History

Click the arrows for a quick look at 42 years of Duke’s restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Ray’s Boathouse Leads to Duke’s

    Duke Moscrip invested in Ray’s Boathouse and helped turn it into the seafood restaurant it is today. After visiting Ray’s, just a simple restaurant at the time, we were instantly inspired to make the concept of simply prepared, fresh local seafood a reality. From a partnership involving Russ Wohler, Earl Lasher and me, Ray’s Boathouse & Café was born. Russ went on to create a great restaurant and I left in 1976 to create my own restaurant and the legacy that is today Duke’s Seafood launch a year later.

  • Duke Ventures Out to Open Bar & Grill

    Duke’s Bar & Grill opened on Lower Queen Anne Hill. It soon became the hang out for advertising agency execs after work as it was a lively place where everyone could just relax. The menu was eclectic as we were trying anything and everything, but the fish & chips and chowder stood out and stayed on the menu all these years.

  • Duke’s Introduces Mussels

    Mussels are a delicacy on most good seafood restaurants today, but that was not always the case. “Nobody served mussels when I first met Peter Jeffords at Penn Cove Mussels. He brought me some to try one day. I was amazed at how tasty they were, and mussels have been on the menu ever since,” says Duke Moscrip. Always Penn Cove, considered the jewel of mussels, and beautifully prepared. We create seasonal menu items with mussels to keep them special.

  • Eastside Duke’s Becomes Instant Hit!

    Duke’s opened its first store in Bellevue that year with people clamoring for our clam chowder, already becoming famous. It was a long-time favorite of the Eastside crowd until they lost their lease and were forced to close in 1994. “I hated to close that store because we had such a loyal following, but the owners won out and it became a drug store,” says Duke Moscrip. It took until 2017 and the opening of Lincoln Square South for Duke’s to come back to Bellevue.

  • Always Irreverent, the Kamikaze was Invented

    “On Pearl Harbor Day in the late ‘70s, our manager, Mark Kobayashi, decorated the restaurant in bold Japanese war posters and decided to create a new drink, the Kamikaze cocktail,” says Duke Moscrip. “Now everyone makes a version of this fun cocktail, but I think our version is still the best; and the original.”

  • Duke Fishes with the Fisher People

    Searching for the world’s finest seafood means getting on the boats. Whether he’s traveling to Chesapeake Bay to visit clammers or braving a hard-working boat to catch Copper River Salmon, Duke goes to the source. To get the best fish and seafood, you have to know the source and how the fish was treated from the moment it was caught. “Buying only humanely and sustainably caught fish just makes sense,” says Duke. “The end result is that our guests get really incredible food.”

  • Let’s Play Ball – Duke Get’s Idea to Buy the Mariners

    I recall a time in 1987 when fans rallied behind my idea to buy the Mariners. Back then, team owner George Argyros was not a favorite of the fans. Since the team’s rocky beginnings in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, the team never saw a profit and struggled to win games. We lost . . .a lot. But our city still loved them. When George announced he was going to sell the team, I decided to buy it and make it a fan-owned team!

  • Chowder House Concept Launches Legacy

    The restaurant concept evolved, and Duke’s Chowder House was born. South Lake Union with its views up the lake and docking for those wanting to boat up for a great meal. Famous for Duke’s creamy, delicious chowder, the restaurant thrived, and this was the start to Duke opening Chowder Houses around Puget Sound. In 2019, Duke’s moved its location a couple blocks along the lake to a stunning new location with a huge second story deck and views all the way to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks leading to Puget Sound.

  • Lakeside Chowder; Sunny Patio; Perfect!

    Green Lake Duke’s Chowder House opened across the lake with a cozy umbrella laden patio looking at the beautiful lake and the hordes of walkers and bikers. It remains a strong neighborhood restaurant throughout the year and tourists’ hang out during the summer season. “Our original nautical design remains in this restaurant,” says Duke Moscrip. “It harkens back to our early days yet is still relevant today. Our customers love the atmosphere and we do too.”

  • Nothing Fancy; No, Not for Duke’s

    Duke tried to go fancy with a white table cloth restaurant just down the lake from his lively and always-busy Duke’s Chowder House and, well, it was not a hit. “We called it Duke’s Yacht Club. Our customers showed us that they loved Duke’s Chowder House but when I tried a new concept that was fancier, it just did not fit,” says Duke. “They know me and know what to expect from Duke’s. I learned not to mess with a good thing and closed the new restaurant.”

  • View of Seattle, Roof Top Dining at Alki

    Duke’s hits the beach – Alki Beach that is – with another Duke’s Chowder House. Always in search of the perfect locations, Duke was thrilled when he landed at Alki Beach. This two-story restaurant is right across the beach where you can smell the salt air and hear the ocean while you dine. Duke designed the space so guests could sit on the upper deck to watch the sunsets or simply take in the exceptional views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound.

  • Duke’s Heads to the Mall in Kent

    Kent Station opened its doors right in the heart of Kent’s Green River Campus, ShoWare Center, plus all the great shops at Kent Station. The popular site soon takes off and shopper, event goers, and neighbors all now have a Duke’s Chowder House to serve the growing population.

