Johnny's Dock Restaurant has been an important feature of the Tacoma Tideflats since it's opening by John E. Meaker in December of 1953. Mr. Meaker had been in the meat cutting and restaurant business since 1915 when he apprenticed as a meat cutter in Seattle's Pike Place Market. In 1921 he opened a butcher shop with his father at the corner of First and Pike and over the next ten years they continued to run the butcher shop and opened two restaurants in Seattle and one at Grand Coulee, Washington during the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.
In 1932 he moved the butcher shop to the Queen City Market at Fourth and Pine, and in 1937 he moved the shop to the Bell Street Terminal where the operation supplied the maritime trade and institutions, as well as retail customers.
In 1940 he opened Crawford's Sea Grill on Elliott Avenue in the building later used as Ivar's Captain's Table. In 1944 he sold the restaurants and the meat business and moved to Tacoma to open Crawford's Sea Grill on Upper Broadway. In 1952 he sold all of his businesses and retired.
Coming out of retirement, in 1953, he opened Johnny's Dock at Pier 3 on the Tideflats.
Johnny's Dock at Pier 3 was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve 1961 and was rebuilt with slight modifications and continued to operate at that location for 16 years. Then in 1977 the Port of Tacoma reclaimed the land for the new container terminal. At that time the restaurant moved to an all new building at our present location on "D" Street.