Phone orders, curbside service the new norm
Boats aren’t the only thing moving in and out of the water at the Port of Port Townsend. Good food, coffee, beer and banter with servers are also coming to customers at almost all of the eateries and drinkeries based at the Port.
Although staffing has been reduced and the challenges are many, most are open for takeout orders. All have installed or are installing new protective measures to keep staff and customers healthy.
Blue Moose Café
The Blue Moose Café in the heart of Boat Haven sprinted back into service on May 14 after a 50-day closure. Owner Tana Kettle and her daughter Jasmine have brought back the full breakfast menu and are trying out different parts of the lunch menu, all on a takeout basis.
“We’re seeing what happens each day,” said Jasmine.
One thing they’ve already seen is an “incredible, amazing” response from regular customers, she said, adding, “The customers have been happy to have us back and to make sure we hung in there.” Several contacted her in past weeks to offer help to ensure reopening, and they have, but with minimal staffing. “We’ve weathered some storms before, but this one has been a monsoon,” said Jasmine about the 16 years her family has run the café. “We just take it day by day and make sure our employees and customers are safe.” As business grows, they hope to hire back everyone.
The Blue Moose is open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Folks are advised to call in their order and then pick it up. Pagers are available for customers, who walk around the boatyard waiting for their order. Call (360) 385-7339.
The Marina Café, which faces the Boat Haven Marina, will open in June 22. Owner Jennifer Takaki expects her one-person operation to start turning out breakfast scones and lunch sandwiches as soon as her renovations are completed for takeout service.
“I’m doing modifications on the café and installing a new pass-through window,” said Takaki. She’s also keen on installing a new intercom system that will allow her and her customers to have family banter back and forth – from a distance – in the spirit of what once happened in her small dining room. “My café is social,” she said. “That’s who we are.”
Despite her good spirits, Takaki acknowledged the long-term toll of the coronavirus on her business and on others. She closed on March 16 and took time off to mentally regroup. Her only co-worker, her dad Wally, will be staying at home to reduce risks to him, she said.
“It’s going to be a big change for old-school restaurants,” she said. The Marina Café has served as a break room for three nearby businesses. Now those folks have to eat outside, she said, a prospect made easier by summer weather. Call (360) 379-6740.
Port Townsend Brewing Co.
Port Townsend Brewing is still brewing and serving beer, but in ways that adapt to the new times, said co-owner Kim Sands. She and Guy Sands are now the only two employees of what was a 10-person operation.
“I’ve been working more than ever,” she said. “It’s back to Ma and Pa Kettle running the show.”
But the local beer that Guy Sands brews is still coming out. PT Brewing is not filling growlers but is turning out bottled beer, both for local pickup and for delivery to many grocery stores that carry it in northern counties. And they fill occasional keg orders, too.
Retail curbside beer sales are handled in a variety of interesting ways that include cash payments via a “Cash Keg” — a beer keg some talented person turned into a payment box.
Curbside beer pickup times are Tuesdays and Fridays, noon to 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kim Sands put the hard times into perspective: her sister came close to dying in a Louisiana hospital’s ICU from Covid-19, but has recovered and is back home. “So, it’s all good,” said Sands.
Call (360) 385-9967.
Other Port-based outlets:
- Sunrise Coffee at the entrance to the Boat Haven: The full menu of coffee drinks, coffee beans and retail goods is offered for customers at the window. Manager Alana Fiske said loyal customers already line up for espresso and drip coffees, along with bulk and bagged beans. It’s open weekdays 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call (360) 385-4117.
- Sea J’s Café at the Boat Haven: Sea J’s with its world-famous fish and chips has never closed. Anna Glombowski said it’s operating with the same menu and the same lunch and dinner hours. Business was slow at first but is picking up, she said.
Call (360) 385-6312.
- Spruce Goose Café at the airport: The café reopened last week. Open 7 days a week, 50% capacity inside dining, also open for take-out. 7 am – 4 pm. That includes specials like pot roasts on Thursdays and clam chowder on Fridays. The airport construction project includes parking lot upgrades, but food will be brought out to customers, said Raymor. Call (360) 385-3185.
- Key City Fish Taco at the Boat Haven: Things go on as before for this take-out business. The taco stand is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. Call (360) 379-5516.
- Mo Chilli BBQ, near PT Brewing: From breakfast burritos to barbecued sandwiches, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call (360) 774-6627.
- Hudson Point Café at Point Hudson: Owner Jacki Pallister said she expects to open for breakfast and lunch takeout on July 1. A website, under development, will have details on the opening.
- Shanghai Restaurant at Point Hudson: The restaurant’s full menu is available for takeout, with curbside service offered. It’s open from noon to 8:00 p.m. every day except Wednesdays. Call (360) 385-4810.
- Doc’s Marina Grill at Point Hudson. The restaurant is open for takeout seven days a week from 11:30:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Doc’s is takeout only with a reduced menu. All business is done through a walk-up window. Credit or debit card payment only. Call (360) 344-3627.