The history of Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill is tied with Steveston Landing. In the late 1980’s a team responded to a call for the development of this strip of waterfront and submitted a development proposal which was accepted in 1990. It was named “Steveston Landing” and encompasses three major anchor restaurants and 12 commercial storefronts. It has been operating very successfully for the past nearly 30 years and is considered the “flagship” restaurant of the Landing. Steveston Landing is still privately owned, but the boardwalk was dedicated to the people of Richmond to provide the public with access to stroll, enjoy the view, visit the various commercial venues and buy from the government fishing floats which have been named Fisherman’s Wharf.
The fishing boat proudly displayed above our bar is a fine example of a Gillnetter. It was the Gillnetter, along with the purseseigner that made Steveston the salmon capital of Canada.
The Vicky was built by the Norwegian craftsman Chris Remman and launched in 1942 at Gundarson Slough (across New Westminster). Originally 33 feet long, this double-ender is constructed of yellow cedar and has a beam of 8 ½ feet, a draught of 4 feet and weighed in at over 10,000 pounds. Power was supplied by a 6-cylinder Chrysler Ace engine, which delivered a top speed of 7 knots.
In 1950 long time coastal fisherman Ken Hagen purchased the gillnetter for $4500 and christened the vessel “Vicky” after his beloved wife. For the Hagens, Vicky proved to be a very reliable boat and delivered numerous seasons of plentiful catches. Typical of many Steveston fishermen, Ken gillnetted for a variety of salmon, including Chum, Pink, Sockeye and Spring. In the pursuit of “the elusive” salmon, the Vicky and Ken travelled from the San Juan Islands to the Queen Charlotte Straights and many points in between.
In later years, the Vicky and Ken fished for Nelson Bros. Fisheries, B.C. Packers and on occasion worked as a tugboat on the Fraser River.
The staff and management at Shady Island are delighted to provide a home and final resting place for Miss Vicky in what we affectionally call “Gillnetters Heaven”!