Click the arrows for a quick look at 42 years of our restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
1972Ray’s Boathouse Leads to Duke’s Seafood
Duke Moscrip invested in Ray’s Boathouse and helped turn it into the seafood restaurant it is today. After visiting Ray’s, just a simple restaurant at the time, we were instantly inspired to make the concept of simply prepared, fresh local seafood a reality. From a partnership involving Russ Wohler, Earl Lasher and me, Ray’s Boathouse & Café was born. Russ went on to create a great restaurant and I left in 1976 to create my own restaurant and the legacy that is today Duke’s Seafood launch a year later.1977Duke Ventures Out to Open Bar & Grill
Duke’s Bar & Grill opened on Lower Queen Anne Hill. It soon became the hang out for advertising agency execs after work as it was a lively place where everyone could just relax. The menu was eclectic as we were trying anything and everything, but the fish & chips and chowder stood out and stayed on the menu all these years.1977Duke Introduces Mussels
Mussels are a delicacy on most good seafood restaurants today, but that was not always the case. “Nobody served mussels when I first met Peter Jeffords at Penn Cove Mussels. He brought me some to try one day. I was amazed at how tasty they were, and mussels have been on the menu ever since,” says Duke Moscrip. Always Penn Cove, considered the jewel of mussels, and beautifully prepared. We create seasonal menu items with mussels to keep them special.1978Eastside Duke’s Restaurant Becomes Instant Hit!
Duke opened his store in Bellevue that year with people clamoring for our clam chowder, already becoming famous. It was a long-time favorite of the Eastside crowd until they lost their lease and were forced to close in 1994. “I hated to close that store because we had such a loyal following, but the owners won out and it became a drug store,” says Duke Moscrip. It took until 2017 and the opening of Lincoln Square South for Duke to come back to Bellevue.1979Always Irreverent, the Kamikaze was Invented
“On Pearl Harbor Day in the late ‘70s, our manager, Mark Kobayashi, decorated the restaurant in bold Japanese war posters and decided to create a new drink, the Kamikaze cocktail,” says Duke Moscrip. “Now everyone makes a version of this fun cocktail, but I think our version is still the best; and the original.”1985Duke Fishes with the Fisher People
Searching for the world’s finest seafood means getting on the boats. Whether he’s traveling to Chesapeake Bay to visit clammers or braving a hard-working boat to catch Copper River Salmon, Duke goes to the source. To get the best fish and seafood, you have to know the source and how the fish was treated from the moment it was caught. “Buying only humanely and sustainably caught fish just makes sense,” says Duke. “The end result is that our guests get really incredible food.”1987Let’s Play Ball – Duke Get’s Idea to Buy the Mariners
I recall a time in 1987 when fans rallied behind my idea to buy the Mariners. Back then, team owner George Argyros was not a favorite of the fans. Since the team’s rocky beginnings in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, the team never saw a profit and struggled to win games. We lost . . .a lot. But our city still loved them. When George announced he was going to sell the team, I decided to buy it and make it a fan-owned team!1989Chowder House Concept Launches Legacy
The restaurant concept evolved, and Duke’s Chowder House was born. South Lake Union with its views up the lake and docking for those wanting to boat up for a great meal. Famous for Duke’s creamy, delicious chowder, the restaurant thrived, and this was the start to Duke opening Chowder Houses around Puget Sound. In 2019, Duke moved his location a couple of blocks along the lake to a stunning new location with a huge second story deck and views all the way to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks leading to Puget Sound.1990Lakeside Chowder; Sunny Patio; Perfect!
Green Lake Duke’s Chowder House opened across the lake with a cozy umbrella laden patio looking at the beautiful lake and the hordes of walkers and bikers. It remains a strong neighborhood restaurant throughout the year and tourists’ hang out during the summer season. “Our original nautical design remains in this restaurant,” says Duke Moscrip. “It harkens back to our early days yet is still relevant today. Our customers love the atmosphere and we do too.”1990Nothing Fancy; No, Not for Duke
Duke tried to go fancy with a white table cloth restaurant just down the lake from his lively and always-busy Duke’s Chowder House and, well, it was not a hit. “We called it Duke’s Yacht Club. Our customers showed us that they loved Duke’s Chowder House but when I tried a new concept that was fancier, it just did not fit,” says Duke. “They know me and know what to expect from Duke’s Seafood. I learned not to mess with a good thing and closed the new restaurant.”2001View of Seattle, Roof Top Dining at Alki
Duke’s hits the beach – Alki Beach that is – with another Duke’s Chowder House. Always in search of the perfect locations, Duke was thrilled when he landed at Alki Beach. This two-story restaurant is right across the beach where you can smell the salt air and hear the ocean while you dine. Duke designed the space so guests could sit on the upper deck to watch the sunsets or simply take in the exceptional views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound.2005Duke Heads to the Mall in Kent
Kent Station opened its doors right in the heart of Kent’s Green River Campus, ShoWare Center, plus all the great shops at Kent Station. The popular site soon takes off and shopper, event goers, and neighbors all now have a Duke’s Chowder House to serve the growing population.2006Duke Lands On the Tacoma Waterfront
