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Founded 1912; 105 years ago (1912)
Founder Robert Wholey
Headquarters Pittsburgh
Number of locations
Products Fish
Website http://www.wholey.com

Wholey’s /ˈwʊlz/, officially known as Robert Wholey & Co. Inc. is a prominent fish market and grocery store in Pittsburgh's historic Strip District neighborhood.[1] In 2007, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that they are a "household word in the region."[2] The Strip District warehouse features a "signature fish-shaped sign."[2] According to the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper, "Of course, in Pittsburgh it wouldn’t be fish without Wholey’s," especially regarding the Catholic tradition regarding fish on Fridays.[3]

Robert Wholey & Co. operated wholesale, cold storage, and international divisions until a 2007 sale to a Michigan firm.[2] Robert Wholey Co. continues to operate in the same Strip District retail location.[2] In addition to the retail store, Wholey's also delivers fresh/frozen seafood and meat items across the United States, incorporating grocery delivery, business-to-business gifts, and specialty wholesale through its website, Wholey.com

During the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, Wholey's began checking the ID of any customers suspected of being from the midwest, as a means to prohibit the purchase of an octopus that could be thrown on the ice as part of Detroit superstition.[4]

In 2005, a 23-pound lobster was discovered for sale at Wholey's.[5] He was nicknamed "Bubba."[6] Robert Wholey decided to spare the lobster and sent him to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, who had planned to transport him to a Ripley's Believe It or Not! aquarium.[5] He died the next day.[7]

In 2012, Wholey's celebrated its 100th anniversary with a three–day celebration.[8]

Luke Wholey, a member of the Wholey family, opened a seafood restaurant called Wild Alaskan Grille.[9]



  1. ^ McKay, Gretchen (November 23, 2009). "Cooking with Gretchen: Wholey's fish". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lindeman, Teresa F. (September 22, 2007). "Wholey's sells wholesale business to Michigan firm". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  3. ^ Hill, William (2007-2-23). "There's a whole lot of seafood being eaten". Pittsburgh Catholic. Pittsburgh: Catholic Online.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Want to buy an octopus? Let's see some ID first". ESPN. May 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Batz, Jr., Bob; Anita Srikameswaran (March 2, 2005). "Big Bubba, the lobster, saved from the pot". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  6. ^ Crissey, Mike (3/2/2005). "No butter for Bubba, the 22-pound lobster". USA Today. Associated Press.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "Bubba the large lobster dies". USA Today. The Associated Press. Posted 3/3/2005.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Karlovits, Bob (September 18, 2012). "3-day celebration will mark 100 years for Wholey's". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  9. ^ McCart, Melissa (October 11, 2012). "Seafood is fresh at Wholey scion's new restaurant, but other features need some work". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 11, 2012.