With summer nearly here, it's a hectic time for local business activity.
Here's a rundown on some recent happenings across Whatcom County:
Openings: One of the more interesting business names comes from a dog grooming service. Earlier this month Brenda Hazelwood opened Holy Shihtzu at 2025 James St., near Hardware Sales. The name came from her husband, Tom, as more of a spoof, but it stuck.
Brenda Hazelwood has more than 20 years of dog grooming experience and was most recently the co-owner of Hot Dogz in Ferndale. She decided she wanted to have her own place in Bellingham focusing on dog grooming. Holy Shihtzu is services are available by appointment, closed Thursdays and Sundays. For more information, call 360-305-5745.
After closing earlier this year to revamp its menu, City Grill has re-opened at 1319 Cornwall Ave., near Kids Northwest. The new menu has a northeastern China flavor.
Closings: Sole Obsession, a shoe store at 1758 Front St. in Lynden, had its last day Saturday, June 16, after three years in business. ... Eklektik, a salon at 1305 Commercial St. in Bellingham, has closed. ... JA Games, which moved to 2025 James St. last fall, closed at the end of April.
Remodels: A tenant improvement permit was filed at to enlarge the seating and parking areas of Wonderful Buffet restaurant at 4365 Meridian St. by removing a structure. ... At 117 N. Samish Way (in the former Arby's restaurant) a tenant improvement permit was filed to put in a nail salon. ... The Whatcom Farmers Co-op continues to move through the permit process on its project to convert the former Market at Fairhaven building at 3125 Old Fairhaven Parkway into one of its country stores. ... At 3930 Meridian St. (in Meridian Village, near DeWaard & Bode) tenant improvement permits were approved for a new Carter's clothing store. According to its website, the store is aiming for a June opening.
The Jinx Art Space recently changed its name to Make.Shift Art Space, taking the name of the local nonprofit that took over the business nearly a year ago. According to a news release, the art space soon will have a remodeled entryway at 306 Flora St. to go with its new name and website. Make.Shift provides low-cost support for artists and musicians. It's been under renovation for the past year and includes six new band practice studios, two new art studios and a remodel of the gallery.
The increased activity is also showing up in city permits. In Bellingham, permits were issued for $16.5 million just for commercial remodels in the first five months of the year. It's not as busy as the same period last year when permits were issued for $23.8 million in commercial remodels but well ahead of 2010 ($10.2 million) and 2009 ($8.4 million). Permits issued in the first part of the year can be an indicator on how busy the commercial remodeling season is during the summer months.
LIQUOR STORE UPDATE
The transition continues when it comes to privatizing liquor sales in Washington. Many of the state and contract liquor stores in Whatcom County have reopened, but not all of them. Here's an update:
Former county contract stores outside Ferndale/Bellingham that have re-opened: Birch Bay Liquor Store (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday), Blaine Liquor Outlet (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday), Everson Liquor Store (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday), Lynden Wine & Spirits (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday), Maple Falls Liquor Store (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day) and Sumas Liquor & Wine (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday).
Former state-run stores in Ferndale/Bellingham: Bellingham had four state-run liquor stores prior to the change, and as of last week only one was open: the Fairhaven store, which is now called Back Porch Wine & Spirits. It is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Lakeway Liquor Store is expected to re-open later this month. No one answered the phone at the Barkley, Bellingham North and Ferndale liquor stores, so it's unclear what their status is.
Locally made MyStrand Jewelry is now available at The Chuckanut Bay Gallery and Garys' Mens and Womens Wear. MyStrand Jewelry features a mix-and-match design system of strands in fair trade sterling silver, freshwater pearls and gemstones.
Man Pies, the meat pie shop on Bellingham's Railroad Avenue, is now offering catering and wholesale desserts. For details, contact owner Bryce Sharp at 360-303-8805 or email@example.com.
Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.