The Sixgill in Fremont is about to revamp its menu. Sure, they’ll still pour lots and lots of delicious beer, but the food menu is getting an overhaul. If you’ve ever been, you know that the theme at The Sixgill is water recreation. The menu, new and old, is an extension of that theme. No change there.
The new twist, the revamped menu will celebrate Gulf Coast cuisine, focusing on flavors from south Texas, around the Gulf Coast, to Florida. Chef Christopher “Fletch” Fletcher is guiding the culinary transition. The new menu will be introduced on February 9th, just in time for Mardi Gras.
Above, left to right: Shrimp & Whitefish Ceviche, Pan Roasted Chicken with Hominy & Cabbage, Roasted Heirloom Squash & Grits.
The Sixgill is operated by Rick Weersing and Ellen Kelly, the same husband and wife team that runs The Noble Fir in Ballard. According to Ellen, the new menu direction is a tribute to Weersing’s father, who passed away last year. Big Jim Weersing was a photographer and took a picture of his son looking at a map as they were trying to paddle their way out of the Everglades. That photo hangs in The Sixgill now after Big Jim gave it to Ellen while she and Rick were still dating.
For regular Sixgill patrons, the octopus will still be a featured menu item. But it’s getting a makeover into Octopus Etoufée. The signature Ellen’s Fresh Fish Sandwich will still be a mainstay but it is getting a creole treatment. And southern favorite Frito Pie will soon be debuting to round out the Gulf Coast flavor profile.
Weersing says of his father, “He loved jazz, blues, southern literature and was a hiker and birder.” The Weersings did canoe trips in the Everglades. They played cribbage in dive bars, met interesting people from all over and ate a lot of great food along the way.
Above, left to right: Pacific Octopus Etoufée, Ellen’s Fresh Fish Sandwich, Texas Frito Pie
According to the press release, the Gulf Coast has special meaning for Kelly and Weersing too. It was on a trip – Ellen’s first kayaking adventure – that the duo decided to quit their jobs and open their first bar, The Noble Fir in Ballard. After spending three months paddling the waterways of the Gulf Coast they returned to Seattle where Ellen retired from her law firm and Rick left REI.
“We had so much good food on that trip,” Kelly recalls. Weersing remembers eating 50 fresh shrimp and drinking beer surrounded by birds and the sounds of nature in Goose Island State Park in Texas. “Rick still talks about sandwiches in Louisiana and gulf shrimp stuffed in snapper and covered in Cajun cream sauce,” Kelly adds.
It was from high atop a bird watching tower at sunset on Long Key, Florida that the two sipped rum and cokes and started talking about opening The Noble Fir.
The fond memories of that trip inspire the new menu direction of The Sixgill and chef Fletcher is the man to bring it to fruition. He grew up along the Gulf Coast and cut his culinary teeth at Brennan’s in Houston where the specialty was Gulf Coast seafood. After cooking around the south, he moved to Seattle where he has showed his skill at Earth and Ocean, Bastille and Marche. He joined The Sixgill family in April 2014.
“Chef Fletch is a fantastic bistro chef, who makes high level comfort food,” Weersing says. Kelly adds, “He lets the flavor of the food stand alone.”
The Sixgill has been testing new menu items for a couple months but the full Gulf Coast-inspired menu will be available Feb. 9 – just in time for Mardi Gras.
The Sixgill has been named as one of Draft magazine’s Top 100 Beer Bars in America (2014, 2015).