the original Red Building was built in 1896 as the offices and repair shops for the Union Fish Co-operative Cannery (currently The Cannery Pier Hotel) located at the end of the adjacent dock. The restaurant portion of the building was added later for the maintenance and construction of the Co-operative’s fishing boats. As the flourishing canneries declined in the mid-1900’s, the Union Fish cannery closed and its buildings fell into disrepair. Ryan Davis and Shawn Helligso purchased the building with a vision to restore and revitalize the historic space back to its vibrant role on Astoria’s waterfront. We were inspired by their vision and leapt at the opportunity to create a riverfront sister restaurant to The Shoalwater, which we have operated for 27 years in Seaview, Washington.
with architects Lisa Chadbourne and Daren Doss (who have homes and offices in Seattle and Astoria), we have attempted to design a restaurant that honors the old-growth fir “bones” and boatyard history of the building while offering our guests an exceptional dining experience with breathtaking views of the Columbia. Most of the wood is original and has been carefully restored – old-growth fir soars above the dining rooms, the exterior tongue-and groove siding was re-planed and installed on the inner walls, and the well-worn floors retain character with their rough-sanded refinish. The use of steel in the fireplace surrounds, stanchions and bar shelving have been designed to reflect the shipping traffic on the ever-changing riverscape outside our windows. The pipe and fir “Fish in Nets” architectural sculptures in our reception area further highlight our connection to the rich fishing history of this pier.