Business

While one downtown restaurant has closed, an unusual cafe is getting closer to opening

Here’s a roundup of retail activity around Whatcom County:

The Station Social House at 1327 N. State St. has closed after a brief run. The space is now available for lease, according to Kirk Sorensen, who handles maintenance for the building. He noted that much of the equipment is in place and can be a turn-key start-up.

The Social House opened earlier this summer, taking over for the Copper Hog, which closed in 2017, then reopened briefly in 2018.

For leasing details on that space, call Sorensen at 360-990-9473.

Remodeling is underway for the NEKO Cat Cafe at 1130 Cornwall Ave., near Trek Bicycle Bellingham.

Co-owner Caitlin Unsell said they don’t have an exact opening date yet, but are aiming for late December or early January. The feedback so far has been tremendous; she’s already received hundreds of job applications and a lot of people are counting the days to meet the cats, she said.

The business will have a similar format as the NEKO spot in Seattle: Customers will have a chance to hang out with cats while also enjoying a cafe setting that also has beer and wine. The cat space area will be about twice the size of the Seattle location.

The cafe has already formed a partnership with the Whatcom Humane Society to showcase the cats available for adoption.

For updates, check out NEKO’s Facebook page.

At the former Bob’s Burgers & Brew restaurant space in downtown Bellingham, a sign recently posted on the front door states that it will soon be a beer pub featuring Korean-style fried chicken.

The Bob’s space, which is on the corner of East Holly Street and Railroad Avenue, was open for 13 years before closing in June.

PetStop announced on Facebook that it is planning for a Wednesday, Nov. 20, opening of its Sudden Valley location. This will be the second location for the local pet supply store, which is also at Sehome Village Shopping Center.

The Sudden Valley space is at 1941 Lake Whatcom Blvd., near Tino’s Pizza & Pasta.

A Bellingham city building permit was submitted for a mixed-use building at 1305 Larrabee Ave., near the Fairhaven Haggen. According to the permit, it will have 10 residential apartment units and some office space.

A husband-and-wife team have started a new business fixing fitness machines.

Michael and Dawn Lee operate Fitness Machine Technicians, which focuses on maintenance and repair of exercise equipment for commercial and residential customers.

The business is based in Mount Vernon, but they plan on focusing on the Whatcom County area, according to a news release.

For details, call 425-366-7773 or visit the company’s website.

The Slo Pitch Sports Grill and Casino had a successful 100% donation day on Nov. 5, raising more than $19,000 for the nonprofit Skookum Kids. That’s the highest one-day total in the 10 years they’ve been doing it. Jas and Saroj Gill take one day a year to donate all the food and beverage sales to a local nonprofit.

Throwing itself into the holiday spirit, the recently opened Kay Cake Designs is hosting a couple of gingerbread house decorating parties. The bakery will provide the supplies for customers at $40 per house. The first is on Saturday, Nov. 23, and the second is two weeks later.

The bakery is at 1206 Cornwall Ave. Details can be found on Facebook.

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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.
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