ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County will soon have its own pier from which fresh seafood can be shipped to local seafood lovers, as Pier 303 Seafood Market gets ready to open.
“We called it Pier 303 because we’re trying to connect the ocean to the mountains, so that’s where the idea of the pier came in, and 303 is the address,” co-owner Mac Freeborn said.
Pier 303, set to open in mid- to late-summer on Garfield Street in Enterprise, will provide both fresh — for home cooking — and prepared seafood to customers, as well as beer and wine to either consume on-premises or to take out, he said. Freeborn recently received approval for a liquor license from the Enterprise City Council.
Mac is the manager of Wallowa Lake State Park and wife, Zuly, works from home for Edward Jones Investments. The couple lives in Joseph.
As for getting freshly harvested seafood to Wallowa County, it’s not as simple as casting a net or reeling in a line. It will have to be shipped.
“We have several different vendors,” Mac said. “One of our oyster vendors ships within 24 hours (of harvest), which is a really good thing. ... Those come out of Washington (state). We’re working on some other vendors to try to do things. One of our goals is to make trips to Newport and pick up the fish on our days off, and then it’ll be fresh.”
He also mentioned a place in Portland that serves as a storage drop-off for fishermen.
“We would just drive to Portland and pick it up,” he said. “We’re still working out those details, but we’re trying to figure out the way to make it the freshest we can.”
They anticipate a wide variety of seafood will be on hand.
“As much as we can,” Mac said of their potential offerings. “Oysters, razor clams, stinger clams, rockfish, tuna, salmon, lobster, if we can get our hands on an abalone, Dungeness crab, blue crab — we’re still trying to figure out everything.”
Zuly emphasized all species will not always be available.
“The ones that are ‘best practices’ for catching in season,” she said. “A lot of fish are not always in season, so they’re not always going to be fresh. So (we’ll be) using ‘best practices’ when it comes to catching fish that are in season.”
The Freeborns had hoped to open in early summer, but Mac had shoulder surgery, which delayed work on the place. They have done much of the work themselves, with contractors doing some.
In addition to the seafood, Pier 303 will sell specialty retail items.
“(There will be) small, seafood kitchen items that you wouldn’t find at your local grocery store,” Zuly said.
These will include items with the Pier 303 logo, oyster shuckers, filet knives, seasonings, spices and canned fish.
While initially they’ll be selling fish to go, they also have other plans.
“Eventually, we’ll do special events, like a fish-tacos night and an oysters-on-the-half-shell night and a grilled-oyster night with the thought that we’ll sell beer and wine,” Mac said. “Our focus is to not sell beer and wine that you can find in the county … that we can provide at a decent cost — we’re not trying to break the bank.”
Some of the prepared items they plan include halibut and ceviche — a raw fish dish cooked in lemon or lime with spices and some vegetables. Some recipes call for cocktail sauce, some just lemon or lime, Mac said.
“Zuly makes a great one with mangoes and cilantro,” he said.
They’re eager to get the doors open to the public, Mac said.
“We want everyone to come in,” he said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with corrected information.