Snohomish restaurant provides hungry fishermen a bite from above

SNOHOMISH — Andy’s Fish House delivers, but there’s a catch.

You have to be in a boat and under the bridge.

What’s up with that?

Restaurant owner Andy Gibbs delivers food by fishing pole. He reels it over the side of the bridge, about a 40-foot drop to the river below.

“There’s a lot of hungry fishermen out there, might as well capitalize,” Gibbs said. “When I’m on a boat, I get hungry. I want to eat. ”

He began offering the service a few weeks ago.

“It’s a convenient thing. I only have to walk 20 feet,” said Gibbs, 25, who uses social media to advertise.

The fish house on First Street sits on the high banks of the Snohomish River by the bridge on Airport Way.

“There’s no fishing from the bridge,” Gibbs said, “but it doesn’t say anything about delivering fish.”

Just call in the order and an ETA to be under the bridge and he’s there, with the goods and toting his great-grandfather’s Viking halibut fishing rod. The food is put inside an insulated grocery bag hooked onto heavy-duty fishing line that could hold up to 140 pounds.

So far, Gibbs hasn’t had orders that big, but he’s ready.

Everything on the menu except alcohol can be a to-go drop. Catfish po’ boys. Steamed clams. Mussels. Oysters on the half shell.

“I’ll put anything in a box,” Gibbs said.

Orders are packed tightly, but dangling from a string isn’t foolproof. “Usually people in a boat aren’t too picky,” Gibbs said. “They don’t go, ‘Oh, no, the tartar spilled on my fries.’ ”

The tartar didn’t spill on a recent fish and chips delivery he made to Nick Davey and Ben Davis, both 17.

The Snohomish teens had been out on the water for several hours fishing for humpies when they anchored under the bridge after calling in an order.

Minutes later, Gibbs lowered the black thermal bag over the metal railing to the fishing boat as passing motorists rumbled by on the bridge.

The chow arrived intact and hot. Nick gave a thumbs up to Gibbs and dug in.

“It was cool to get gourmet food while fishing,” Nick said later.

Fish and chips are gourmet?

Nick said packing grub is usually an afterthought. “It’s stuff I can grab from the house, a bag of chips and PB and jelly,” Nick said. “When you are going fishing you just want to get fishing.”

Orders can be paid ahead by credit card or with cash in the bag hoisted back up upon delivery. “For cash, I ask they round it up to the nearest buck,” Gibbs said.

In other words, he isn’t going to lower down change.

Gibbs grew up working in the restaurant when it was his dad’s Chuck’s Seafood Grotto.

“I bussed my first table when I was 6,” he said.

Gibbs took over ownership last year when his father retired. He changed it to his name, got rid of some of the old lobster traps, nets, crab pots and crusty seafaring decor, painted the exterior and tweaked the menu.

He carried on the tradition of making it a fun, friendly place to eat, drink and unwind.

Gibbs, a lanky red-haired guy with a wide grin and easy banter, has big plans for the pole delivery service. “I think in the fall soups will be a big hit. Clam chowder. Gumbo. I’m working on a smoked salmon chowder now,” he said.

Perfect for date night on the river. “There’s a lot of people who don’t fish but they wouldn’t mind eating on the water,” Gibbs said.

“If someone wanted a pizza delivered, we could work it out. The pole was passed down from my great-grandfather. Now it’s my turn.”

Send What’s Up With That? suggestions to Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown. Read more What’s Up With That? at www.heraldnet.com/whatsup.

Andy’s Fish House

1229 First St., Snohomish, 360-862-0782, www.facebook.com/andysfishhouse.

To order, call or connect with Andy’s Fish House on Facebook.

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