New Bellingham bar in planning stages, cafe gets remodel and free comics are coming

Building permit applications were submitted to put a bar in the State Street Place building, near the Leaf & Ladle restaurant
Building permit applications were submitted to put a bar in the State Street Place building, near the Leaf & Ladle restaurant The Bellingham Herald

This week’s dining news includes:

A Bellingham building permit application was submitted to put in a bar at 1107 N. State St., next to Leaf & Ladle.

The Birch Bay Cafe is undergoing a major remodel and is aiming for a reopening sometime in May, according to a post on its Facebook page. The cafe is at 7608 Birch Bay Drive, near The C Shop.

The property formerly home to Johnny’s Donuts at 2201 Cornwall Ave. is up for sale. According to the RE/MAX Whatcom County listing, one possibility for the property is redeveloping it into apartment or commercial buildings. Johnny’s Donuts quietly closed earlier this year and hasn’t reopened.

And in other retail tipsheet news:

The Comics Place is gearing up for the May 4 Free Comic Book Day with a Star Wars theme, given that it is the Star Wars franchise’s unofficial holiday (May The Fourth Be With You). Along with thousands of comics, The Comics Place will give out some Star Wars action figures to the first group of under-12 attendees, according to a Facebook post.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the store, which is at 105 E. Holly St.

Bellingham Travel & Cruise is moving to a new location and will be under new ownership. Longtime employee Robin Holbert is purchasing the business, which is currently at 200 W. Chestnut St., from Frank Zurline. Zurline bought an interest in the business in 1977 and has been the sole owner since 1995.

Holbert will be moving the business to 1801 Roeder Ave., in the Harbor Center next to the Port of Bellingham offices. In a news release, Holbert said she chose that location because it is still near downtown and offers free parking. The new location is expected to be ready on May 7. Until then, the Chestnut location will remain open through April 30.

Zurline will continue to sell travel with the company along with all the Bellingham Travel’s current agents.

Regular office hours will remain 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are suggested by calling 360-733-1270.

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