TNT Diner

Fish Fish Fish closed in August. Is there a future for the restaurant? Here’s the answer

Beer-battered Haddock fish-n-chips is the “national dish” of England, said co-owner Steve Naccarato at the new Fish Fish Fish restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma.
Beer-battered Haddock fish-n-chips is the “national dish” of England, said co-owner Steve Naccarato at the new Fish Fish Fish restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. toverman@theolympian.com

Fish Fish Fish is gone, gone, gone.

Owner Robert Stocker closed the fish-and-chips restaurant at 3018 Sixth Ave. in August, about four months after it opened.

At that time, Stocker announced the closure as temporary. He said it was to refinish the floors and do some work to prepare for a companion business next door called the Boom Boom Room.

Now that temporary closure is permanent.

The closure comes after a period of reflection for Stocker, who said he has plans for the space, but it won’t be a fish-and-chips restaurant.

While Fish Fish Fish was closed and Stocker was recovering from a knee injury, he said he had time to think through Fish Fish Fish’s concept and execution.

Frying fish, it turns out, was tougher to execute than the burgers Stocker has been producing at his other restaurant, Shake Shake Shake in Tacoma’s Stadium neighborhood.

“The hardest thing besides finding experienced help was getting the batter right,” said Stocker, who worried that uneven results in the restaurant’s food and service irked some of the restaurant’s diners.

“You get one crack at it,” he said about the first impression for customers.

The restaurant was under construction for a lengthy period, which further elevated expectations from diners who had anticipated the opening since it was announced in 2015.

Fish Fish Fish was the culmination of a few years of planning by Stocker and Steve Naccarato, a former business partner. Stocker and Naccarato — who left the restaurant business entirely in 2018 — invested a significant amount of time and money to turn the non-restaurant space into a functioning kitchen. They spent months planning for and spent thousands of dollars on installing a grease interceptor, which is an expensive piece of kitchen equipment that treats water before it enters the sewer system.

That expensive grease interceptor will get a new life.

Stocker decided changing direction would be a better use of the space. He’s turning the location into a burger restaurant called Beefy’s Burgers.

The burger restaurant will be focused on economically priced burgers, said Stocker.

“We’ll have eighth-of-a-pound burgers, or quarter pound burgers, made from fresh beef, not frozen,” he said.

The Boom Boom Room, which is the long-planned cocktail lounge opening next door, is still happening, but it won’t open until after Stocker launches the burger restaurant, he said.

“I’m adding onto the kitchen at Boom Boom Room, which is partially why I closed Fish Fish Fish,” said Stocker.

Work will continue on Boom Boom Room after the new burger restaurant reopens. Stocker is working on the time line for opening the burger restaurant right now.

Beefy’s Burgers

Where: 3018 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

Info: facebook.com

Coming: Early 2019

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Sue Kidd has been The News Tribune’s restaurant critic since 2008. She dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals. Sue is a South Sound native. She writes about new restaurants, openings and closures and knows where to find the best tacos in every neighborhood.

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