Business

Bow adding to its foodie reputation with new restaurant

BowEdison Fine Food and Drink employee Coli Huffman, center, laughs with customers Jean Youngren and Bill Youngren during happy hour at BowEdison Fine Food and Drink on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Bow.
BowEdison Fine Food and Drink employee Coli Huffman, center, laughs with customers Jean Youngren and Bill Youngren during happy hour at BowEdison Fine Food and Drink on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Bow. eabell@bhamherald.com

For those who make the trip south to Bow and Edison to try out the food, there’s another eatery that may land on the must-visit list.

Last week the BowEdison Fine Food and Drink opened at 5545 Chuckanut Drive, near the Rhododendron Café. It offers brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends and dinners every day except Tuesday. The menu features a variety of locally sourced, farm-to-table dishes. Examples currently on the menu include baked oyster gratin, pulled pork pasta, king salmon, burgers and steak. Brunch items range from fried bologna and egg sandwich to avocado tartine to speculoos pancakes and quinoa-oatmeal brulee. The bread in the meals is from nearby BreadFarm.

The restaurant was started by Marty Bracken, who lives in Bellingham and has experience running destination restaurants, including the Agate Pass Café in downtown Suquamish. Also on staff is chef Michael Stocklin and general manager Bridget McShane.

McShane said the original plan was to open something in Bellingham, but they couldn’t find a place that fit. They found it in Bow, in a building that had been empty for three years but had special memories to the community as a variety of businesses, including a convenience store.

“It’s been so nice to watch the faces of the locals coming in to see what it looks like,” McShane said. “Many said they are so happy something like this is here.”

McShane said they are also grateful that so many residents have reached out, offering to help. As they were getting started with the remodeling, McShane said she remembers the owners of Blanchard Mountain Farm asking them what kind of ingredients they might want so they could start planting in time for the opening.

One unusual aspect to this restaurant is that it will be a no-tipping establishment. A decision was made to pay higher wages to the kitchen staff, while the waitstaff start at around $11 an hour and are part of a revenue sharing program, McShane said. A variety of reasons were factored into this decision to not have tips, including making sure employees were paid fairly and that disagreements didn’t develop about who should get what share of the tips.

McShane said she expects to spend a lot of time explaining this to new customers because tipping is so ingrained, but she said the employees are already on board.

“I thought I might have to sell this to new employees, but they are excited about the fact they don’t have to fight (over tips),” she said.

With several eateries, bakeries and farms, the area is becoming a foodie place, with people making day trips up from Seattle, McShane said. BowEdison is hoping to add to it, but they also know catering to locals is the key, particularly in the fall and winter months.

“Locals will be the lifeblood to this business,” McShane said, noting that children and families are welcome.

The restaurant has 65 seats so it shouldn’t be a problem for people to get a seat fairly quickly, McShane said. Just in case, though, there is an online reservation system in place. The restaurant also has two outdoor seating areas.

Prices for entrees range start around $17, with many between $20-$30.

For further details about the restaurant or to make a reservation, visit bowedison.com.

DICK’S SPORTING GOODS SUBMITS PLANS FOR BELLIS FAIR SPACE

Last week Dick’s Sporting Goods submitted an application to renovate much of the former Sports Authority space.

Dick’s Sporting Goods was the high bidder on 31 Sports Authority leases across the U.S., including the one in Bellingham. Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and eventually had to sell off many of its assets through an auction.

The sporting goods store will occupy about 50,000 square feet of the space, with the remaining 30,620 square feet belonging to Bellis Fair, said Rene Morris, the mall’s general manager. It’s considered an extensive remodel, so it may be around June 2017 when the store opens, she said.

OTHER TIDBITS

Michael’s Books, which closed last year, is having a liquidation sale at its old storefront at 109 Grand Ave. According to its Facebook page, books are 50 percent off marked price. The sale goes through Saturday, Dec. 24, and the liquidation sale hours are currently noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. ... Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen has tapped into its fall season brew called Chuckanut Smoke Porter. According to a news release, it uses a German beechwood smoked malt that gives it an espresso-like flavor. It’s on tap at its Bellingham and Burlington operations as well as in a few other places around Bellingham.

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