Since the Mukilteo ferry has moved west a little ways, everyone I know has asked about Ivar’s-Mukilteo Landing, a landmark, popular restaurant, with a separate takeout window, where folks order up fish and chips, fries, soft-serve ice cream, and more. It’s the place to go to while waiting for the ferry. Our friend Rob, who always stops at Ivar’s when riding the ferry back to Whidbey Island, said he’d be glad to walk the third of a mile to get his takeout fish and chips. No big deal.
Ivar’s-Mukilteo Landing is closed now for kitchen upgrades. It will reopen on Monday, January 18 with seating in its outdoor heated tent as well as be available for online orders for takeout, curbside pick up and delivery.
Bob Donegon, president of Ivars, chatted in a phone call earlier this week. He’s a friendly and down-to-earth guy who makes you feel at home right away.
“Here’s what we know,” he said. “The ferry has talked with us for more than a decade about opening inside the fence near the new terminal. They will have two concrete pads for food trucks. But they don’t have water, sewer, electricity or gas. With the amount of food we do, a food truck won’t work. Now, it’s a five-minute walk from the (new ferry) parking lot to our restaurant.”
During the week of Dec. 28, when the ferry began operating at its new location, Bob said takeout orders were good.
“Our business at the window has increased, even though the weather hasn’t been great,” he said.
Exploring innovation in delivery, Bob added, “We’re looking at bicycle delivery. Folks can text or call us. We’re thinking of using golf carts we would load orders on. I haven’t been able to get to Homeland Security or the ferry system to find out what the rules are for the ferry parking area yet.”
In the meantime, the former ferry terminal building across from Ivars will be torn down and become a Mukilteo city park.
“They’ve asked us about putting tables there,” Bob added. “We are talking with the city and the Port of Everett, which owns the land, about accommodating the public. We also think that when the state exits the former parking lot, there will be space for more parking on the waterfront and Lighthouse Park. We’re working on everything we can think of.”
Ivars has also made accommodations for food delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year with the corona shutdown, we went out of our way to improve software for order delivery, about 20% comes in through mobile ordering,” Bob explained.
“As people drive down the hill (to the Mukilteo ferry), they can place an order, we can make deliveries. We have such a loyal crowd. Half our crew live on Whidbey. One chef in his 23rd year lives on Whidbey and takes the boat across.”
Check out this link for Ivar’s Minimal Contact Ordering.
This Is Whidbey was founded by Kate Poss for readers who are interested in cultivating our island’s quality of life, including its land, sea, and air; its people, plants, and animals; and the bodies, minds, and spirits of its inhabitants. You may know Kate from her work in island libraries through May of 2016. Her background includes a career in newspaper reporting in Los Angeles for various weeklies and dailies, including The Los Angeles Times. She was a frequent contributor to the online Whidbey Life Magazine and still writes for the biannual print magazine.
Stories are highlighted by David Welton’s excellent photography. David is a retired physician who was a staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine since its early days. His work has also appeared in museums, art galleries, newspapers, regional and national magazines, books, nonprofit publicity, and on the back of the Whidbey Sea-Tac Shuttle!