Restaurant Update: Plenty of activity around Whatcom County


Shrimp Shack  PAD

Co-owner Sarah James serves lunch to customers Marlin Dorhout, left and Peder Fedde Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Shrimp Shack in Bellingham. The owners of the restaurant, which was originally opened in the 1960s, are trying to sell.


Whatcom County has a very active restaurant scene, and news rarely slows down throughout the year.

This county has more than 450 restaurants, food service and drinking establishments, according to the Washington Department of Revenue. With that many places to stop to eat and drink, this area is regularly going through new openings and closings.

Here's a roundup of what's happening:

-- A liquor license application was filed for a new restaurant to go into 7876 Birch Bay Drive, formerly home to Bobby's Dry Dock. The proposed new name is Birch Bay Restaurant and Lounge and the applicant is Karen Winborn.

-- A new restaurant has opened in the former Poor Siamese Café space on 1213 Dupont St. It's called Nok's Thai Cuisine. According to its Facebook page, the restaurant opened on Saturday, April 26, offering a variety of Thai dishes.

-- With Thomas Palmer and his wife Danielle closing the Oyster Creek Inn at 2190 Chuckanut Drive last month, they are not out of the restaurant business. They are opening The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant and Pub at 205 E. Washington St. in LaConner on May 15. Thomas Palmer said a new owner is taking over the Oyster Creek Inn and expects the inn will reopen after some remodeling. Palmer said his new LaConner restaurant will offer a similar style menu, but is adding items such as shepherd's pie and burgers to create a pub feel.

-- I received an update from Shrimp Shack co-owner Sarah James, who said that while they've had some prospective buyers, they have not sold it yet. If they cannot find a buyer, the plan is to close the restaurant at the end of the business day on Saturday, May 24.

The important thing James wanted to let customers know is they are currently open regular hours.

"Many of our customers think we are closed, and we receive many phone calls daily from people asking if we are still here," she said in an email. "Our goal is to find a buyer to keep it going. We have dropped our sale price to well below market value at $50,000."

Restaurant hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Anyone interested in the business can call 360-752-9100.


Here's a look at some of the restaurants scheduled to open later this year:

-- Chipotle: The Mexican restaurant chain is planning to be open in Bellis Fair sometime in the third quarter of 2014.

-- Buffalo Wild Wings: The sports bar chain is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2014.

-- Aslan Brewing: It's getting close... the owners are planning to open sometime this month at 1330 N. Forest St. in Bellingham.

-- Wander Brewing: Also getting close, it's expected to open sometime this month at 1807 Dean Ave. in Bellingham.

Restaurant Update runs monthly in Take Five. Have an update on a Whatcom County restaurant? Send questions or tips to or call 360-715-2269.

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