Spud Fish and Chips, a fixture on Alki since it began in 1935 celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Sept. 15 with people lined up long before it opened at 10:30 a.m. Those early arrivals got a special Anniversary Pack of a commemorative plastic mug, a T-Shirt and other goodies. They were also among the first to enjoy the special pricing of the day. Those who contributed a non perishable food item (to the West Seattle Food Bank) got a fish and chips order for only $1.75 or without a donation, $2.75 and Spud would donate a dollar in place of food.
The event was kicked off by Spud Operations Manager David Fechter who noted that the founders Jack and Frank Alger originally sold two pieces of fish and fries in a little cardboard box for 10 cents at a walk up window. He said, "We've kept the same traditions, we've kept the same batter, kept the same breading, kept the same tartar sauce recipe and really tried to maintain the things that made Alki Spud successful and unique that you guys have asked us to do for all these years."
Fechter went on to introduce the "I Love Spud" Essay contest which will run from Sept. 15 to Nov. 7. People are asked to share their favorite Spud memory or creative writing through an essay, story or poem. The winner will get an Apple iPad and two tickets for an Argosy Dinner Cruise ( a combined value of more than $600) provided by American Seafoods, the suppliers of the cod for the Spud's famous fish and chips.
The winning continues with a random drawing chosen from all entries in which you could win one of three exclusive Italian bracelets, courtesy of Alvin Goldfarb Jewelers worth more than $285. Entries and rules will be available at Alki Spud or online at the Spud Facebook page.
Weekly giveaways will be featured on the Alki Spud Facebook page too.
While the $1.75 price was good only on Sept. 15, a special meal deal will be available through Nov. 7. A $6.99 one piece fish and chips, cup of chowder and refillable collector cup will be offered with the donation of one non perishable food item to the West Seattle Food Bank or for $7.99 without a donation.
Steve Johnson, Director of the Office of Economic Development for the City of Seattle was in attendance and read a proclamation from Mayor Mike McGinn who named Sept. 15, 2010 as " Alki Spud Fish and Chips Day"
The first person through the door for the Anniversary was Adam Lewis who had waited since 7:30 a.m. for entry. "it's a great time for good fish and chips," he said.
Many of the people attending the event have been coming to Alki Spud for well over 30 or 40 years including Helen and Harold Nitchman. Harold said he comes down,"When it's my turn to cook." Dorothy Trengo said, "I've lived here for 45 years and when my kids were young we used to come down here once a week, it was a favorite thing." Beverly Clary said, "I've been coming here to Spud for at least 45 years now and I like to feed the seagulls across the street with my extra french fries."
General Manager Carol Kelly has been working there for 38 years and made $1.80 per hour when she started.
Featured at the event was a live Marimba band who entertained the crowd during the middle of the day.
Spud handed out some "Fun Facts" at the event:
On an average summer day from June to August Alki Spud serves approximately 900 orders of fish and 600 pounds of fries.
Each year they sell 32,000 pounds of fish (150,000 entrees), 1,100 extra large dill pickles and 175,000 tartar sauce cups
The most popular menu item is "The Special" which consists of three pieces of fish, fries and an extra large soda. It has been a menu item for more than 30 years.
During World War II Alki Spud came close to closing when they ran out of grease (they now use Canola Oil) to fry the fish. West Seattle residents banded together using some of their ration tickets to buy grease and save Spud - Patrick Robinson, West Seattle Herald