A landmark downtown restaurant won’t be reopening and is having a liquidation sale on Friday, Jan. 9.
Babe’s Place at 2038 Main St. suffered damage from an electrical fire in November and won’t be re-opening because of a landlord-tenant dispute, said Dawn DiLorenzo, who owns the restaurant with her brother, Oliver Alexander. The owner of the building, Alex Hernandez, could not be reached for comment. A phone message was left for Hernandez, who also operates the nearby Chihuahua Restaurant.
DiLorenzo has scheduled an auction at the restaurant from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, selling a variety of restaurant equipment along with some of the memorabilia collected over the years. The auction is being organized by Eartha Kitty’s Estate Sales & Appraisal.
DiLorenzo plans on keeping on some of the items with the hope that she will reopen Babe’s Place in another building in Ferndale.
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“Most of all I want to thank my customers. There were like family to me,” said DiLorenzo. “It was an honor having the opportunity to have this restaurant.”
For years the restaurant was known as a community gathering place. It had a standing offer to serve breakfast to Ferndale High School football players on game day and became one rallying area for the community during Ferndale’s run to the 3A state football championship in 2005.
Ferndale High School head football coach Jamie Plenkovich said the breakfast tradition started well before he began coaching the team 11 years ago.
“They always treated the kids very well,” Plenkovich said. “It was a cool thing for the community.”
DiLorenzo and Alexander purchased the restaurant from Kim and Dave Mateer in 2013. Seven years earlier the Mateers purchased it from Babe Perez, who had renamed the restaurant Babe’s Place in 2000, according to a previous article in The Bellingham Herald.
After the fire in November, DiLorenzo said they worked to repair the damage but in the end they lost the lease for the building. That was a blow to DiLorenzo, who for years worked at the restaurant as an employee and grew up in Whatcom County.
“It’s hard to sell anything, but we won’t give up,” DiLorenzo said on the prospect of bringing back Babe’s Place to Ferndale.