Palo Alto's 44-year-old The Fish Market becomes latest restaurant to close temporarily | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: Get the latest food news with the biweekly Peninsula Foodist newsletter.
I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently workin...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Palo Alto's 44-year-old The Fish Market becomes latest restaurant to close temporarily

Uploaded: Dec 10, 2020
The Fish Market, which has served fresh seafood fare at 3150 El Camino Real in Palo Alto since 1976, is the latest local restaurant to shutter temporarily in the hopes that doing so will preserve the business long-term.

The Fish Market decided to close the original Palo Alto restaurant and a Santa Clara outpost this month, seeing the writing on the wall with rising coronavirus case counts and the likelihood of another shutdown, said Dwight Colton, president of Fish Market Restaurants. Soon after came the news that Santa Clara County would be preemptively implementing the state's regional stay-at-home order, shutting down outdoor dining until at least Jan. 4.


Pre-coronavirus, the bar at The Fish Market, which opened in Palo Alto in 1976. Photo by Sinead Chang.

Closing meant about 100 employees across the Palo Alto and Santa Clara Fish Markets were laid off.

"We've all lost sleep and have tried to map out any other option other than coming to this point," Colton said, "but takeout and delivery options are just not sustainable for our buildings."

The Fish Market isn't the first and likely won't be the last local restaurant to go into hibernation in the coming weeks. Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in Mountain View has also temporarily closed until 2021.

The Fish Markets in Palo Alto and Santa Clara reopened this fall after several months of closures, but outdoor dining was "hit or miss," Colton said. "It was very difficult to get traction and do enough business to make it sustainable."

The Fish Market in San Mateo remains open given outdoor dining is still allowed in San Mateo County. It already had a waterfront deck with outdoor seating — a more attractive option, Colton said, than the makeshift, tented dining setups in the parking lots at the Palo Alto and Santa Clara restaurants -- and has more robust takeout, delivery and retail sales.


Cioppino served at The Fish Market in Palo Alto, which has closed temporarily due to the shutdown. Photo by Sinead Chang.

The Fish Market's two Southern California locations also remain open for takeout and delivery.

Colton is committed to reopening The Fish Markets in Palo Alto and Santa Clara sometime next year, when the COVID-19 vaccine starts to be available, weather improves and limited indoor dining can resume. Even with the previous limits on indoor dining — 25% capacity — being able to serve diners inside remains "the real key to the success of our restaurant," Colton said.

"I think everybody in the industry initially, when we were talking about limited capacity, we couldn't fathom how we'd make a go of our business at 25%. Most operators, ourselves included, have made significant changes to try to live in a 25% capacity world," he added. "We're not going to thrive at 25% but (would) be able to sustain the businesses."
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   14 people like this
Posted by Lynne Henderson, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 9:01 am

Lynne Henderson is a registered user.

My family, friends, and I have loved the Fish Market in Palo Alto since it opened. May it hibernate safely and return to us --with salmon, of course!--as soon as it is possible to do so.
In the meantime, we're not supposed to travel outside SCC, as I understand it, otherwise I would zip up to San Mateo.
See you in the spring?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by NanaDi, a resident of Midtown,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 10:54 am

NanaDi is a registered user.

Such sad news. I haven't lived in Santa Clara county for the past 10 years, but when I did, your excellent restaurants were my Go-To places for fresh Seafood served in a charming atmosphere. It is truly tragic, how this will affect you and all your Workers. I wish for your quick recovery to come soon.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 11:04 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

Curious...how many recall when the current Fish Market site was Uncle John's Pancakes?

Or when the SP commuter crossed ECR right nearby...onwards to downtown Los Altos & finally to Los Gatos?


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Kathy, a resident of another community,
on Dec 14, 2020 at 11:35 am

Kathy is a registered user.

Santa Clara Fish market is an 'outpost'??? Santa Clara location is their 2nd restaurant, has been around for decades, opened in 1979, and is larger than the Palo Alto location. Why is that anything south of Palo Alto is given short shrift?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by 1drin, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Dec 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm

1drin is a registered user.

Sorry to see another Palo Alto restaurant having to close down.
And amused to see that snowflakes from 'another community' feel so offended that a given restaurant is called an 'outpost' by the cruel Ms Kadvany.


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.


Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Craving B. Patisserie's perfect pastries? The San Francisco bakery is popping up in San Mateo next week
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 11,400 views

Spend some quality time with your thermostat
By Sherry Listgarten | 11 comments | 3,887 views

PA Police: Too drastic a decision on banning police information from public
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 2,914 views

Dry January Last Week? LOL
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 2,648 views

Which Christmas Gifts are Lasting?
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 1,488 views

 

Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed over $150,000.

DONATE