Popular Bellingham bistro to close this weekend

A popular neighborhood hangout soon will close, but the owner hopes someone else will soon reopen it with their own vision.

The Fountain Bistro’s last day of business will be Saturday, Dec. 13. Owner Jill Holmes said she wanted to pursue a few other projects and has made the building at 1910 Broadway available for sale or lease.

“A restaurant is an all-encompassing venture; you really can’t do anything else,” Holmes said.

Opening the Fountain five years ago was quite a task in itself, converting a longtime fast-food restaurant into a bistro that Holmes wanted the nearby neighborhoods to enjoy. The Fountain saw a wide range of customers, including families from around the neighborhood and outside of Bellingham. The bistro offered a variety of food over the years to fit the tastes of the customers, including wine, local coffee, European-style meals and a variety of comfort food dishes.

“The purpose was to make something for them (the customers),” Holmes said. “That’s what I think was the beauty of this place. They made it their own.”

Holmes is optimistic that a new owner will be found. Soon after making the announcement on Monday, Dec. 8, Holmes already was getting some inquiries about taking over the space.

She is hoping that during the final few days the regulars will drop in for a final visit, particularly to say goodbye to the employees.

“I really appreciate the employees that have done so much to make this work,” Holmes said, adding that with the employees and customers, it’s been a fun experience watching children growing up and other big life events.

One reminder of the building’s history is a painting of KFC’s Colonel Sanders, which hangs in the Fountain. Without the picture as a hint, new customers probably wouldn’t realize that the building used to be a KFC restaurant. It’s something she hopes to pass along to the next owner.

“I’ll throw the colonel in the deal free of charge,” she said with a laugh.

For those interested in the building itself, the listing agents are Kim and Joe Kwan, who can be reached at 360-927-1035 or kimandjoe9@gmail.com.