Seattle’s Best Happy Hour Gets Splashy Makeover

Ivar’s Salmon House refreshes iconic Whalemaker Lounge; full-serve restaurant and temporary lounge open throughout renovation

Seattle’s waterfront restaurant Ivar’s Salmon House, located at 401 NE Northlake Way on North Lake Union, today announced its treasured Whalemaker Lounge is temporarily closing for a month-long makeover. The full-serve restaurant will continue to operate during the renovation with a pop-up lounge area. The lounge will be set up in the building’s private dining area so fans can still enjoy Seattle’s best happy hour daily, from 3 p.m. to close, including Ivar’s Famous Clam Chowder, Salmon Burger, Popcorn Shrimp and discounted wine, beer and spirits.

The Whalemaker Lounge will reopen in late March with shell-ebration activities, promotions and a brand new bar menu. The re-fin-ished space will showcase enhanced panoramic views, more than 20 additional seats including comfortable booth seating, a fresh copper-topped bar and a new central stone fireplace. Custom whale and salmon designs painted by Northwest native artist David Boxley Jr. will be incorporated throughout the interior, including framed wall pieces, mirrored bar back etchings and detailed wood carvings. David Boxley Jr. is no stranger to Ivar’s Salmon House. Both he and his well- known father, David Boxley, carved the famous 16-foot “Welcoming Man” in the restaurant.

“The Whalemaker Lounge, with its historic artwork and legendary memorabilia has always been a good example of our flounder Ivar Haglund’s humor, quirk, and love of the coastal Northwest culture ,” said Chris Gleason, the director of operations for Ivar’s full-serve restaurants. “This remodel will honor the original lore and Northwest Native American heritage, while adding some modern design elements, better waterfront views and additional seating options since the restaurant’s last renovation in the 90s.”

As legend has it, the Whalemaker Lounge (which opened along with Ivar’s Salmon House in 1970) takes its name from two unique pieces of décor on display in the space – petrified “whalemakers” (orca phalli). The two artifacts were unveiled in 1974 by Ivar Haglund, who is rumored to have acquired them on an expedition to Alaska. The whalemakers remain a lively topic of conversation among patrons, and will still be on prominent display following the remodel.

To keep afloat with the remodel news, follow Ivar’s on Facebook ( and Twitter( or visit Ivar’s website at

About Ivar’s
Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants began on Seattle’s waterfront in 1938. Today, there are 23 Ivar’s fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service restaurants: Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Ivar’s Salmon House and Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing. Ivar’s Seafood, Soup and Sauce Company markets and sells its award-winning soups, chowders and sauces both nationally and internationally. The company also operates regional stadium concessions including Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, KeyArena, Bank of America Arena, Husky Stadium and Cheney Stadium. Learn more at

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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