  • Duke’s Lands On the Tacoma Waterfront

    Tacoma bound; Duke’s Chowder House opens not near the water on Ruston way; rather ON the water. Built on pilings on the shores of Puget Sound, Ruston Way Duke’s is a South Sound favorite winning awards and accolades since opening. We had a rocky start, however. “I did an ad in the Tacoma newspaper; actually, a letter to our guests, that got such a great response, we could not handle the hordes of diners who responded,” says Duke Moscrip. “It took a while to win back people’s confidence but soon after, we figured out how to handle the crowds and the restaurant has been an amazing success ever since.”

  • Shop ’til You Drop; Then Duke’s

    Our second mall location opened in South Center Mall (now Westfield Mall) ready for wary shoppers to kick back, have a cocktail, and relax indoors or on the covered patio. Little did we know that Duke’s South Center would become the reason why our guest come to the mall. This location continues to be a strong favorite for people throughout South Seattle, with its cozy atmosphere, easy parking and central location; and, of course, great food.

  • Mixology – Custom Woodford Reserve Blend

    We’ve blended our own bourbon with the good folks at Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Kentucky since 2008 and each time, the flavor profiles just get better and better. Blending bourbon is tough work—no, I really mean it. We spent a couple of days just focused on the nuances of each of the blends, shifting flavor profiles, tasting, re-blending, and tasting again to get the flavors just right. It takes mastery by the blending team to create the precise combinations, and the people at Woodford really know how to make this happen.

  • Duke’s Leads Seattle’s Ban of Plastic Straws

    In 2018, Seattle banned the use of all non-compostable straws and utensils in Seattle restaurants, but Duke’s made the switch 3 years prior. “When this started out, they (paper straws) were about 30-40% more expensive than petroleum-based products,” Moscrip told KIRO 7 who interviewed Duke for this story. “Now it’s about 10%. But we did it anyway, just because it’s the right thing to do.” Environmental stewardship is a principle value for Duke’s so when you order a drink or take home your extra food; the entire package is compostable.

  • Duke’s Awarded 100% Rating from Smart Catch

    Smart Catch, a sustainable seafood program created with chefs for chefs to recognize environmentally sustainable fishing practices, awarded Duke’s Chowder House top recognition for its sustainable seafood efforts. The organization is designed to promote sustainability and raise consumer awareness through means of the restaurant industry. At Duke’s, sustainability is critical to everything we do, but we do sincerely appreciate the recognition by Smart Catch.

  • Bellevue Bound; Better Than Ever!

    Duke’s returns to Bellevue! Kemper Freeman of The Bellevue Collection and Duke met, and the rest is history. Duke’s opened a show piece restaurant with a wonderful “upscale fishing lodge” theme that captured the spirit of Duke’s Chowder Houses but took it to another level. The company changed the name to Duke’s Seafood & Chowder to better reflect the enhanced seafood cuisine (which had been on the menu for a long time).

  • Crabbing Around Westport

    If you’ve ever been to Westport, Washington, then you’ve seen the giant crab pots stacked sky-high and the trawlers parked at the marina. Our team of chefs and I arrived to tour the processing plant for Pacific Seafood, our only crab supplier. Watching the unloading of thousands of crabs blew me away! Filling the floor of the crab boat, fisherman loaded each one into a metal box.

  • Moving On Up South Lake Union

    Duke’s moves up the lake to its new location on South Lake Union. This impressive new space is actually the original location for the 1990 failed concept, Duke’s Yacht Club. Today, Duke’s Seafood occupies the second story of the building with dynamic views of the lake unmatched by any other restaurant. “This location is absolutely ideal for Duke’s and I could not be happier to be back,” says Duke Moscrip. “I really had fun designing this site (the entrance is under an actual boat built into the restaurant’s front door).”

  • First Event Venue Opens Dockside

    Dockside at Duke’s opens, the company’s first event venue. Dockside takes up the entire main floor of the new Duke’s Seafood location on South Lake Union. “People want to celebrate at Duke’s all the time,” says Duke. “We can take groups at most of our locations, but Dockside takes this to a whole new level.” Perfect for weddings, celebration, or corporate events, Dockside is designed as an empty palette of natural and neutral finishings to allow guests to make their celebration their own. Duke’s is the exclusive caterer for Dockside, so even though it may not look like a Duke’s; it will taste like one.

Duke’s Logo Evolves Once Again

Throughout our years, Duke’s evolved to meet not only the growing needs of our customers, but our growth as a restaurant as well. We are proud of our evolution as any restaurant that remains stagnant, does not survive. This year, we are continuing in this tradition with a new logo and name adjustment to Duke’s Seafood. Oh, but don’t worry; we are still Duke’s and we still have the best chowder in the city! For our loyal customers, this trip down memory lane will bring back happy times with friends and family at all of the variety of Duke restaurants since our first Bar & Grill. We hope you like our new look. We believe it reflects the premium quality of our ingredients with an eye to the future, and still has a little fun.

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