Restaurant News & Reviews

Restaurant Update: Eating local a trend for 2016, report says

The Bellingham Herald

A trend taking place in Whatcom County for a while appears to be gaining in popularity across the country.

A recent report by the online site Restaurant Business took a look at possible restaurant trends in 2016, and near the top of the list is finding new ways to support local products. The article suggests that restaurant customers are increasingly likely to not only support food that comes from local farms, but from local businesses as well. That includes bringing in more area musicians or locally made desserts from other businesses.

With a strong “buy local” movement in Whatcom County, customers are already accustomed to this trend. One example is some of the local breweries, which focus on making beer and also host local food trucks and musicians.

Other trends mentioned in the report include improved technology when it comes to ordering, and an increased emphasis on community involvement.

Here’s a roundup of recent Whatcom County restaurant activity:

▪  The Bagelry soon will be under new ownership, but the bagels will remain very much the same. After 31 years, Ken and Marguerite Ryan have decided to sell the bagel business to two longtime employees. Aaron and Terra Seaton will officially take over ownership on Jan. 1.

In the coming weeks, the Ryans will work with the new owners on all aspects of the business at 1319 Railroad Ave., showing what has made it a success all these years.

Ken said that when they began planning to sell the business, they wanted to make sure it went to someone who would keep the Bagelry tradition alive, and they thought Aaron and Terra would be the best fit. He wasn’t sure they would be interested, but as he started talking to them about it, he was relieved to find they weren’t saying “no.”

“When we started the store and researched equipment, we wanted to make the very best bagel that we could,” Ken said. “We feel fortunate to have Aaron and Terra continue that tradition.”

The Seatons are Western Washington University graduates who enjoy the food business and want to stay in Bellingham. They won’t make any drastic changes, Aaron said, and certainly won’t change the recipe for bagels.

“It’s an historic part of downtown,”Aaron said. “We feel like we’re custodians of The Bagelry.”

▪  John and Wendy DeFreest, owners of Avenue Bread, have applied for a state liquor license to put in a restaurant/bar in the former AW Asian Bistro space at 1138 Finnegan Way. The establishment is called The Filling Station, and on its Facebook page it portrays itself as a burger joint, with plans for a late-October opening.

▪  A liquor license was submitted for a nightclub called Kickin’ A Saloon & Dance Hall at 5225 Industrial Place, in the industrial park near Barron Heating & Air Conditioning, southeast of Ferndale. The applicant is Jesslyn Anderson.

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.