Fish Ladder Lounge now open in former Shelter Lounge location

A new bar and restaurant called Fish Ladder Lounge has opened in the former Shelter Lounge location at 4910 Leary Ave NW.

Alison Soike (of Alison’s Coastal Cafe fame) and her partner Ryan Faniel are the owners of Fish Ladder Lounge. They’re also the owners of the Lockspot Cafe, which they took over in 2021.

Soike tells My Ballard that she and Fanial were regulars at Shelter before it closed last summer. “When I owned the cafe on Leary, Shelter was my decompression zone,” Soike said. She and Faniel even used to run a hot dog stand outside of Shelter from midnight to 2 a.m., “back when we were hustling a lot,” she said.

“It feels like it’s full circle for us,” Soike said about taking over the space. She and Faniel jumped on the opportunity to take over the space when it became available at the end of last summer.

“We went from selling hot dogs outside it to now owning it,” she said.

Soike said Fish Ladder Lounge is aimed at being a community space. It’s a bar and lounge, but kids are welcome until 9 p.m. Well-behaved dogs are welcome anytime, she said.

“We want it to be welcoming,” she said, adding that the entire menu is made from fresh food—”no frozen stuff.”

Fish Ladder Lounge is open Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 12 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Photos: Fish Ladder Lounge