Ivar's Dancing Clam loves parades, sporting events, fundraisers and hams it up - or should we say - clams it up for any camera, television or other photo opportunities. Some might say, it's the Decade of the Clam. He/she takes part in legacy events every year like Santa Clam, Easter Clam and Clam Lights (of course anything with "Clam" in the name), but has also had the privilege to join other fun, festive events such as:  We Are Family Day with the Mariners, Windermere Cup, Seattle Thunderbirds Mascot Night, Syttende May Parade Seattle, Emerald City Comic-Con, Seahawks tailgates and more! Ivar's Dancing Clam is looking forward to celebrating more community events in the next decade - and beyond - and wants everyone to just Keep Clam. 

 

            Check out Ivar's Dancing Clam's working routine for staying in peek condition (and you don't need a lot of mussels to stay fit) 

 

10. Growth in the Community and Giving Back

This decade at Ivar’s, we are most proud for the growth we've achieved and ability to establish roots in the communities we serve. We owe it to loyal customers --  like you -- who keep coming back by honoring us with their patronage. We’re proud to provide complimentary meals to service members on Veterans Day, maintain our partnerships with various organizations, such as Childhaven and Seattle Children’s, and honor educators annually with our Teacher of the Year Awards. 


Ivar’s has been recognizing WA State teachers/educators for more than 16 years!

 

As you can tell, a lot happened in the 2010s and we are so excited for what’s to come in the next 10 years! Let’s all grab a chowder for a 'cheers' to the next decade.