Fairhaven business moving to bigger location

   Jennifer Leigh Bridal is moving from a small space in Sycamore Square to a 4,500-square-foot salon and design studio in the Harris Square Building at 10th and Harris Avenue.
   The company is scheduled to be in its new location by November.
Jennifer Leigh Bridal currently sells her designs to more than 100 stores in North America and Asia. The company recently landed a contract with Neiman Marcus. Leigh said with the new clients, she predicts sales will triple within the next 18 months.
   The new salon will feature Jennifer Leigh designer veils, tiaras and hair jewelry, as well as expand into designer wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and shoes.

New commercial building for Ferndale
   Kirkland-based Nicholson Investment Properties is on the move again in Ferndale.
   Developer Brent Nicholson said construction of a 9,000-square-foot retail/commercial building on Riverside Drive, between the Dairy Queen and Pay Day Exchange, will likely begin within the next four months.
   Nicholson said his company is currently in discussions with a possible tenant for the site, but he declined to give further details. The tentative plan is that Nicholson will construct the building and then sell it to the tenant.
   A general contractor has not yet been selected for the site.
   Nicholson also owns Ferndale’s Hollywood Video and Walgreen’s buildings.

Quarterback Pub raises stakes with card tourney
   The Quarterback Pub & Eatery, at 356 36th St., was recently approved for a license to hold card tournaments and has been having Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments on Sunday evenings.
   “People out there have been wanting us to do it and it’s a way of generating business,” said Quarterback owner Carol Cornell.
   The Quarterback’s gaming license, Cornell said, allows for up to five tables with as many as nine players at each table. All of the money people pay to enter the tournaments goes back to players. Also, dealers are not required to be licensed.
   The Quarterback, which had a short-lived mini-casino in 1999, does not intend to open another card room in the near future, Cornell said.
   Due to Hold ‘Em’s popularity, Cornell will be adding a Thursday night tournament in coming weeks.
   Both the Sunday and Thursday tournaments begin at 7 p.m. in the dining area. Buy-in is $20 and payouts are usually divided among the top six finishers at each table. Players can sign up for the tournaments at any time during the day of the events.
   “It’s a very no-pressure, fun-type of thing,” Cornell said.

Three businesses on Railroad close
   The end of August marked the end of the line for three Railroad Avenue businesses, which are all closing because sales just aren’t matching the costs of doing business.
   ReSPORT Consignments at 1411 Railroad Ave. closed on Aug. 26. Owner Phil Rudman said it just came down to sales not being as strong as he expected when he bought the business a year ago. He currently has everything for sale, including fixtures in the store.
   Smash Your Guitar and Viva La Vinyl, both located at 1315 Railroad Ave., closed on Aug. 27. Dan Lowinger, owner of Smash Your Guitar, said it has become more difficult to operate a small business like his in the music industry in Bellingham.
“You just don’t see the small, funky independent businesses popping up in Bellingham anymore because of the expense involved,” Lowinger said. “Everything from rents to daily expenses keep going up.”
   Smash Your Guitar had been at that Railroad Avenue location for three years. Viva La Vinyl, owned by Richy Boyer, had been in the spot for more than a year.

New owner for Mac & Mac Electric
   Ownership of an old-time electric-motor business has changed hands.
   After 40-some years of owning Mac & Mac Electric, an electric motor sales, repair and rewind facility at 1410 Iowa St., Jack Salstrom recently sold his shares in the business to Ed Pankow, whom he’s worked with for several years.
   Pankow, 30, who’s worked as an electrician in the Coast Guard and at Disneyland, said he doesn’t anticipate any changes in operations at the six-person business.
However, Pankow said, he’s considering finding a new location for Mac & Mac, which has been in its current site since the 1950s. He’s currently meeting with a real estate agent to determine whether to renew his lease or find a new location.
   “We’re happy and we have a lease here but we don’t own the building,” he said.
   Pankow, who’s painted the building and showroom in recent weeks, has tentatively scheduled a grand re-opening barbecue for Sept. 30.

