Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ivar’s Acres of Clams

In Seattle, there are three restaurants, Ivar’s Acres of Clams (the original, established in 1938), Ivar’s Salmon House and Ivar’s Landing in Mukilteo, and several smaller, more casual, fast-food kind of Ivars, famous for fish and chips.

This was one very smart man. The first Ivar’s Acre of Clams was built next to the ferry terminal in Seattle and provided both oceanfront dining and a quick place to grab some fish and chips coming to and from the ferries. It was a Seattle landmark; everyone knew Ivar’s Acres of Clams.

He also did a lot of promotions, appearing on TV in his own ads, often singing. The ads were very very bad, so bad that everyone remembered them, so in fact . . . they were so bad that they were good.

(Photo courtesy Paul Dorpat from the collection of Pacific Northwest History.)

(Kuwait needs this Wikipedia kind of historical page, gathering data and stories before the old Kuwaitis are all gone, and their stories with them. This would be a great thesis program, getting this set up and running.)

Some of my earliest memories are meals at Ivar’s. As a child, visiting from Alaska, the whole of my father’s clan, aunts, uncles, cousins, would all gather at Ivar’s for a grand dinner. Later, as a starving college student, from time to time a kind aunt would invite us to dinner or lunch there, taking us out of the university environment. As a young married, it was the restaurant where my husband-to-be met my extended family for the first time. Ivar’s is full of memories, as well as good food!

To this day, I often meet my old friends at Ivar’s. The food standards remain high – good Pacific Northwest Seafood, prepared so that their flavors come through. Dungeness crab Louis, salmon and chips, prawns and chips, halibut and chips – even plain old fish and chips, fresh out of the deep fryer. Even Ivar’s fast food is delicious, and as well as the fish and chips you can get their great clam chowder, also smoked salmon chowder, and a salmon ceasar salad, or a shrimp or crab cocktail – at the fast food Ivars. Great quality food, not the supersize me kind of food.

These are photos of the original Ivar’s Acre of Clams:

This is what their seafood cocktails look like (YUMMMMMMM!)

This is one of their dine-in fast food places; there is a long line of people ordering!:

This is the Ivar’s motto:

The Mukilteo Landing Ivars suffered so much damage in a recent storm that they were closed for over a year as they remodeled to be able to seat more people:


This big fish is part of the interior:

You sit in this beautiful restaurant, inside or outside, and watch the Mukilteo ferry come in and out of the dock. The restaurant is right next to the dock, and also has a fast-food Ivars outside to sell fish and chips or chowder to all the people in line waiting for the next ferry.

Ivar Hagland isn’t alive anymore, but his restaurants live on, thriving, after all these years. The concept holds true – have a great product in a great location and the profits will follow. You can read more about his restaurants, and even look at their menus by clicking Ivar’s.

August 3, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Biography, Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Eating Out, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Lumix, Photos, Seattle, Travel | 9 Comments

Holy Cow! It’s Hard to Explain.

As I was leaving the Apple Market, I saw this display:


which totally cracked me up.

EnviroGirl told me there are all kinds of displays for all kinds of life events – birthdays, new babies, anniversaries, promotions, graduations – if you can think it up, this company will put it out there. Tombstones for a 40th birthday, storks for babies, and this one – Holy Cow! for a birthday.

I don’t know how I would like to get to work and find one of these displays outside on my birthday – I prefer to celebrate quietly, without a lot of fanfare. But every time I see these, I have to grin, so I guess it isn’t all that bad.

What also gives me a grin, however, is how very American this tradition is. I cannot imagine it at all in Kuwait. I can’t imagine it in Germany. Somehow, I just don’t think it would be so funny in any other country, except maybe South Africa, or Australia . . . countries where people don’t take themselves too seriously, and the loss of dignity would not be too severe. It’s just a joke, something a good friend might do.

What do you think? Do you think it is too undignified? Does it invade privacy? Do you think it is funny?

August 3, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, Events, Florida, Humor, Joke, Kuwait, Lumix, Photos, Privacy | 3 Comments

Against the Law?

From today’s Arab Times of course, because the Kuwait Times can’t find a way to get themselves back on line (!)

Woman in fireman’s outfit: Police are looking for an unidentified young woman who was reportedly seen dressed in a fireman’s outfit and driving a vehicle similar to the one used by firemen, reports Al-Watan daily. An unidentified person informed the police when he saw the woman parking her vehicle outside the Al-Sabah Maternity Hospital and walking inside the hospital. Police waited for the woman to return to the car but she did not show up. It has been reported this is not the first time the woman was seen riding the vehicle and wearing a fireman’s uniform.

I suppose it might be suspicious to be wearing fireman clothes and driving a vehicle that might appear to be an official fire vehicle . . . but a crime? I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I love stories like this and wish I knew the rest of the story!

August 3, 2007 Posted by | Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Detective/Mystery, Kuwait, News, Random Musings | 6 Comments