After a relatively quiet stretch at the start of summer, it’s been a busy few months for restaurant openings.
I counted eight restaurant openings in Bellingham since July, with several more on tap to open in the coming weeks. Late summer is typically when many restaurants open, because they have a chance to get going during a generally slower time of year. Fall is usually when things pick up again, as college students return and residents are back from summer trips.
Is Whatcom County reaching a saturation point of eating and drinking places? The county had 467 eating and drinking establishments in the first quarter of 2016, up 14 from a year earlier, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue. That’s more than Kitsap (456 eating and drinking establishments) and Yakima (422), which have higher county populations. Thurston County, which also has a larger population, has 485 eating and drinking establishments.
Skagit County, with its smaller population, had 292 eating and drinking places in the first quarter.
Here is an update on what has happened in the past month:
▪ Work is nearly complete on Zane Burger, which is going into the former Win’s Drive-In building at 1315 12th St., Fairhaven. The plan is to open Zane Burger before the end of September, said Kim Mindnich, general manager.
Customers will see some similarities to the prior business when Zane Burger opens. Many of the basics return to the menu, including hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and shakes. The restaurant will still have its walk-up window.
▪ A building permit was submitted to put in a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop at 2940 Newmarket St., Suite 103.
▪ A new restaurant is coming to the Bellis Fair Food Court this fall. Work is underway to open Samuel’s Grill, which will be near Express Japan, said Bellis Fair General Manager Rene Morris. Morris described it as a Mediterranean restaurant that should open sometime in October.
▪ Briana and Julius Stoker recently opened Brotha Dudes at 202 E. Holly St., in the former Black Pearl space facing Railroad Avenue. The restaurant offers a large vegetarian menu that includes salads, wraps and a falafel sandwich. The eatery also has a few items for the carnivore, including a Brotha Ruben and a Dudes Sandwich.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For information, call 360-933-1927 or visit Brotha Dudes’ Facebook page.
▪ Several changes have taken place at the Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel. Poppe’s 360 Neighborhood Pub in the hotel recently added lunch and is now open 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. each day. With the change, minors are allowed in the dining area for lunch and dinner. Chinuk, a restaurant in Four Points, is now open only for breakfast, 6-11 a.m. daily.