This story originally appeared on the South Seattle Emerald.
Lovers of southern soul food were left scratching their heads this weekend upon learning of the abrupt closure of Jackson’s Catfish Corner in South Seattle’s Brighton Neighborhood.
Neighborhood social media pages lit up with chatter of the dismayed after residents discovered the restaurant, beloved for mouthwatering catfish filets and hushpuppies, completely boarded up, with its sign reversed, and no notice left explaining the sudden turn of events.
The closure caught many of the restaurant’s regulars completely off-guard, as business seemed to be operating normally only days before. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray even paid a ceremonial visit to the restaurant earlier in the week.
“I just drove by there a last Thursday, and things looked just like they always do, a line to get into it,” said Colleen Murphy, a Rainier View resident who says she visited the restaurant at least once a week for its fried catfish.
Originally located in the Central District at the corner of MLK and Cherry for more than 30 years, the South Seattle location was the restaurant’s second iteration after it, along with several venerable CD businesses, fell victim to skyrocketing rent in the area and was forced to close its doors.
Terrell Jackson, a Rainier Beach High grad and grandson of the original owners of Catfish Corner, resurrected the restaurant under the name Jackson’s Catfish Corner in May of 2015 during a series of pop-up locations in the Skyway and Rainier Beach neighborhoods.
Proving a rousing success, the temporary eateries paved the way for Jackson to relocate his business to more permanent digs in June of 2015, until its unexpected closure last Friday. Catfish Corner frequently provided dishes from its menu free of charge at community events, including at June’s Peace Festival in Rainier Beach.
Jackson, has agreed to speak with the Emerald next week to discuss the reason for the closure as well his future plans for the restaurant.
Update: Jackson’s Catfish Corner now has a Go Fund Me with a goal of $10,000.