The Wharf Fresh Seafood Market & Eatery
Brent Kenyon, owner of The Wharf Fresh Seafood Market & Eatery, was born here in Medford in 1974, but his Oregon roots go back over a century. “My grandfather George Handy came to Southern Oregon in the first part of the 1900s to work agriculture in the Earl Orchard where Bear Creek Corp now sits. My grandmother was born in Jacksonville in the 1920s. It was from her and my mother that I developed my passion for cooking.
“Growing up my father and mother instilled in me a strong work ethic for success,” Brent continued. “My father served in the US Navy and spent most of his career after that at Untied Grocers. Following his lead I spent several years in grocery stores learning the business and eventually working in meat rooms learning about meat and seafood. One important push I got was to be involved in 4-H which taught me many valuable things in life, including making and saving money from hard work.”
All of these things, including his attraction to being an entrepreneur, led him to where The Wharf began in the winter of 2005. “We had a friend with a boat in Brookings who suggested we sell live crab in Medford. So we tried it. We started hauling loads of live crab 2-3 times per week and set up shop on the corner of Sage Rd and McAndrews. By year two we had several requests for items like fresh fish, oysters, clams and anything else we could carry to feed the hunger we were experiencing.”
So based off the success of the market they decided to open a restaurant and fish market to serve the community; and in 2007 they launched The Wharf located at 827 W Jackson St in Medford where it still remains today.
“I had never worked a day in a restaurant, and a few weeks after we opened the local food critic came in and raved about our spot—there’s been a line out the door ever since! We have consistently been the #1 Seafood Restaurant in multiple publications and have worked hard to stay consistent by offering the highest quality seafood available to our customers.”
While the prices of seafood have more than doubled on several items since 2007, The Wharf tries hard to keep prices as low as possible. “People can expect the freshest market fish available as we get our products delivered three days a week…so it’s never over 48 hours old. That also means the freshest fish is coming out of our kitchen.”
In the market they offer a nice selection of fresh fish and shellfish options to choose from, as well as bottled homemade sauces and seasonings to make your home made meals as good as they can be. “We love special orders as I tell people, ‘if it swims I can get it!’ We also offer catering and private parties upon request.”
Some of their best sellers are their world famous clam chowder, fish ‘n’ chips, lobster roll and now their steamer buckets with King, Snow or Dungeness Crab with Steamer Clams, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp and fresh corn in a delicious Cajun broth, “not too spicy…unless you want it Hot Hot Hot.”
“We would like to remind people to support small businesses especially in the invasion of corporate chain stores moving into the Valley.
“And one last thing…I cannot express enough how much support my parents have given to this day making us a success story of a family restaurant,”
Brent said. “My son Dylan was only 7 years old when I opened The Wharf. He is now one of our fine chefs at 20 years old. And my niece Amanda has also been a part of our amazing management staff.”
The Wharf is located at 827 W Jackson in Medford. Call 541-858-0200 for more information.