Edmonds catch: Two fish markets plan to open in April

New to town: The Mar·ket and Kuzma's Fish Market
By Brian Soergel | Mar 21, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Andrew Leckie, left, and Shubert Ho will open their latest restaurant in Edmonds at 508 Main St., next to Starbucks.

Good news for fish lovers: Not one, but two fish markets plan to open in Edmonds in April.

Shubert Ho and Andrew Leckie, who already own Bar Dojo at Five Corners and Salt & Iron on Main Street, will debut The Mar·ket: Edmonds Fishmonger & Eatery at 508 Main St., next to Starbucks. And Ken Hewitt will open Kuzma's Fish Market at 21107 70th Ave. W, in the spot formerly occupied by Celtic Cowboy BBQ.

Both plan to offer fresh fish in bulk, as well as select items for takeout.

“It wasn’t necessarily an idea we were waiting to do,” Ho said. “It was just a natural progression of our business since we also own a catering company and buy plenty of seafood from vendors. We realized this was a perfect location for a quick food-slash-fishmonger service.”

Ho said The Mar·ket will not stock as much as your neighborhood grocery store seafood department.

“But what can’t you get there?” he said. “You probably can’t get mackerel at an American grocery store – you can get it at an Asian market. But how often does the general public who aren’t Asian go to 99 Ranch Market?”

In addition, he will offer sea bass, king salmon, sturgeon, albacore tuna, Pacific cod, ahi tuna, steelhead, Maine lobster and other creatures from the sea.

“We also want to give people the option to buy fish and cook it for them, for a nominal fee,” Ho said. “So if they buy a pound of salmon fillet and just want to take it home, ready to go. It’s the kind of extra service we’ll provide that most seafood departments don’t give you at a grocery store.”

Ho said the store will have a small menu of quick, takeout food. The Mar·ket’s Facebook page has already posted pictures of a few items: lobster rolls, fish tacos and fried crab in a bag.

“We won’t be predictable by any means,” Ho said, “apart from the chowder and fish and chips part. Salt & Iron has award-winning chowder, but we will also make our own chowder at the Mar·ket. We’ll make sure it is a standout chowder that really feeds the souls of our customers.”

Hans Korompis, head line cook at Salt & Iron, will be the executive chef at The Mar·ket. Korompis also owns Han’s Chicken and Rice, a mainstay at local farmers markets.

“He has worked for all of our companies, and comes from an early background of making chicken and rice in his native country of Indonesia,” Ho said. “He’s got tons of experience with fish, which is a mainstay in his culture.”

The Mar·ket’s space is small, about 900 square feet. But it will sport a counter bar facing one of two windows. The other window will be for takeout orders.

“In the summer, or whenever it’s warm, you can place your order outside or stop by for a dozen oysters to go,” Ho said. “The idea is to attract those going to the farmers market which, as good as it is, doesn’t have everything.”

Ho plans to place tables and chairs outside. “People can take their meals to-go and sit out there right on Main Street. There’s no shortage of people wanting to sit on sidewalk patios these days, given the popularity of ours at Salt & Iron.”

Ho said the The Mar·ket’s name is a play on words, as “mar” is Spanish for “sea.”

“But that doesn’t mean it will be Spanish- or Mediterranean-based. It will be multicultural. Our goal is to provide good, quality food that isn’t readily available in every community. And Edmonds is an up-and-coming culinary location because the population is just growing from people who don’t live in Seattle anymore and are used to this kind of quality food.

“We want to really target what’s interesting, what’s not the same as everyone else, and also unique. We want to open people’s eyes to what’s out there that tastes really good.”

With three eateries in Edmonds, what could be next for Ho and Leckie?

“I think what Edmonds needs is a proper French bakery,” Ho said. “Space is hard to come by, so when the right time presents itself, I might go for that. There’s probably 10 more restaurant ideas I have before I want to quit opening restaurants.”

Kuzma’s Fish Market

Ken Hewitt of Kuzma’s Fish Market has an impressive resume.

“I'm an old-school fishmonger of Croatian heritage,” he said. “My great-grandfather came to the U.S. in the early 1900s and ended up settling in Anacortes, fishing Dungeness for a living.”

Hewitt’s grandmother opened a West Seattle fish market in 1972, where young Hewitt did small jobs for her at age 7, moving on to cutting fish five years later.

Hewitt joined Mutual Fish Co., a renowned Japanese fish market, in 1986. In 2000, he was approached by Uwajimaya to head, develop and open the seafood market in the new Seattle store.

“I ran the Seattle Uwajimaya fish market for 18 years, where I developed our seafood program and trained all future seafood managers and crew for all our other stores,” he said. “Now, I'm bringing a fusion of a Pike Place/Japanese-style fish market to Edmonds. I've lived in the Edmonds-Lynnwood area for over 25 years, and it’s about time we got a true fish market in Edmonds.”

Kuzma’s will offer an extensive display of fresh seafood products, with almost all fish hand-cut in house. There will be fresh sashimi items, in addition to fresh poke and poke bowls.

When it opens in April, all ready-to-eat options will be for takeout, with seating possibly available by summer, Hewitt said.

The fishmonger said he is aware of The Mar·ket’s plan to open about the same time as Kuzma’s.

His take: “The more, the merrier!”

 

 

 

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