Mexican restaurant to open in Sudden Valley


Retailtipsheet El Agave

El Agave owner Marin Tirado at the Samish location on Wednesday April 24, 2013 in Bellingham. He is opening a new El Agave Restaurant in Sudden Valley and hopes to open in two months.


Sudden Valley residents and golfers soon will have a new restaurant that's family operated and features Mexican cuisine.

The Sudden Valley Community Association recently selected Marin Tirado, owner of the El Agave Mexican Restaurant at 107 N. Samish Way in Bellingham, to expand into the former Bob's Burgers and Brew restaurant space, as well as operate the 19th Hole, which is a separate café area that focuses on serving golfers.

The plan is to renovate the 6,100-square-foot restaurant space and have it open by this summer, with the 1,225-square-foot 19th Hole possibly opening sooner.

Tirado said he plans on a menu similar to the El Agave restaurant on Samish Way, but with a few more American dishes.

"I've already had a lot of customers tell me they are excited that we are opening (in Sudden Valley)," Tirado said.

The Sudden Valley association had several interested parties, with three formal proposals, said Melissa Lange, who chairs its food and beverage committee. Troy Muljat and Eric Larson of The Muljat Group were hired to help find potential restaurant operators.

"(El Agave) hit all the boxes we were looking for in a new tenant," said Lange, noting that the restaurant owner will handle the restaurant, café and catering services at the facility. "It's a family-oriented restaurant, and they are fun people who provide good food and great service."

Tirado said business has gone well at the Samish restaurant, which opened in April 2011. He wanted to expand with a second local restaurant and felt the Sudden Valley area was a good opportunity.

"They really seem to want to help make this a success," said Tirado, referring to the association.

Lange said the association has marketing tools to make sure the restaurant gets the exposure it needs. She expects the restaurant to cater to the Sudden Valley residents and golfers, but it also can attract customers from other areas.

"It's a great space with a view overlooking the golf course. I think it will be something a little different than you can get in town," Lange said.


The family of the Black Pearl restaurants recently opened their third Bellingham eatery, selecting the northern part of town.

The new restaurant is in the Bakerview Fred Meyer shopping center, near Subway. Nosh Yusufali, whose daughter, Laila, operates the restaurants, said the Bakerview location will have a few new upscale Asian dishes to go along with the regular menu, adding that the restaurant will be known as Black Pearl Asian Fusion.

The decision was made to open the third restaurant to better serve customers who live on the north side of town. Laila Yusufali opened her first restaurant in the Barkley district in November 2007 and the second in the downtown area in December 2010. All three restaurants have Vietnamese dishes and also feature bubble tea.

The Bakerview restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday. For further details about Black Pearl, visit


• The Firehall Café in Lynden's Jansen Art Center is celebrating its grand opening May 2-4 with food and drink specials, family activities and live music. The café will offer a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including breakfast sandwiches, paninis, soups and salads. Espresso drinks will feature Tony's Coffee of Bellingham, and the café will have local craft beers and Washington wines. It is open every day; for details visit its Facebook page or call 360-354-3600.

Mac & Mac Electric has changed its retail store hours at 1410 Iowa St. The retail portion is now open 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and by appointment other days.

Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or Read his business blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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