Longtime downtown Bellingham restaurant expands menu, adds lunch hours
Nearly a year after moving into a brick-and-mortar space, Marc Ravaris is already taking El Capitan’s to the next level.
What started out as a late-night location at 1201 Cornwall Ave. now has expanded hours for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. It also has an expanded food menu; beer, wine and cider options; and outdoor seating.
Along with the gourmet sausages and pretzels, the new menu has vegan options, air-fryer fries and chili.
Sales are growing at the pirate-themed restaurant and its customer base is broader from the days when Ravaris had a late-night stand on Railroad Avenue from 2007-2018, or when he first opened El Capitan’s on vendor’s row at Western Washington University in 2003.
“I didn’t realize just how popular this place would be with families,” Ravaris said, adding that the low price point for the amount of food he offers has been bringing in more families.
The late-night crowd has also changed over the years. People are still going out to drink at bars in the evening, but, he said, they seem to be doing activities such as late-night dining or dancing.
“People, in general, are more sober and less rowdy” than they used to be, he said.
The Cornwall location has increased sales since it opened last May even though it moved farther away from some bars and closer to others. It is bittersweet for him to lose some of his Leopold Retirement regulars after it closed, but he does see more opportunity for growth as the apartments and hotel open later this year in the remodeled facility.