The Highliner Tavern, a well-worn fish and chips spot in Fishermen’s Terminal, has reopened as the Highliner Pub & Grill, with new owners and an upgraded menu of pub fare of a decidedly oceanic nature.
Paula Cassidy and her husband Jon Speltz, owners of fellow Terminal denizen Wild Salmon Seafood Market, purchased the pub after it shuttered in April. The restaurant, which had its soft opening Friday, now offers 15 beers on tap, including plenty of regional brews. Something else you definitely wouldn’t see at the old Highliner: three Washington wines on tap.
According to Cassidy, patrons at the market frequently asked for cooked seafood, but the space has no kitchen. Taking over the Highliner seemed like a natural extension, and a way to support Fishermen’s Terminal. "We watched this pub go downhill over the years," says Cassidy. "It was really frustrating."
After a major overhaul, particularly in the kitchen, the space boasts a maritime-industrial vibe, with plenty of TVs that pretty much guarantee the Highliner will become a game-watching destination. The menu of straightforward pub fare includes burgers, fish and chips, crab, salmon and halibut cakes, wings, soups and salads. All seafood, naturally, comes from Wild Salmon Seafood Market.
"We are definitely fishermen-friendly," says Cassidy. "At the same time we’d like to welcome the neighborhood to Fishermen’s Terminal."
Right now, happy hour runs from 4 to 6pm and consists of $1 off appetizers and drafts. Cassidy promises, "It will get better."