Tacoma bound; Duke’s Chowder House opens not near the water on Ruston way; rather ON the water. Built on pilings on the shores of Puget Sound, our Ruston Way location is a South Sound favorite winning awards and accolades since opening. We had a rocky start, however. “I did an ad in the Tacoma newspaper; actually, a letter to our guests, that got such a great response, we could not handle the hordes of diners who responded,” says Duke Moscrip. “It took a while to win back people’s confidence but soon after, we figured out how to handle the crowds and the restaurant has been an amazing success ever since.”2008Shop ’til You Drop; Then Dine
Our second mall location opened in South Center Mall (now Westfield Mall) ready for weary shoppers to kick back, have a cocktail, and relax indoors or on the covered patio. Little did we know that Duke’s Seafood would become the reason why our guests come to the mall. This location continues to be a strong favorite for people throughout South Seattle, with its cozy atmosphere, easy parking and central location; and, of course, great food.2008Mixology – Custom Woodford Reserve Blend
We’ve blended our own bourbon with the good folks at Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Kentucky since 2008 and each time, the flavor profiles just get better and better. Blending bourbon is tough work—no, I really mean it. We spent a couple of days just focused on the nuances of each of the blends, shifting flavor profiles, tasting, re-blending, and tasting again to get the flavors just right. It takes mastery by the blending team to create the precise combinations, and the people at Woodford really know how to make this happen.2015Duke Leads Seattle’s Ban of Plastic Straws
In 2018, Seattle banned the use of all non-compostable straws and utensils in Seattle restaurants, but Duke’s Seafood made the switch 3 years prior. “When this started out, they (paper straws) were about 30-40% more expensive than petroleum-based products,” Moscrip told KIRO 7 who interviewed Duke for this story. “Now it’s about 10%. But we did it anyway, just because it’s the right thing to do.” Environmental stewardship is a principle value for Duke and his team so when you order a drink or take home your extra food; the entire package is compostable.2015Duke Awarded 100% Rating from Smart Catch
Smart Catch, a sustainable seafood program created with chefs for chefs to recognize environmentally sustainable fishing practices, awarded Duke’s Chowder House top recognition for its sustainable seafood efforts. The organization is designed to promote sustainability and raise consumer awareness through means of the restaurant industry. For Duke, sustainability is critical to everything we do, but we do sincerely appreciate the recognition by Smart Catch.2017Bellevue Bound; Better Than Ever!
Duke returns to Bellevue! Kemper Freeman of The Bellevue Collection and Duke met, and the rest is history. Duke’s Seafood opened a showpiece restaurant with a wonderful “upscale fishing lodge” theme that captured the spirit of Duke’s Chowder Houses but took it to another level. The company changed the name to Duke’s Seafood & Chowder to better reflect the enhanced seafood cuisine (which had been on the menu for a long time).2019Moving On Up South Lake Union
Duke’s Seafood moves up the lake to its new location on South Lake Union. This impressive new space is actually the original location for the 1990 failed concept, Duke’s Yacht Club. Today, Duke’s Seafood occupies the second story of the building with dynamic views of the lake unmatched by any other restaurant. “This location is absolutely ideal for Duke’s Seafood and I could not be happier to be back,” says Duke Moscrip. “I really had fun designing this site (the entrance is under an actual boat built into the restaurant’s front door).”2019First Event Venue Opens Dockside
Dockside at Duke’s opens, the company’s first event venue. Dockside takes up the entire main floor of the new Duke’s Seafood location on South Lake Union. “People want to celebrate at Duke’s Seafood all the time,” says Duke. “We can take groups at most of our locations, but Dockside takes this to a whole new level.” Perfect for weddings, celebrations, or corporate events, Dockside is designed as an empty palette of natural and neutral finishings to allow guests to make their celebration their own. Duke’s Seafood is the exclusive caterer for Dockside, so even though it may not look like our restaurants; it will taste like one.
Our Logo Evolves Once Again
Throughout our years, Duke evolved his restaurant logos to meet not only the growing needs of our customers but our growth as a restaurant as well. We are proud of our evolution as any restaurant that remains stagnant, does not survive. This year, we are continuing in this tradition with a new logo and name adjustment to Duke’s Seafood. Oh, but don’t worry; we are still the same restaurant and we still have the best chowder in the city! For our loyal customers, this trip down memory lane will bring back happy times with friends and family at all of the variety of Duke restaurants since our first Bar & Grill. We hope you like our new look. We believe it reflects the premium quality of our ingredients with an eye to the future, and still has a little fun.
I went to college to become a doctor but along the way, the business world pulled me away leading to me became a stockbroker instead. I loved taking my clients to lunch and fell in love with restaurants. I was so dazzled that I decided to open one myself. On opening night, what started out…Read More
Food is not the only attraction at Duke’s Seafood. John Moscrip, co-owner and COO of the restaurants, understands that and seeks our dynamic and exclusive ways to spice up his beverage program. While 15-25 percent of the dinner menu items sold are limited-time offers (which is actually well above national average), the beverage menu is…Read More
Duke’s Seafood & Chowder has come a long way since its humble and carefree beginnings in 1976 when Duke Moscrip broke away from his partnership in Ray’s Boathouse to start the original Duke’s Bar & Grill at 1st Ave. West and Thomas on Queen Anne, just two blocks from the Seattle Center. The first Duke’s…Read More