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

Jolly Fisher Duluth

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.

The Jolly Fisher

Jolly Fisher Duluth Minn

Jolly Fisher Restaurant



about 10 years 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 10 years 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 10 years 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 10 years 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 10 years 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 10 years ago

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


about 10 years 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!

Tom Webber

about 8 years ago

I was wondering if the Jolly Fisher was still around. When I was stationed at the Duluth air base I spent many Saturdays watching college football. When I was discharged in November 1967 I ate there one last time. The food was always good and service was excellent. I remember the lobster tank by the door. I would also eat sometimes at the Black Bear Lounge. I remember a little jazz place I think called Mr Pete's. Enough talking about the old times. Other than cold weather time spent was nice.

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