A Q&A with Rudy Diotale of Eadies Fish House
Rudy Diotale had a specific atmosphere in mind when he opened Eadies Fish House in Plain Township in 2006.
“I had traveled to a lot of islands, the Caribbean and up and down the East Coast and been to a lot of these dives that always have good food,” he said. “I wanted to remind people of places they’ve been to when they’re on vacation. We have lots of tchotchkes hanging up everywhere. I think of it as my big man cave.”
Despite its landlocked location, Eadies does feel like a lively and ultra-casual beach shack, where one can indulge in beer-battered fish, onion rings and maybe a frozen mango martini. Most Wednesday nights, the band Hey Monea plays good-time music.
Q. What is the history of Eadies?
A. “We first were down on Middlebranch and (Route) 62, since the ‘60s. It was called Eadies PDQ. In the early ‘90s, there was a fire in that building, and we got shoved out. I had an ice cream stand on Wise Avenue, and we started selling Eadies fish out of there. We got so busy, we outgrew the building. We were serving maybe 400 people a day out of the ice cream stand. I’d bought the house next door and was using it as a rental property, but we got so busy I decided to turn it into a restaurant.”
Q. The beer batter on your fish has a distinctive flavor. Is it a secret recipe?
A. “It’s the same it’s always been, since the ‘60s. I make it up myself. People who haven’t been in Eadies for 20 years will walk in and say, ‘I remember that smell.’ The main fish that everyone gets is white Alaskan cod. It’s the whitest, flakiest and best you can get.”
Q. How much fish do you use in a week?
A. “Depending on the time of year, we could go through between 500 and 1,200 pounds a week. In the winter, we’re slower, then Lent comes and we’re slammed. We don’t just do white fish. We get fresh Lake Erie perch, we get fresh salmon in two or three times a week, we do mahi mahi. A lot of grilled seafood. We make homemade lump crab cakes. Everything on our menu is top-notch. Our burgers are basically ground steak; it’s a custom burger blend.”
Q. How’s business?
A. “We’re very fortunate. The restaurant business is tough, but in the last five years, we’ve really taken off. We get new customers each year. And we have generations of people that come in. My grandpa brought me to (Route) 62 when I was a kid. People come in and tell me that back in the ‘60s, Eadies was their first job.”
Eadies Fish House: 6616 Wise Ave. NW, North Canton. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 330-494-4000 or visit eadiesfishhouse.com.