By Ryan Wynne
Nona Rosa’s may be closed, but 113 E. Magnolia St. didn’t stay quiet for long. Portland, Ore. restaurateur Kyle Lynch and business partner Alexander Moore held a soft opening for The Bistro on Magnolia Street Oct. 10, just about 40 days after Nona Rosa’s closed.
This is Lynch’s third restaurant. He sold his first restaurant in Cannon Beach, Ore. two years ago and currently owns Everett Street Bistro in Portland, which he is planning to sell so he can focus on his Bellingham endeavor. He and Moore didn’t move to Bellingham just to open a restaurant, though.
“It was more that we decided to move to Bellingham and the restaurant was just something that evolved,” Moore said. “I think that Bellingham is a total gem.”
The restaurant is loosely French inspired, but still very much an American bistro, Moore said. A grand opening celebration will be held Oct. 16 and marked with free cheese tasting and complementary orders of Danish pancakes.
The menu contains everything from Hungarian mushroom soup, steak tartare and caramelized onion tarts, to macaroni and cheese, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. In addition to your everyday and not-so-everyday lunch fare, The Bistro also serves a variety of breakfast items, including egg scrambles and corned beef and hash.
When asked to categorize the food served at the restaurant, Moore summed it up with two words: “Crowd pleasers,” he said.
In addition to pleasing patrons with their menu items, Moore and Lynch may also please customers and local farmers with their focus on local ingredients.
“We could get lettuce from California, or we could get lettuce from five miles away,” Moore said. “We are in a very productive region and we want to honor that and celebrate it.”
Buying from local growers helps to ensure money earned locally is spent locally, it allows them to connect to local farmers and fresh food just tastes better, Moore said. The move to buy locally produced food is gaining momentum in Bellingham, Moore said, and it’s thriving in Portland.
Supporting a strong local food system is important to Moore — so much so that at college he created his own degree that combined urban planning and food systems. He also has a knack for sweets and will be designing the dessert menu soon. And, once The Bistro expands its hours, those desserts will be served on the late-night, limited menu, which will also include coffee, cocktails and shared plates, Lynch said.
For now, The Bistro is open every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m, but Moore said they want to start serving dinner by early November. After that they will further expand their hours and, on the second Sunday of every month, begin hosting a family-style dinner and a movie with a “kid-friendly” early showing and more adult-oriented film later in the evening.
For more information, call (360) 255-2050. The website, bistromagnolia.com, will be up soon.