Restaurant News & Reviews

Bellingham resident takes over longtime Lakeway cafe

Meet new owner at Rhodes Cafe

Rhodes Cafe owner Brian Dujmovich at the Lakeway Center in Bellingham, Thursday, March 31, 2016.
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Rhodes Cafe owner Brian Dujmovich at the Lakeway Center in Bellingham, Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Brian Dujmovich has always wanted to run a restaurant, so he couldn’t believe the opportunity when the place where he was a regular customer for 11 years came up for sale.

Dujmovich and his longtime girlfriend/business partner Lorrie Reaves took over ownership of Rhodes Cafe at the beginning of the year. The breakfast and lunch eatery is in the Lakeway Center at 1046 Lakeway Drive. George and Judy Moularis opened the cafe 19 years ago, naming it after a Greek island and maintaining a consistent style while staying somewhat under the radar at the Lakeway Center.

Dujmovich, who was born and raised in Bellingham, left the area twice for job reasons. He was in Bellingham between 1999 and 2010, during which the Rhodes Cafe was his family’s go-to choice for breakfast. He moved away in 2010 for a job but soon wanted to find a way to move back to Bellingham. When he saw a for-sale listing for Rhodes Cafe, he knew this was his chance to be a restaurant owner.

He’s kept nearly all of the original menu and is making plans to add to it. He recently started using Tony’s Coffee and added a gluten-free bread option. He said with the Moularises’ help, it’s been a smooth transition. The biggest surprise for him in becoming a restaurant owner is that he’s had to become a jack-of-all-trades, learning how to deal with stubborn kitchen equipment and plumbing.

For the most part though, he’s excited about the choice he made. Working in the kitchen, to him it feels like people are over at his house.

“It’s so fun to be back there cooking and hearing people laughing and having fun,” Dujmovich said.

He’s also getting ready for the influx of traffic in the center when Whole Foods opens on Wednesday, May 11.

“There are a lot of people who might not see us because that store has been closed a while, so I’m excited to have a full parking lot,” Dujmovich said.

For further details about the cafe, visit its Facebook page.

▪  The pasta restaurant The Table announced on its Facebook page that its last day will be Saturday, April 16.

According to the post, the closure of the restaurant at 100 N. Commercial St. will allow owner Katie Hinton to focus on her other company, Bellingham Pasta Company.

It also was announced that the space will have a new owner. Tim Shea is opening a restaurant called Hundred North, according to the post. A state liquor license application was recently filed for the restaurant in that name.

▪  A state liquor license restaurant application was submitted for 1345 Gulf Road in Point Roberts, in the former Café Capanna space. The proposed new business name is Saltwater Café, and the applicant is Tamra Hansen.

▪  Avenue Bread opened last month in the Waples Mercantile Building at 444 Front St. in Lynden.

▪  Cosmos Bistro at 1151 N. State St. in the Herald Building has extended its hours, adding a happy hour period 3-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Restaurant Update runs monthly in Take Five. Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269,, @BhamHeraldBiz