Bellingham business owner busy opening three stores in coming days


RetailTipSheet James Labels

Nick Phares, of Ryno Floor Covering, installs rubber wall base in the changing rooms at the new Labels location Wednesday, May 1, 2013 on James Street in Bellingham.


Sage Bishop now has quite a collection of Bellingham businesses.

This week she plans on having four different businesses operating, two of which are new and one that's moved into a bigger space. Labels Women's Consignment Store on James Street will open Tuesday, May 7, in the former Al's Honda building at 2332 James St. while Polished - A Petite Spa will open nearby at 2336 James St.

On Wednesday, May 8, Labels Plus will open at Labels' original space at 1512 Ellis St. Labels Plus will focus on new plus-size women's clothing and accessories. It won't be a consignment store.

Those changes, along with operating the Labels consignment store on Northwest Avenue, are keeping Bishop extremely busy these days, but they help the company stay organized in the growing business of consignment. The James Street and Northwest Avenue stores will focus not only on women's consignment clothes but on home décor products.

The James Street store will have about 4,000 square feet of retail space, twice as much as the original Ellis Street space. It took some time to get the building ready, given that it had been an equipment store for years.

"I have never seen so much grease in all my life," Bishop said with a laugh. "It was challenging, but I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm also very happy with this neighborhood. The businesses around me are great, and several neighbors that have walked by are happy that the fence (surrounding the parking area) is being taken down."

The nearby spa will have two manicure stations, two pedicure stations and an area for facials and waxing. Bishop said she wanted to add something fun to the women's clothing shopping experience.

"Labels and Polished are complementary businesses," Bishop said. "They are both necessary and fun places for women."

The Labels Plus store on Ellis also seems a necessary component. Bishop said she's had trouble stocking her consignment stores with quality plus-size clothing. The emphasis will be on casual clothes, such as pants, shirts, sweaters and light jackets. Once the store opens May 8, hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

With the opening, the employee count of Bishop's businesses will increase to around 35. Her list of consigners surpassed the 26,000 mark in September.


Two different restaurants, Steakhouse 9 and Bistro 9, are scheduled to open later this month at Homestead Golf & Country Club in Lynden.

Both restaurants are above the course's clubhouse at 115 E. Homestead Blvd. and are owned by Rick Kildall, his fiancée Wendy Cimoch, and David and Tracy Frear of Lynden.

"We're all foodies," Kildall said in a news release. "When this location became available, we wanted to fill a north-county void so local residents wouldn't have to travel far for a great steakhouse."

Steakhouse 9, under the direction of executive chef Joseph Merkling, will open Wednesday, May 15. All of the filet mignon, rib-eye and New York steaks will be bone-in, USDA prime cuts seared by an 1,800-degree broiler. It will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.

Bistro 9, opening Monday, May 6, will have a relaxed environment. The menu has burgers and sandwiches, plus salads, seafood and pizza. A variety of beers and wines also will be available. Bistro 9 will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

The Ballroom, which includes a dance floor, has a maximum capacity of 150 guests or can be divided into smaller spaces for 50 or 100 guests. The Loft on the second floor has been remodeled and designed for private gatherings.

For reservations or more information, call 360-778-2849 or visit


• The popular national eatery Panera Bread is interested in opening in Bellingham, but a time or location has not been finalized yet, said Stephanie Wren, a senior regional marketing manager for the company.

• A tenant improvement permit was submitted to the city of Bellingham to put in a household goods store at 117 W. Chestnut St., in the former Dream On Futon building. The proposed business tenant is called Home to Home.

Hallmark has received permit approval to put in a store at Bellis Fair mall.

WinCo has applied for a Washington state liquor license for 300 E. Bellis Fair Parkway, in the former Joe's Sporting Goods place. The company has not announced an opening date for the Bellingham store.

• David Bernstein has applied for a restaurant liquor license at 8124 Birch Bay Drive. The proposed name for the restaurant is Eagles Roost.

• After going mobile for four months, Cathy Luther has opened an Oreck Quick Stop shop at 2411 Meridian St., in the Fountain District near Diamond Jim's restaurant. Luther said she plans to continue doing the mobile service but wanted to have a place where customers could bring in Oreck vacuum products for service and buy products such as vacuum bags.

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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