June 23, 2023 will mark 50 incredible years of service at Ray’s Boathouse.
It’s an understatement to say that a lot has happened in Seattle over the past 50 years as our community grew into its own as a destination full of great things to do for visitors from all over the world, including sport fishing.
In the late 1950s Ray Lichtenberger felt that Harbor Island was getting too congested so he decided to move his fishing boat rental business to sleepy little Ballard. After a few iterations of a fishing boat rental store that started to sell more food than bait, a restaurant was born. In 1973 it became Ray’s Boathouse and the rest is history. History that was built by so many hardworking people both employed by Ray’s directly and the people who caught, raised, grew, brewed, distilled, and vinified the great products we have had the luxury to work with.
There is an undeniable humanity to providing hospitality for our guests, team, and suppliers. When it is done right it leaves a lasting impression that becomes ‘who you are’. Most of us have seen restaurants sprout up that scramble to find an identity and a theme and are tasked with figuring out who they are and/or what they want to be. Our tenure has allowed us the one simple thing: Be Ray’s. Evolve, stay current, change, win some, lose a few, but never stop being Ray’s.
I believe I speak for the Ray’s leadership that has served this endeavor before me and with me: little of our identity would be possible without the kindness of our loyal guests and the (very) hardworking team members we have had by our side since our brand was born. It’s difficult to express gratitude of this scope.
Our mission continues to be that the people we hire for the next 50 years (and beyond) understand what we have created and that they should always ‘Be Ray’s’ with every guest, team member, and purveyor.
Thank you to every person who has helped us thus far and here’s to another 50 years.
Ray’s Co-owner & General Manager
Photo by Halley Sunwold