Cornwall framing, gift store to close
   Linda Kolbo, owner of Cornwall Avenue’s Hang Up Shoppe & Gallery, plans to close her seven-year-old, four-employee store at the end of September.
   “I’m getting old,” said Kolbo, 56. “I’m going to be able to slow down and hope to enjoy having a little bit more free time.”
   Kolbo, however, said she plans to keep her Bellevue Hang Up open and will continue renting several homes around town.
   Currently, all merchandise at the Cornwall Avenue store, excluding framing, is 30 percent to 50 percent off. In the coming weeks, Kolbo said, she will be selling off her moldings, mat boards and framing supplies.
   Kolbo said Paul Hemminger, who works at her store as a framer, will continue doing business, but it’s not certain whether he’ll stay at the store’s present location or move elsewhere in town.
   The 4,400-square-foot location is available for lease through Wm. T. Follis Realtors.

Fairhaven Bob’s moving downtown
   Lisa Woo has officially applied for a building permit for the $975,000 mixed-use building addition for the former Bellingham Inn location. The Inn is currently being renovated and will become an apartment complex called the Gateway Building with retail businesses on the first floor.
   Going into the addition is Bob’s Burger & Brew, which is moving over from its Fairhaven location. Owner Michelle Heffley closed the Fairhaven location at the end of June because a seafood restaurant was moving into that spot.

New building slated for Fred Meyer shopping center
   A building application has been filed for a new commercial building in the Bakerview Fred Meyer shopping center. The $563,000 building is similar to the strip mall building in the center whose tenants include Blockbuster Video and Century 21 real estate.

New restaurant eyes old Factory location
   Bob Hall has leased his last empty retail location in the downtown area. A new Cajun restaurant will be going into the former Factory location on 1212 N. State St. Hall didn’t have many details about the new owners at press time, except to say they were experienced restaurateurs who have an eatery on the San Juan Islands. Hall expects the remodeling to take two or three months.

Consulting business to get bigger location
   Opening a satellite office in Bellingham has been a good move for The Retec Group.
The Seattle-based environmental management consulting and engineering firm, which opened an office at 314 E. Holly St., in the YMCA Building, about 18 months ago, plans to move to a larger location next month and add employees in the coming years.
   Mark Larsen, a Retec senior project manager in Seattle, said the company will be moving its Bellingham office to a 3,000-square-foot office in the Amtrak and Bus Depot Station in Fairhaven in the first or second week of September.
   The new space will be ADA accessible and about twice as large as its current location.
   Retec, which has seven Bellingham employees, will likely add four or five more people in the next few years, Larsen said. The company, which has ongoing projects with the Port of Bellingham and Cherry Point refineries, recently hired longtimeWhatcom County SEPA official John Guenther.
   “We’ve been working in the community a long time and want to increase our presence,” Larsen said. “We plan to be here a long time.”

Barron Heating owner launches ‘Backyards’
   John Barron, owner of Barron Heating & Air Conditioning and the Barron Spa Warehouse, has decided to take on a new venture by opening an outdoor design store in Mount Vernon.
   Backyards is a 6,000-square-foot retail store at 3302 Cedardale Rd. in Mount Vernon that opened at the end of July. The center features a variety of upscale design items, ranging from small decorative garden pieces to large play structures, patio furniture and pools.
   Barron said he decided to try out this new venture because of comments he heard from customers while installing some of their other products, such as spas.
   “At Barron, we realized our customers are not only focused on comfort inside their homes, but also have a desire to enhance their outdoor living spaces,” Barron said.
Amy Dennis, a spokesperson for the company, said the primary focus for the store is to attract current homeowners, but the store is also seeing its share of home builders and contractors.

Ferndale restaurant on the move
   After 20 years at 2113 Main St. in Ferndale, Dimitri’s Greek & Italian Restaurant is moving to 2020 Main St.
   Owner Emmanouel Polichronakis, who bought the building last year, said he hopes the move, which will likely be in October or November, will help spruce up downtown Ferndale.
   “We have an opportunity to make the building look much better,” he said. “We’ll give it a facelift and it will make downtown Ferndale more attractive.”
   Polichronakis said renovations to the 2,100-square-foot location will begin in September. He plans to add, among other things, Greek columns and awnings to the outside of the building.
   The new location, a former Subway sub shop, will seat 66 customers, about 30 less than his current 2,500-square-foot location. Polichronakis said his menu will remain the same.

