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What ever happened to Silva's Fish House?

What ever happened to Silva's Fish House on McAndrews Road between Riverside and Court? They had the best fish and chips and fried zucchini, and the place was always packed. I believe they were here sometime in the '80s or '90s. Will Medford ever get another "Fast Food" fish-and-chips place on the order of Silva's?

— No name given

While other folks have had the common sense to recycle their old phone books, we here at Since You Asked headquarters have kept all of ours since about 1956. That comes in handy for queries such as yours, Mr. or Ms. unnamed question-asker.

We first found mention of a Silva's Fish House in the 1977 Bell telephone book, with a location at 1925 W. Main St. in Medford. By 1982, the phone book showed a location at 330 E. McAndrews Road, which currently houses Noho's Hawaiian Cafe.  Advertisements boasted its "icy fresh fish market," house-made chapino and chowder, hot crab sandwiches, shrimp and scallops and, of course, fish and chips.

By the early 1990s, Silva's had added locations at Poplar Drive and the Rogue Valley Mall, but the restaurant was down to its McAndrews location when its last listing appeared in the 2001 phone book.

We found a couple mentions of the restaurant in our archives. In January of 1986, the restaurant attempted to be one of Medford's first smoke-free restaurants (the restaurants Placesetters and Yogurt Grove were the only other restaurants without a smoking section at the time). In a sign of how times have changed since 1986, the restaurant acquiesced to complaints from regulars who smoked, and offered smoking and non-smoking sections within a week of the article.

An Aug. 21, 1997, Mail Tribune article noted that Ronald Silva, by then a former owner of the restaurant, was sentenced to six months of jail time after being convicted of charges related to unpaid child support.

As for whether Medford will see another restaurant like Silva's, you can find fish and chips at many area restaurants, including 4Daughters, McGrath's Fish House, Wild River and The Wharf Fresh Seafood Market and Eatery on West Jackson Street.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.