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New climbing wall is a key part to remodel of Bellingham cafe

Kyle Fugier, business manager for Skookum Kids, demonstrates one of many games on an augmented climbing wall by Valo Motion at Perch and Play on Tuesday, Aug. 1, in Bellingham.
Kyle Fugier, business manager for Skookum Kids, demonstrates one of many games on an augmented climbing wall by Valo Motion at Perch and Play on Tuesday, Aug. 1, in Bellingham. eabell@bhamherald.com

A Bellingham cafe known as a hangout for children has finished a major makeover that includes a climbing wall.

Perch and Play will have a grand re-opening on Monday, Aug. 7 following a month-long renovation. One of the key new features is an augmented climbing wall, which uses graphics and body-tracking equipment to create interactive games and training exercises. Perch and Play also has a cafe, giving parents a place to relax while children enjoy an indoor play area.

The re-opening celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. At 5 p.m. the climbing wall will be open for adults only to try out.

“I’m really excited to see how excited kids are when they see something built just for them,” said Kyle Fugier, business manager at Perch and Play, in a news release. “This is not a huge project that was built for some business to make a lot of money, we built this for the kids to enjoy.”

The cafe was purchased in January by the nonprofit organization Skookum Kids, which was founded by Ray Deck III. The organization focuses on caring for Whatcom County foster children and those transitioning into foster care. While open to the public, Perch and Play is meant to also be a de facto watering hole for foster parents. Along with Perch and Play, the organization’s other programs are Skookum House and Skookum Parents.

“Our other programs are by necessity extremely private,” Deck said. “It can be tough when you can’t tell people where your office is to find the broad base of support that’s required to grow something. Perch and Play gives us a public front door.”

After the re-opening, Perch and Play will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer. Details about the cafe and play area can be found at perchandplay.com. For information about Skookum Kids, go to Skookumkids.org.

FAIRHAVEN RESTAURANT CHANGES NAME

Aloha Poke in Fairhaven is changing its name after receiving a cease-and-desist order from a company that has a trademark. That company is based in Chicago and has several restaurants with that name.

David Jacobsen, owner of the Fairhaven restaurant, decided not to fight the order and took to Facebook to get suggestions for a name change. One Facebook follower suggest Fairhaven Poke, and Jacobsen decided to go with that.

“We love being in Fairhaven and thought this would be the most logical choice,” Jacobsen said.

The Fairhaven restaurant is hitting its first-year anniversary this month. It features fresh Hawaiian Ahi tuna, shipped in via air cargo on Alaska Airlines. It is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and is also at the Saturday Bellingham Farmer’s Market.

OTHER TIDBITS

HomeSkillet announced on its Facebook page that it has ended its Nightskillet dinners and will remain focused on its breakfast and brunch menu. ... A Bellingham building permit application was submitted for a barber shop at 2500 Cedarwood Ave. That building was formerly home to a book store. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for a restaurant/lounge at 311 E. Holly St., in the Odd Fellow Building. The proposed name is The Orion and the applicants are Jonathan McIntyre and Sean McKee. ... A Bellingham city building permit was submitted for a 4,150-square-foot addition at 4050 Hammer Drive, home to Mobile Floor Coverings, Inc. warehouse. ... A permit was also submitted for a new theater and lobby for the iDiom Theater at 205 Prospect St. The organization moved into that space last fall and has been doing a capital campaign for the project. ... Spirit Halloween has applied for a permit to do some interior work at 4145 Meridian St. for its seasonal costume store. ... Melvin Brewing will soon be open for lunch. The brewery at 2416 Meridian St. will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week starting on Monday, Aug. 14. Along with 20 beers on tap, lunch items are American pub fare, including burgers and chicken wings. Details can be found at melvinbrewing.com. ... According to the DiscoverFerndale.com, Cedar’s Restaurant & Lounge at 2019 Main St. recently completed an outdoor patio project. It seats 30 people and comes after recent updates were made to the menu. ... A proposal to build an 11,200-square-foot auto body shop and a covered car wash bay was recently submitted to the Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department. The proposed project is at 4114 Marblemount Lane, near Hannegan and East Bakerview roads. Comments on the project are due Aug. 11 and can be sent to city planner Ryan Nelson at rnelson@cob.org. ... Maikham restaurant had its last day at 1311 N. State St. on Friday, July 29. The restaurant is planning to move into a new place, with the address to be announced at a later date, according to a post on Facebook. The restaurant’s catering service is still available for its Thai and Lao cuisine. ... CHS Northwest announced that it plans to close the Blaine Ace hardware store in Blaine at the end of August. The store is at 1733 H St. In a news release the company said the drop-off in Canadian traffic reached a point that it could no longer “financially maintain the Blaine store.” The store is currently having a liquidation sale. ... A Bellingham building permit application was submitted for a new cafe called Big Love Juice at 1144 10th St., near the South Bay Trail and the Village Green.

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