In the shadow of Mitchell Airport, right along Layton avenue, sits the Packing House.
“Well, we’ve got a long history,” General Manager Chris Wiken said. “You know, we’ve been here for 48 years. My mom and dad opened the restaurant in 1974.”
The Wiken family founded the restaurant known for it’s steak and fish nearly 5 decades ago and still own the business today.
Wiken was just four years old when the doors first opened and working in the family business was not on his list of childhood dreams.
“It wasn’t the original plan,” Wiken said. “I actually left for a while, got some different varied experience and eventually found my way back into the family’s business.”
When you’ve been here for 48 years you’ve probably figured out how to do a few things right. They’ve got steak, they’ve got burgers, they’ve got cocktails and live jazz. But when it comes to the most popular item at the restaurant; there’s only one answer.
“I would have to say it’s the fish fry,” Wiken said. “We sell more fish fry’s than anything else combined on our menu. Especially during lent, we go from selling a few hundred fish fry’s to nearly a thousand fish fry’s on the those Friday’s.”
So what sets them apart?
“One of our most important things is that we make everything from scratch here,” Wiken said. “So when we talk about the fish fry, we make the breading ourselves, we make the tarter sauce, we make the cold slaw, everything is made from scratch in-house. And everything is hand breaded, our cod fish fry’s are hand breaded; which I think just makes all the difference in the world.”
But don’t just take it from me.
“The Packing House has been around for as long as I can remember,” a Packing House guest said while enjoying a fresh piece of cod . “And if it’s not steaks that we come here for, then we wait until lent comes and then have their delicious fish fry. [The fish fry] is my favorite item. Their clam chowder is so mild and so delicious. It’s cooked so well, just delicious.”