Happy Birthday Jessie Taylor Seafood!
It used to be that brothers Chelton and Filmore Evans would sail their buy boat, Jessie Taylor, from Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay to the SW Waterfront to sell the seafood they had gathered along the way, at the Municipal Fish Market. That routine began in 1933. Today the seafood is brought in by truck and much of it still comes from the Bay.
The Evans family, which still owns and operates Jessie Taylor Seafood, is celebrating 90 years of service on the SW Waterfront, which is now part of the District Wharf. To say they have seen a lot, would be an understatement.
Opened in 1805, the Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf—often simply called DC’s Fish Market—is the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the U.S.
In 1963, the District of Columbia gave Jessie Taylor Seafood permission to permanently dock at the Fish Market, and eventually allowed the Evans family to receive their local seafood by truck rather than by water. As their sales outgrew the small decks of the Jessie Taylor, The Evans eventually began selling their seafood from floating barges, but the name of the boat stuck.
Currently, Jessie Taylor Seafood occupies three barges at The Municipal Fish Market. Two barges serve raw seafood including crabs, shrimp, fish, lobster, and more. The third barge serves fresh steamed seafood as well as daily soups, including Maryland Crab Soup and New England Clam Chowder.
Jessie Taylor Seafood is located at 1100 Maine Ave SW and is open daily from 8am-8pm. Fish Market patrons may park in the underground garage for $2 for the first hour. To validate parking, bring your parking ticket and Fish Market receipt to the staff member in the parking lobby in Market Square.