Jolly Fisher: “If it swims, we have it.”

Jolly Fisher is one of Duluth’s best-remembered old restaurants. It was in business for 50 years, from 1942 to 1992. The original location was at 15 E. Superior St., where the Duluth Technology Village sits today. After 1979 it was at 10 W. Superior St., presently the Minnesota Power Plaza.

Jumbo fried shrimp was the specialty, but as the slogan noted, Jolly Fisher had everything that swims. Chet and Mary Turnbull were the original owners, followed by Paul Andrews. “Skipper Andy” and Gloria Maras ran it for its last 30 years, until competition from Red Lobster proved to be too much.



about 8 months ago

Had my first scallop at the JF. The round booths (at the original location) seemed very exotic to my youthful self.

Jan Olson

about 8 months ago

The Jolly Fisher always had the best sea food available in the North Country. It's unfortunate that a chain like the Red Lobster could put such a classy place out of business.


about 8 months ago

Paul - thanks for this post. I love the blank-and-white pics of the 15 E. Superior St. restaurant. Classy and idiosyncratic or simply Classic 1950s. How, I ask can Red Lobster compete with that?!! Funny enough, I was nostalgically remembering the Jolly Fisher just recently. I last dined there circa 1983 and had a jolly good time, too! It was in MP Plaza then as was Scandinavian Designs Unltd - another goner. The "plaza" must be just another lifeless 70s/80s office bldg nowadays. I imagine there is still a dearth of seafood/fish/shellfish eateries in Duluth which has always puzzled me. Maybe someday there'll be a waterside fish restaurant at Bayfront or Park Pt and elsewhere at Bayfront an informal, family-friendly eat-in/eat-out casual eatery like Ivar's in Seattle. A seaport city "should" have these! And Duluth's history as a commercial fish processing center and with pedigrees like Kemp and Sivertson, such a legacy should live on.


about 8 months ago

The Jolly Fisher was a favorite of our family. Had the rehearsal dinner for my wedding there in 1985. It was sad when it closed. Cool to see the interior pictures again. Thanks for posting them!


about 8 months ago

Great photos! I have always wondered why Duluth doesn't have an on-the-lake, local seafood restaurant like Angry Trout in Grand Marais. It seems like a no brainer.


about 8 months ago

Emmadogs, you hit the nail on the head! Can you get a branch of the Angry Trout down in Duluth?


about 7 months ago

Thanks for the look back at the Jolly Fisher, Paul. I remember many dinner dates with my husband-to be when we were so young. Great place and great memories!

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