LETTER: Ajax Cafe: A model for keeping it local

Posted 8/8/17

Port Hadlock’s Ajax Cafe plans to reopen after months of collaborative work with the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding to buy the property with a long-term lease for Ajax, while doing …

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LETTER: Ajax Cafe: A model for keeping it local

Posted

Port Hadlock’s Ajax Cafe plans to reopen after months of collaborative work with the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding to buy the property with a long-term lease for Ajax, while doing upgrades necessary for the restaurant to operate. Their co-operative effort is a model for how business can be done when it’s kept local.

The boat school has raised much money needed for the property purchase, and still needs donations toward the necessary property upgrades. This allows the nonprofit to expand its nationally recognized program, and allows Ajax to reopen.

These institutions are two cornerstones of the peninsula.

The Ajax is an institution in an historic building in “lowest Port Hadlock” the since 1978. It attracts dedicated local support. Customers have eaten there for decades. The community-minded owner has kept the menu, decor, customs (party hats!) and vibe the

same as before.

I hear her call staff and customers “family.” It’s not an exclusive family, as locals, tourists, young, old, all seem to be “family.” It’s that kind of place.

My association with Ajax is musical. Key City Jazz Trio played every Tuesday. We want to make music for wonderful, fun-loving customers who treat the Ajax as their living room.

Having started BLT Coffee in PT, with a lifelong love of local cafes, my time at the Ajax has been addictive. People ask, “Can you find another place to play?” I tell them, “There’s no other place we want to play!”

The Ajax co-operative owners/staff, the wooden boat school and proactive local community are making it happen. There’s some good news to savor!

MICHAEL LEDONNA

Port Townsend

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