Business

A Whatcom burger expansion, a cat cafe is coming and a move for Big Lots

Grant’s Burgers, which already has locations in Ferndale and Lynden, is planning to open in Bellingham in mid-March. The location is the former site of To & Go Burgers and Wings and Morrie’s Drive-In on Birchwood Avenue.
Grant’s Burgers, which already has locations in Ferndale and Lynden, is planning to open in Bellingham in mid-March. The location is the former site of To & Go Burgers and Wings and Morrie’s Drive-In on Birchwood Avenue. The Bellingham Herald file

Here’s the latest Retail Tipsheet on what’s happening in Whatcom County:

Grant’s Burgers is coming to Bellingham. The restaurant, which has locations in Ferndale and Lynden, is planning to open in the former To-and-Go (or Morrie’s) spot at 2601 Birchwood Ave. around mid-March, said owner Kim Grant Fox by Facebook Messenger. The Bellingham spot will have the same menu, including its traditional Fish Fry on Fridays. It will also have the same format with a walk-up window for those ordering on the go, or you can go inside and sit down to enjoy the meal.

Grant’s Burgers has been in Whatcom County since 1964, started by Fox’s parents, Russ and Lynda Grant. Grant’s in Ferndale closed in 2008, but the family decided to reopen it in 2009 after Russ Grant died. That led to the opening of the Lynden location in 2011.

Neko, a Seattle cat cafe, announced plans to open a similar operation in downtown Bellingham later this year. According to the company’s website, Neko will offer adoptable cats, coffee, beer, wine and snacks. Cat cafes typically have a separate room so customers with a reservation can hang out and play with the pets.

The cafe has formed a partnership with the Whatcom Humane Society to help show off cats available for adoption.

“We think it will be a fantastic opportunity and a great way for even more homeless cats in our community to find wonderful new homes,” said Laura Clark, director of the Whatcom Humane Society, in an email.

Big Lots is making plans to move into the former Albertson’s grocery store space at 1650 Birchwood Ave., according to building permit applications submitted to the city. An employee at the Bellingham store referred all questions to the corporate office, which did not return messages left last week. The store is currently in the same shopping center at 1524 Birchwood Ave.

A state liquor license application was submitted for Drayton Harbor Oyster Company Store to move into 685 Peace Portal Drive in Blaine. It is currently nearby at 677 Peace Portal Drive., but is planning to move into the newly renovated building, according to The Northern Light newspaper in Blaine.

Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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