My fish-tory , the creation of
THE FISH STORE. first Boston Fish was founded by Paul Howell 1942, its first home was at 408 3rd Ave Sw. After World War11 it moved
to 126 1st ave NE near the Roosevelt. Boston Fish moved to 804 5th St in 1952. My family was honored to purchase Boston Fish from the Carfrae’s in 1993. The stained glass you see below was created by a member of the Carfrae’s family and became an iconic piece of Boston Fish memorabilia history.
In 2000, Boston Fish would become my very first job, and who would have thought years later i'd be determined to make it my last? My beloved aunt, who had run Boston Fish for 30yrs, suddenly and quietly passed on in 2018. I was honored to carry on her responsibilities after losing another restaurant my family owned to the city a couple months earlier. I was blessed to make this my new home, once again. It did not take long for me to understand the magnitude of what this place ment to the community and meant to me. Overwhelming myself with the responsibility to honor such a legacy I had almost forgotten that the Boston Fish was on the market and had been for a good 6yrs now.Until I received a call from my Uncle that it had been purchased. We had only one month until the new owner would take over. Still hopeful the new owner would carry on the Boston Fish legacy as we had done 30yrs ago, it became apparent rather quickly that,that was not the case.
One month to let the community know, for them to say goodbye to their memories created there for the last 76yrs, and to make sure they could enjoy one last meal there. To say the very least that month was hard on everyone. I couldn't have done it without my staff. Respecting they needed to begin their job search there were only a few left at the end and a whole lot of customers who wanted that one last meal, we did our best still grieving, understaffed, and overworked. Our wonderful families and regulars even chipped in to help.
I will be Forever grateful to all of you.
I received a call from the new owner days before the Boston Fish was set to sail away forever. It seemed we had gotten our point across, honestly how could anyone help to see that the community was sensing an overwhelming sense of loss over the end of a part of history.The phone call was short and sweet I was simply asked “Do you want to keep it going?”
There was nothing I wanted more I agreed, I joyfully spread the word. I needed to grab some staff and let the ones I had take a well needed rest so I still closed my doors as planned. Then a short remodel was discussed..............................7 months later,
My Epiphany-”Bostons” vs “The Fish Store”
To put this as gracefully and honestly as possible I will begin with, After an impressive remodel, new innovative concepts, and staffed with some amazing chefs, I looked around and I came to the realization there was nothing left of all of you, your memories, your families gone. I had to accept there was no more Boston Fish.Which meant I couldn't stand behind it anymore, this wasn't what i signed up for, this wasn't what I had promised you. I stepped away..
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
-Mark Twain “I dont think im ready to stop” -Lenore Zoll
My heart and soul wasn't letting me walk away however, There was no way I was going to let the community feel that sense of loss all over again. So I decided not to walk away...from you that is.
I'm taking our memories back, our traditions, our food.It doesn't matter if its a different location or a different name those things didn't make it Boston Fish, We did, The Community.....
Today, I opened March 6th.
2nd week of Lent,
A week and a half before the pandemic hit causing costly restrictions on my new business and month of Lent the catholic holiday I make most my money for the year .. and 11 days short of being open in time to be eligible to get any kind of federal or state grant, Loan , Payroll Protection etc. in the short week and a half open I realized i had done the right thing this place did mean something to people there gratitude for bringing this place back to the community was overwhelming . This was what i was meant too to do and I just can’t imagine us loseing this local icon ...again. I’ve been so blessed without any federal or state help ive been able to stay a float for last couple months because of the communities support I can not thank everyone enough. I will continue to survive as long as I possibly can. The memories and the generations that have dined at Boston Fish and now The Fish Store deserve to have a place to reminisce in these unpredictable times.
Gratefully , Lenore Zoll
- Jeff Jagielski
- Garry Joseph
- Dorothy Back
- Theresa Crawford
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