New business in Finnegan’s Alley
   Two couples have decided to open a new furniture and interior design store at 1106 Harris Ave., called Fairhaven Furniture and Interiors.
   The business is going into the former Fairhaven Furnishings location. Although the names are similar, Fairhaven Furniture will have new merchandise, owners and interior design service. The business will have a soft opening sometime after Sept. 1 for the interior design services, and a grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 1.
   The new owners are Roxanna and Donald Hubert and Jeff and Rhea Slough.
“Right now we’re working on getting our new merchandise here. We will be similar to the last store that was there because we are doing the same kind of business, but we will have fresh ideas and products to offer customers,” Roxanna Hubert said.

King County business moves to Grandview
   Instrument & Valve Services, a division of Emerson Process Management, recently relocated to the Grandview Industrial Park from King County.
   The control-valve repair facility, which had been based in Auburn for the last 10 years, works primarily with refineries, cogeneration and pulp and paper plants. It offers on-site and depot repair.
   “We’re relocating to the Ferndale area because we want to be centrally located to the refineries,” said facility manager Jim Boyles.
   The business, which moved to Grandview Aug. 1, signed a five-year lease in a 6,600-square-foot space. It’s currently bringing in cranes and machines, building office spaces and setting up welding sites.
   With the move to Ferndale, two of Instrument & Valve Services’ five employees decided to stay in Auburn. Boyles said he is currently looking to hire a valve technician and may add more employees in the future. He said the company also wants to be an active partner with Bellingham Technical College.

WTA unveils renovation plans
   Citing an increasing ridership and outdated facilities, Whatcom Transit Authority officials say it’s time to spruce up Bellingham Station.
   Next summer WTA will begin a $2.3 million renovation of the busy bus depot at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Magnolia Street.
   “The building is inadequate for our current needs,” said WTA spokeswoman Maureen Camandona. “It hasn’t been upgraded since the 1980s but our ridership has grown vastly since then.”
   The 3,500-square-foot facility serves as the homebase for WTA’s customer-service representatives. It also has a large concourse area for riders, with restrooms and space for a vendor.
   WTA, which has had employees at the site since 1980, has not made any substantial changes to the building since that time.
   Camandona said WTA officials have not decided yet if they’ll tear down the existing structure, part of which formerly served as a freight depot.
   If possible, she said, WTA would like to keep some aspects of the original building.
The Bellingham Station renovation comes at a time when many Railroad Avenue businesses are attempting to change the street’s rough image.
   “(Bellingham Station) needs a facelift,” Camandona said. “The concourse was built at a time when, I guess, concrete and cement was charming, but downtown is experiencing a renaissance. We’ll come up with something that’s financially prudent and more attractive and appealing.”
   Camandona said Zervas Group Architects has been hired for the project.
   Next year, she said, WTA will also be building a north Bellingham transfer point. It will likely be located somewhere near Bellis Fair and Whatcom Community College, but a final site has yet to be determined.

Lazy Cricket coming to Fairhaven
   Debbie Jones is selling her business in Winthrop to open a home-decor store called The Lazy Cricket, which will be located in the former Nature’s Window space in Fairhaven.
   Jones hopes to be in her new location at 907 Harris Ave. by September. She plans on selling a wide variety of products, including candles, jewelry, journals and dishes.
Jones is moving back to Whatcom County to be closer to her family. Before moving to Winthrop, Jones lived in Sumas. Her mother lives in Fairhaven.
   Jones is currently the owner of Aspen Grove in Winthrop, but is in the process of selling it. She has owned Aspen Grove for eight years.

Liquor Board: Last call for Station Pub
   The embattled Station Pub had its license formally withdrawn Aug. 31 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
   The decision was announced Aug. 15, following a finding by an administrative law judge.
   The Railroad Avenue tavern’s licensee, Starr/Bran Inc., received four over-service violations between October 2003 and December 2004, and, in recent years, the Liquor Control Board had received numerous other complaints about the pub from citizens, local business owners and police.

Ferndale Bob’s Burgers and Brew given 15-day suspension
   Beginning Aug. 24, the Washington State Liquor Control Board suspended the liquor license of Bob’s Burgers and Brew in Ferndale for 15 days and assessed the business’s owner a $5,000 penalty.
   The licensee was issued the suspension and fine for serving alcohol to a customer who was apparently intoxicated on May 17, 2004. After drinking heavily at Bob’s, the customer drove his car to the Peace Arch border crossing, where he collided with a waiting vehicle, seriously injuring several passengers.
   An investigation by liquor enforcement officers found the driver had purchased 11 alcoholic beverages at the premises and was drinking with the owner, Michael Kildall, shortly before the collision.

