Scheduled to open in Seattle across the street from Pike Place Market on January 12, 2023
Maine and Seattle are about as far apart as two places can be in the US. But they are kindred spirits in their reverence for amazing seafood, and the fishing communities that supply it. Pike Place Market has long been the hub of seafood culture in Seattle, so it’s only natural that Maine’s most respected lobster company, Luke’s Lobster, chose a spot overlooking the market on Pike Street for its first lobster shack in the Pacific Northwest. They’ll open that shack this December at 110 Pike Street.
Luke’s Lobster has been named time and again the country’s best lobster roll, and the reason is simple: they know their lobster. Founder Luke Holden’s family has spent three generations in the lobster industry in Maine. Luke’s father was the first licensed lobster processor in the US, and spent decades building relationships with fishermen and perfecting the method to cook sweet and tender lobster meat. Luke and his team (including his two brothers) buy directly from fishermen at the wharf, and handle their product with care throughout the entire process of steaming, hand picking, packing, and shipping to their lobster shacks. Their knowledge of, and connection to, the source of their seafood is unparalleled in the restaurant industry. Their recipe is beautifully simple, letting the slightly chilled lobster shine with nothing more than a warm, buttery griddled bun, a tiny swipe of mayo, a drizzle of lemon butter, and a dash of secret seasoning.
Over 13 years, this simple formula has taken the Luke’s Lobster team from one tiny shack in New York City, to a flagship restaurant back home in Portland, Maine, and shacks as far afield as Singapore and Japan. Seattle has been a goal destination for years–a spot with much of the world’s best seafood but missing that authentic Maine lobster roll. Luke’s Lobster waited for a perfect location in the heart of the city and a neighborhood steeped in a love of seafood. They’ve finally found it.
“When I visit Seattle, the first place I head is Pike Place Market,” says Luke Holden. “I feel an immediate connection to the fishmongers there who grew up on boats and in seafood facilities just like I did, and share my love of the ocean. I’m so excited to open a shack overlooking this awesome landmark.”
Since day one, Luke’s has been devoted to serving its communities, teammates, suppliers, and environment. This commitment led them to certify as a B Corp in 2018, and to recertify in 2021 as the nation’s highest scoring restaurant group and seafood company. Their impact work spans measuring and tackling their already low carbon footprint to mentoring BIPOC student lobstermen to create equitable pathways to Maine’s most celebrated career. This last project led them to befriend another group of kindred spirits: Maritime Blue, the Washington non-profit that runs the Youth Maritime Collaborative, supporting students from Seattle-area public schools on their way to careers on the water. Luke’s will be donating a dollar from each lobster roll sold on their opening day to support Maritime Blue’s work.
The Menu: Beyond their famous lobster rolls, Luke’s will also serve their classic crab and shrimp roll and dish up their award winning New England clam chowder (with, ahem, no bacon) and lobster bisque by the cup and sourdough bread bowl. Wine and beer from local vineyards and microbreweries will be served to wash it all down and complete the celebratory experience.
The Space: Just steps up from the Market, Luke’s will offer 24 indoor seats as well as sidewalk seating. Just like a coastal Maine shack, Luke’s will feature Maine-built furniture using local reclaimed wood, an in-house steel fabrication. Streamed video footage of Luke’s flagship restaurant and wharf on Portland, Maine’s working waterfront will be displayed in the shack to get a glimpse of their East Coast view of the lobster industry.