The Pike Place Fish Market is an open air fish market located in Seattle, Washington. Pike Place Market gets its name because it is positioned at the corner of Pike Street and Pike Place and obviously the word 'pike' is a play on the species of fish. The store is a popular tourist destination in Seattle, attracting up to 10,000 daily visitors, and is often billed as world-famous due to it's 'flying fish shows' and general street entertainment.
History of the market
Pike Place Fish market was founded in 1930. In 1965, the market was purchased by John Yokoyama, a former employee of the fish market. Yokoyama was leading the business to near bankruptcy when in 1986, they decided to steer the market into a different direction in order to attract more visitors. Place of entertainment They began putting on 'flying fish' shows and altogether making the market less of a market place and more of a place of entertainment which had fish for sell. As a result, the market became world famous.
The flying fish
Routine The Pike Place Fish Market is best known for their habit of hurling customers' orders across the shopping area. A typical routine will involve a customer ordering a fish with their fishmongers in orange rubber overalls and boots, calling out the order which is loudly shouted back by all the other staff, at which point the original fishmonger will throw the customer's fish behind the counter for wrapping. Throwing foam fish At times, the fish market staff will throw a foam fish into the crowd to scare bystanders, or select a customer from the crowds to participate in the fish toss. Above the areas in which they throw the fish, the market hangs a sign that reads, "Caution: Low Flying Fish". Another popular feature at the Pike Place Fish Market is the monk fish, which sometimes, thanks to a hidden line, is made to "snap" at and scare the customers.
As a result of becoming famous, the fish market has found itself being featured on a number of TV programmes. In 1998, the Pike Place Fish Market was the subject of a documentary film and accompanying book entitled Fish Philosophy. It has also been featured on an episode of the TV sitcom 'Frasier', which is also based in Seattle. Furthermore, it has featured in the film Free Willy and on a Spike Lee Levis jeans commercial.