By Nancy Varekamp, CNews Editor
One year operating a fish and chips shop on Alberta Street convinced Aaron Peterson and Cedric Burton their concept was great, but the location wasn’t. It took another year to secure the new location at 5302 N.E. 42nd, and the move in April has paid off.
Renamed 42nd Avenue Fish & Chips, the restaurant has increased business by 75 percent and boasts an appreciative following, Aaron said.
“They couldn’t find us on Alberta,” he pointed out. Crowded sidewalks and limited parking worked against them.
Recommendations, a parking lot and A-frame signs at Killingsworth drive new customers to the new location between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week. “We plan to be here for 10 years or more,” Aaron added.
One of the differences they’ve noticed at the new location is ethnicity. Aaron estimates half the customers now are people of color and the other half are white. On Alberta the ratio was 75:25.
But there’s one thing they all have in common. “They sit down, eat and give us high praises,” Cedric pointed out. Praises also come online from customers who take their food to go, and others who order delivery through Grubhook.
“We’re pretty proud of the 5-star ratings we have on Facebook, Yelp and Yahoo,” Aaron added.
Fish choices are cod, catfish, tilapia and basa. The latter is a low-fat Asian fish. “Most people haven’t heard of it,” Cedric said. “But when you taste it, you fall in love.”
The basa and cod are the restaurant’s top sellers, and Aaron’s fish-on-a-stick appeals to people who want to eat on the run. It’s the fish version of a corndog – hold the mustard.
All fish is fried in a gluten-free, cornmeal-based batter with Southern seasoning. It’s the recipe of Aaron’s mother.
“Down South, we always cooked like that,” Cedric reported. He’s originally from Selma, Alabama. Aaron is from Los Angeles.
The two met as students at Adams High School, which stood only a block away from their new enterprise. They spent 30 years in separate careers. Aaron owned a newspaper, grocery store and barber shop, and he worked in a funeral home and as a band promoter. Cedric worked for Pendleton Woolen Mills.
“Owning a restaurant is a blessing, especially when people like your food,” Aaron pointed out. “What more could anyone ask for? It’s an American dream.”