Longtime downtown Bellingham art supply store moving into bigger space

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 12, 2014 

0713 Retailtipsheet Dakota Art

Sales person Jill Patterson, left, helps customer Marylee LeCocq shop for oil paint at Dakota Art Store, 1415 Cornwall Ave. in Bellingham, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The art supply store is moving and will open a block away at 1322 Cornwall Ave. on July 16.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

The move won't be far, but Dakota Art Store customers will see some big changes when the store reopens Wednesday, July 16, at 1322 Cornwall Ave.

The company closed its store at 1415 Cornwall Ave. at the end of the day on Saturday, July 12. Employees will use the next few days to move thousands of art supply products to the former space of the Assistance League of Bellingham.

At 3,100 square feet, the retail floor will be only slightly bigger than the old location, but it will have a larger classroom as well as a new art gallery. The goal with the move is to make it more of a flagship store, said Alan Weydert, the Bellingham store manager. The company also has a facility in Mount Vernon and a smaller store in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

"Bellingham has been good for us," Weydert said. "So we want to get in more products, a larger classroom and a gallery so we can be even more involved with the art community."

The Bellingham store has been in the downtown district for 20 years, moving into a bigger space with each move. The store's growth has been steady, Weydert said, attracting a wide demographic of customers. Along with a fair amount of college students, the store sees children and adults stopping in to stock up on supplies.

Art supplies that have recently grown in popularity at Dakota include markers for comics and illustrations, as well as artist-grade spray paint and aerosols for murals and large-scale canvas projects.

Once the store reopens in its new space, regular hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The store will have a grand opening Saturday, July 26, coinciding with the Downtown Sidewalk Sale. The gallery is expected to be ready for the monthly downtown art walk on Friday, Aug. 1, featuring work from Dakota Art staff.

For details and updates on the move, check out the Dakota Art Store- Bellingham Facebook page.

OTHER TIDBITS

-- Trader Joe's has submitted a building permit to expand into the former Sportsman Chalet space at Sunnyland Square. According to the submitted plans, the grocery store would add 2,336 square feet of space in the east side of the building, leaving the storefront side available for lease. Trader Joe's plans to use the space as a stock room and employee break area.

-- A state liquor license application was submitted to put in an eatery called Indi Thai Restaurant at 505 32nd St., in the Viking Plaza retail center near the Sehome Village Shopping Center. The applicant is Dilawar Singh.

-- A building permit was filed for tenant improvement work at 2031 Grant St. to put in a fitness club called CrossfitX.

-- National clothing retailer Burlington had its exterior signs installed at the former Cost Cutter building on Meridian Street, but an opening date has yet to be announced. When the company announced last spring it was opening a 73,000-square-foot store in Bellingham, it said it was aiming for a fall opening.

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive and The Steak House at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa were on Wine Spectator's list of 2014 Restaurant Awards, which highlights eateries with the best wine selection. The full list is available when the August issue of the magazine hits newsstands on Tuesday, July 22. It also can be found on winespectator.com by hitting the restaurant search link.

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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