Spyglass Vision Clinic opens on State Street
   Spyglass Vision Clinic opened at 902 State St. with the latest in high tech optometry equipment and a full line of fashionable eyewear.
   The company will offer complete professional eye-care and optical services, including basic eye exams and treatment for most ocular disorders.
   Dr. Jeff Young is a graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry and has over 15 years’ clinical experience.
   The clinic features a high-tech digital retinal camera, which can provide retinal photographs to be kept for annual comparisons and sent to other practitioners.
   A full line of frames is being offered exclusively by Spyglass, including lines by designers Oliver Peoples, Toki, Lindberg, Salt and Face a Face.
   The latest in contact lenses, including toric and bifocal contacts, are also fitted. Most insurance is accepted.
   Dr. Young currently has one staff member, Licensed Dispensing Optician, Prudence Shorter, and plans to hire as the business grows. For more information, call 671-7107.

Bank of Pacific selects new branch location
   Pacific Financial Corporation, parent of its banking subsidiary, The Bank of the Pacific, announced today the proposed locating of its 17th branch office in Anacortes. Completion of the branch is expected to occur in the first part of January 2006, subject to regulatory approval.
   The proposed branch will be located at 801 Commercial Ave., and will provide full service banking with drive-up banking and an ATM.

Accelitec unveils new software suite
   Accelitec, Inc., a leader in Transaction Management Systems (TMS) and with an office in Bellingham, announced in August the availability of PayPilot, a comprehensive suite of RFID-based payment solutions to automate and enable faster, more secure and convenient payment methods, including Automated Clearing House (ACH), credit and prepay. PayPilot is the first contactless payment system that includes credit, ACH and prepay features that reduces transaction costs and gives retailers greater control.
   “Retailer demand for an alternative to traditional debit and credit card payment systems is at an all-time high,” said Tom Bartz, Accelitec CEO. “We’ve been working with major retailers on a contactless payment system for the past two years and started deploying prototype systems in 2004. PayPilot is designed to put the retailer in control of payment methods and is now ready for commercial deployment.”

Fairhaven Nutritionist Moves Office
   After 15 years in practice, Jan Templeton CNC, CCAP, of Templeton Health, Inc., in Fairhaven has moved to a larger office at the medical building at 1000 McKenzie Avenue, Suite 10 and hired new office staff.
   Templeton has the only Whatcom County clinic utilizing Electro-Dermal Screening, a painless method using basically acupuncture points on the hand without skin penetration.
   “We are doing so much Electro-Dermal Screening now for hormonal imbalances, allergies, weight issues, and vitamin and mineral imbalances, that we had to move,” said Templeton. “People have come to realize that this screening coupled with natural hormone treatment can make a huge difference in their health.”
For more information, call (360) 647~7667 or go to her website at www.jantempleton.com.

Coast Guard to build dock, add new patrol boat to local fleet
   The U.S. Coast Guard hopes to have a 120-foot-long floating concrete pier constructed in Fairhaven by December, for the arrival of an 87-foot coastal patrol boat.
   Tim Scott, an environmental planner with the Coast Guard, said the only permits pending are a shoreline-use permit with the City of Bellingham and a hydraulics project permit with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
   The Coast Guard Cutter Terrapin is a recently built boat, with a crew of 10 or 11, that has been assigned to the Bellingham region, Scott said. The Terrapin will support drug interdiction and law enforcement, search and rescue, fisheries enforcement, and security escort of high-value cargo and passenger ships, such as the Alaska ferry.
   “One way or another, the boat’s coming in December,” he said.
Scott said the pier will be located at 400 Harris Ave., connecting to an existing stub pier just north of the Alaska Ferry Terminal.
   The new pier is needed, Scott said, because U.S. Coast Guard Station Bellingham, located near the Hotel Bellwether, does not have enough dock space for the patrol boat.
   The project is expected to cost around $450,000. Construction will be completed by Centennial Contractors.
   The Coast Guard is on a tight construction deadline. If construction can’t be completed by mid-February, it will have to wait until the start of the next “fish window” — when fry aren’t likely to be near the shoreline — beginning in late summer/earlyfall of 2006, Scott said.
   Steve Jilk, the port’s director of marine services, said he doesn’t anticipate any permitting problems for the Coast Guard.

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