A new breakfast and lunch option is ready to open in Bellingham

Casey and Taria Nagler at their new restaurant, The Birch Door Cafe near Holiday Inn Express on Meridian Street in Bellingham, Thursday, June 15, 2017. The restaurant is opening soon and will serve breakfast and lunch.
Casey and Taria Nagler at their new restaurant, The Birch Door Cafe near Holiday Inn Express on Meridian Street in Bellingham, Thursday, June 15, 2017. The restaurant is opening soon and will serve breakfast and lunch. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

To make sure they got it right when opening their restaurant, Casey and Taria Nagler enlisted family members who know a thing or two about operating a breakfast and lunch eatery.

The Naglers have rebuilt the former Bellingham Beauty School building at 4192 Meridian St. and will open The Birch Door Cafe on Thursday, June 22. Restaurant hours will be 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed on Monday. Breakfast is served all day, while the lunch menu will only be available Tuesday through Friday.

This cafe has ties to several breakfast/lunch eateries around Washington state. Casey’s parents, Billy and Mary Nagler, have operated The Oak Table Cafe in Sequim since 1981. Casey’s sister Nikki McCurdy and her husband Ross operate The Oak Table Cafe in Silverdale, while Casey’s brother Kory Nagler and his wife Rachel operate The Maple Counter Cafe in Walla Walla.

In looking for a restaurant location, Bellingham was high on Casey and Taria’s list as a place to raise a family. Many of their family members who have restaurant experience, along with Taria’s father Mel Hendrickson – a general contractor – have been busy rebuilding the top half of the building. They decided to go with a rebuild on the top half after consulting with an architect and engineer and concluding it would be less complicated than remodeling.

The result is a restaurant layout the Naglers believe will make it easy for customers to get around. The 2,000-square-foot kitchen is as big as the front area, because they will be making all their meals from scratch, right down to the pancake syrup and toppings. The front part of the restaurant seats 126 people and there is a large foyer on the north part of the building. Customers will also notice that much of the features in the restaurant were custom built, right down to the window sills and the solid birch door. With a restaurant this size, it will be able to accommodate large groups and the Naglers plan on making a family friendly atmosphere.

The restaurant has 50 employees.

As for the menu, breakfast and lunch will have a country-style flair. Casey Nagler, who is the head chef, said the specialty is an apple pancake that will be three-and-a-half inches thick. Lunch will include burgers, sandwiches and salads. The restaurant has three pages of menu dedicated to breakfast items – a big part of its operations, particularly on the weekends.

Casey Nagler said they are also making hospitality a major focus, following the tradition of his family members’ restaurants.

“We were raised to believe the customer is a guest,” Casey Nagler said. “We want them to leave happy.”

For details and updates on the opening, visit The Birch Door Cafe’s Facebook page.


A new cafe planning to open in late summer is looking for stories and information about the Bellingham National Bank building.

Jamie Huff, who is opening Blue Koi Coffee at 101 E. Holly St., wants to create a look that is a throwback to the time when the space was home to Bellingham National Bank. She’s currently remodeling the space, trying to restore some of the original design. She’d like to hear stories from longtime residents or see pictures of the interior that she hasn’t already found.

To contact Huff, send an email to bluekoicoffee@outlook.com or send a message through its Facebook page. The cafe plans have a coffee roastery and be open into the evening.


A building permit application was submitted to put in a new business called Cycle Gear at 3960 Meridian St., in the former Plato’s Closet space. According to its website, the company’s focus is on motorcycle accessories. It has three stores in the Seattle area, with the closest one in Lynnwood. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for a new restaurant at 7829 Birch Bay Drive, in the former Via Birch Bay Cafe space. The business name is Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar and the applicants are Yeo-Ok Park and Myung Sun Park. ... Five Columns Restaurant is celebrating 30 years in business this month. To thank customers, it is offering 20 percent off dinner menu entrees through June 30. For details about the Greek restaurant, which is at 1301 E. Maple St., visit fivecolumns.com. ... During the grand opening of its newly remodeled restaurant, McDonald’s raised $5,000. The money went to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.