Business

Longtime Bellingham bridal shop under new ownership

New owner Anna Lorenz helps Amanda Reese try on some wedding dresses at Belle Bridal in downtown Bellingham Thursday, May 26, 2016. Lorenz is also owner of the Glove & Gown bridal shop in Bellingham.
New owner Anna Lorenz helps Amanda Reese try on some wedding dresses at Belle Bridal in downtown Bellingham Thursday, May 26, 2016. Lorenz is also owner of the Glove & Gown bridal shop in Bellingham. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Anna Lorenz is big on providing options for brides, and she will get a chance to expand on that by purchasing a longtime Bellingham business.

Lorenz is acquiring Belle Bridal & Formal Shop, which has been in business for more than 30 years. She currently owns Glove & Gown Bridal Consignment. The ownership change at Belle Bridal takes place Wednesday, June 1, and no other big changes are planned for either business, Lorenz said. She’s taking over for Nicole Croney, who is switching to a wedding planning business.

It was good timing for Lorenz, who was thinking about expanding her current business when this opportunity came up. Belle Bridal sells new dresses while Glove & Gown focuses on consignment, so this will provide more options for customers at either store, she said. This includes helping people on a variety of budgets.

One area she plans to expand into is country-themed weddings, which have grown in popularity locally in recent years because of all the great outdoor venues in the area.

Traditional wedding dresses remain the most common, and now through the summer is the busiest time of year. Taking on a second business right now couldn’t have worked if both stores didn’t have a strong group of employees already in place, Lorenz said.

The most important part of this process is making sure the bride is happy and relatively stress-free during the process.

“I tell the brides that it’s your party, you are not a guest,” Lorenz said. “Our goal is for the customer to enjoy the process, not stress over the details.”

Both stores also offer advice on other wedding services and have other types of formal wear, including prom dresses and tuxedos. Belle Bridal is at 201 W. Holly St., while Glove & Gown is at 1521 Cornwall Ave. For details, visit either the Glove & Gown or Belle Bridal Facebook pages

NEW IBERIAN RESTAURANT OPENS

Miguel Losada enjoys the many different choices in Bellingham’s restaurant scene, so he’s adding his own spice to the downtown district.

Last week Losada had a soft opening for Tasca del Tinto at 111 W. Holly St. It’s in the former Gypsies and Ginger Snaps bakery space, but after several months of remodeling it has a very different look. It’s an Iberian bistro that focuses on small plates, Spanish wine as well as Spanish and local beer. It is currently open for dinner, but he plans on adding a lunch menu this summer. He also plans on regularly having live music, including Flamenco. The restaurant name, by the way, means red wine bar.

In remodeling the space Losada was going for a intimate European bar setting where customers can talk to others at nearby tables. The tapas menu will be constantly changing, he said, giving people a chance to try out different options. Losada plans to have gluten free and veggie options to go with the meat and seafood dishes. Other Spanish and Portugese cuisine also will be served, including paella.

Losada, who served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, started a dance studio with his wife in Oak Harbor before opening this restaurant. He said they’ve always liked Bellingham and the diversity of culture it offers, so he felt his restaurant concept would be a good fit.

“We’re here for the long term,” Losada said. “This is a thrilling town and I want to do something to add to it.”

The restaurant will be open on Memorial Day, but typically it will be open in the evening Tuesday through Saturday. Further details about the restaurant can be found on its Facebook page.

OTHER TIDBITS

Downtown Bellingham will be very busy on Friday, June 3. Along with the naked bike ride event in the afternoon, the district will host the monthly Art Walk as well as the Commercial Street Night Market from 6-10 p.m. The night market will have plenty of vendors, including Spice Hut and CubanoCubano, while the Art Walk will include a chance for the community to check out local art and do some hands-on activites, including using high-tech tools at The Foundry at 1515 N. Forest St. ... Rolling Donuts & Cafe recently opened at 3098 Northwest Ave., across from Yeager’s Sporting Goods. The company’s website indicates the doughnuts are baked fresh each day. ... The Tillie Lace Gallery and School of Fine Art will have a grand opening party 6-9 p.m. Saturday, June 4. The gallery is at 1415 13th St., near the Fairhaven Haggen store. Details can be found at tillielacegallaery.com. ... A tea room opened last month in downtown Bellingham. It is called SAKU and serves tea lattes and a variety of loose-leaf tea. According to its website, it is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 833 N. State St., near the roundabout. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for a new beer/wine specialty shop at 2620 N. Harbor Loop in Bellingham’s Squalicum Harbor. The proposed name is The Salty Life Provisioning Co., and the applicants are Jim and Claudette Johnson.

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