Jalapenos owner bringing a different flavor to his next Bellingham restaurant

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 31, 2014 

Jesse Cantu is known in Whatcom County for his Jalapenos restaurants, but soon he will show off another side to his cooking with a new restaurant.

Cantu has started work on Luna's Bistro, which will be near the Barkley Regal Cinema Stadium 16 movie theater, next to The Woods Coffee.

The bistro will focus on French, Italian and American food for lunch and dinner, being a family friendly place to eat before and after movies, Cantu said. Remodeling work has just begun, and the plan is to have the restaurant ready by Aug. 15.

Cantu operates the three Jalapenos restaurants as well as a taco truck. Before opening his first Jalapenos restaurant on Holly Street in 1998, Cantu worked in a variety of other restaurant and catering positions, creating different dishes.

"I really like the wining and dining experience at an affordable price," Cantu said.

Helping him launch the restaurant is Michael Leaver, hired as the executive chef.

At this point they are still working on the menu, but Cantu expects to include meals like pasta, pizza and steak. They also will have a martini bar and be open late, possibly until midnight on weekend nights.

The Jalapenos taco truck, by the way, is now available for catering events. Cantu said they want to use the truck more often for family events like birthdays and weddings. For details about the truck, call 360-778-2045.

OTHER TIDBITS

-- Dashi Noodle Bar at 1311 N. State St. has closed. A sign on the door reads, "Dashi had a good run, but we made the difficult decision to cease our operations, Saturday, May 24, 2014. We met a lot of nice people, created raving fans of our noodles and steamed buns, and made many good friends in the process. We also learned some valuable life and business lessons." Dashi opened in January 2013.

-- Burk Ridge Farms in Custer has submitted a building permit application to put in a butcher shop and retail store at 4131 Hannegan Road, Suite 101.

-- A liquor license application was submitted for new owners of The Black Cat. Sam and Debra Tino: Jill Cotton, Robert Cotton, Cassandra Wright and Kyle Bornstein are buying the Fairhaven restaurant with plans to do major remodeling, though it will remain The Black Cat. Though Sam Tino is involved, the purchase has no effect on his current restaurant, Mambo Italiano. Mambo will continue to operate as usual.

-- The Glass Guru has opened a franchise office in Bellingham. The company specializes in window restoration and replacement, including getting rid of the moisture between window panes. The Bellingham franchise owners are Eric and Keahi Brown and can be reached at 360-927-9395.

The restaurant being purchased by Sam and Debra Tino: Jill Cotton, Robert Cotton, Cassandra Wright and Kyle Bornstein was corrected June 2.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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