Business

Bellingham has the local, relaxed vibe these Seattle restaurateurs were looking for

Luke Shifflette makes a "Naked and Famous" Thursday at Saltine, 114 Prospect St., in the former Real McCoy space. The new restaurant's small menu aims for American comfort food using Pacific Northwest ingredients but with an international flair.
Luke Shifflette makes a "Naked and Famous" Thursday at Saltine, 114 Prospect St., in the former Real McCoy space. The new restaurant's small menu aims for American comfort food using Pacific Northwest ingredients but with an international flair. evan.abell@bellinghamherald.com

A couple of Seattle restaurateurs are aiming to capture the local, easy-going vibe with a new Bellingham restaurant.

On May 15, Craig Serbousek and Valerie Markus opened Saltine at 114 Prospect St., in the former Real McCoy space. The small menu aims for American comfort food using Pacific Northwest ingredients but with an international flair, Markus said. One example is a a chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto that is already popular here because it was favorite in Seattle.

The couple has more than 40 years experience in the restaurant and wine industries. Serbousek is the former owner of two Queen Anne neighborhood eateries, Crow Restaurant & Bar and Betty Restaurant & Bar. Markus spent the last 15 years as the Washington/Alkaska manager for the wine importer Vineyard Brands.

Markus said Serbousek has wanted to move out of Seattle for some time, to be in a more close-knit community. When Markus came to the same conclusion, they began looking for areas that might want the style of restaurant they would be offering and found themselves in Bellingham.

The owners have kept the location's full-service bar, offering craft cocktails, wine and beer.

Markus said they want the restaurant to be more a place for everyday enjoyment, so they have a no-reservations policy. Menu item prices are in the $8.50-$20 range for main dishes.

Restaurant hours are 4 p.m. to closing Tuesday through Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday. Further details about Saltine Bellingham can be found on its Facebook page or its website.

In other restaurant/bar news:

Melvin Brewing has opened its tap room in Fairhaven. According to its website, it will have eight taps and offer a small food menu. Hours are 2-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 2-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Ciao Thyme is offering food demonstrations at the opening of the Fairhaven Farmers Market from 5-5:30 p.m. on June 6. The demonstration will focus on preparing appetizers and mocktails, using ingredients from market vendors.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz
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