TNT Diner

Fish Fish Fish is finally opening on Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue (really, really, really). Here's when

A cheeky sign promises "open eventually" on the storefront of Fish Fish Fish. The fish-and-chips restaurant has been a project two years in the works. It's finally opening in Tacoma's Sixth Avenue neighborhood.
A cheeky sign promises "open eventually" on the storefront of Fish Fish Fish. The fish-and-chips restaurant has been a project two years in the works. It's finally opening in Tacoma's Sixth Avenue neighborhood.

Fish Fish Fish is finally opening.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve heard that before.

In 2017, in 2016 and 2015, as a matter of fact.

But it’s happening this time.

Really, really, really.

The Sixth Avenue fish-and-chips restaurant at 3018 Sixth Avenue will have a soft opening next week. If all goes as planned, that will be around mid-week. The grand opening will be the following week, sometime after April 23.

During the soft opening, expect irregular hours and a limited menu.

The restaurant was built into a space that did not previously hold a restaurant.

Co-owners Steve Naccarato and Robert Stocker had to contract a crane to drop a 1,000-gallon capacity grease trap into the ground (it intercepts cooking oil to keep it from entering the wastewater system). They also had to remove a tree and replace a portion of sidewalk. Those are just two highlights of a project that took two years instead of the planned six months.

When it opens its doors, it will be as its owners promised in 2015: A neighborhood fish-and-chips restaurant with slice of nostalgia served alongside fried fish and house-made clam chowder.

Like the retro-themed Stadium restaurant, Shake Shake Shake, which Naccarato and Stocker also co-own, Fish Fish Fish will come with retro-themed decor featuring their signature colors of aqua and electric orange. The owners also are artists, which is evident in the handmade light-up signs, mid-century modern chairs and striking graphics that the duo have been posting about on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Said Naccarato last year, “Like Shake, and its burgers, we were inspired by the places we grew up with as kids when going out for a burger or a shake was a big deal. An event. For kids today, much of that has disappeared. It’s become a non-event. It’s cheap food put out as inexpensively as possible to earn the greatest returns.”

He added, “We approach it differently. We are all about the experience, and the vehicle for that experience happens to be a milkshake or a perfectly fried piece of cod.”

Expect to find a casual environment with counter ordering and a kid-friendly vibe.

They’ll open with a limited menu, but expect new items soon.

The opening menu lists three kinds of fish and chips with two styles of batter.

There’s line caught haddock from the North Atlantic fried in beer batter ($10, one-piece/$12 two-piece). There’s also line caught wild Pacific cod in beer batter ($7, two-piece/$10 three-piece). Surface caught Pacific albacore, Naccarato’s favorite, will be coated in a tempura batter ($12, two-piece/$14, three-piece).

Fish-and-chips meals are served with fries, which Naccarato described as skins-on french fries with a medium-width surface area. They're about double the size of the thin fries served at Shake Shake Shake.

The opening menu will offer clam chowder ($4 cup/$5.50 bowl) that Naccarato described as, “Really rich and creamy, but not heavy.”

Far-flung flavors will influence side dishes. In lieu of a standard coleslaw, they’ll serve a quinoa-rice salad with pineapple, cilantro and chiles (it’s gluten-free, $5 small/ $7 large). Also served will be a classic Caesar salad with house-made dressing and garlic croutons ($5 small/$7 large).

A kids meal offers fish-on-a-stick with fries for $4.

Other sides include the British classic of mushy peas ($3 small/$4 large) and lemon bars ($1.75).

Side sauces go well beyond bottled tartar sauce and vinegar.

Naccarato described the house-made tartar as “puckery, fresh and light.” It’s a creamy tartar made with fresh dill, parsley, pickled lemon zest, capers, sweet relish and a few secrets.

They’ve taken special care with the condiments.

“We will be barrel aging our brewed malt vinegar and a hot pepper sauce. The vinegar has been in used whiskey barrels from Heritage Distillery for two months. The pepper sauce for a month. Really interesting to see the mellowing and different notes it picks up from the aging,” said Naccarato.

Naccarato and Stocker will operate the restaurant with a business partner, Mike Voelker, who will also be the restaurant's general manager. He previously worked in the kitchen and bar at Dirty Oscar's Annex.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270, @tntdiner

Fish Fish Fish

Where: 3018 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

Info: 253-263-7272 or

Opening: Soft opening by mid-week next week with a grand opening after April 23.

Hours: After the soft opening, regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.