Loggers Landing is to reopen in early December, if all goes as planned, according to new restaurant owners Dana and Pat May.
“We’ll be opening in early December, if not before, but it depends on how things come together,” said Dana May.
The restaurant and bar, housed in the Quilcene Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3213 building at 295023 U.S. Highway 101, has been closed for more than a year.
Built by local veterans in 1954, the VFW sold the building nine years ago, but got it back when the owner quit making payments. Now it is being leased again, and the VFW is paying the property tax and insurance.
“Now we can do our scholarships,” said VFW Post Commander Orville Fisk. “We give out three $1,000 scholarships a year, and $500 to the food bank on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we put money into the school; we bought a $4,000 saxophone.
“That’s what we’re here for, is the community and the veterans. We take care of the local people.”
The Mays plan to do that, too. And they know what they are getting into.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business since the day I turned 16,” said Dana. She now has three restaurants in the Portland area, and plenty of experience.
Brinnon residents, the couple said they talked to many people before making the decision to go forward.
“It’s been pretty fun meeting everyone. We’re glad to be here, definitely,” said Dana.
“We feel strongly about keeping it as a place for the community to gather,” she said. “We hope the old regulars will come back to their table.”
The plan is to bring the restaurant back in its former configuration, with a family restaurant on one side and a bar serving liquor, beer and wine on the other side.
The couple has been busy working on cleaning and renovation since a lease agreement was reached in September.
Pat May, a self-proclaimed logger by trade until he got into the restaurant business with Dana two years ago, is scrubbing and cleaning, going through a lot of Murphy’s Oil Soap.
“We like the challenge … I guess,” Pat quipped. He even discovered grease that had been painted over on the kitchen floor. The new kitchen equipment is to be on rollers for easy cleaning.
“We’re not doing a full-on remodel,” said Dana.
The exterior is to be painted, but they haven’t settled on a color.
“We’re getting in some new equipment and furniture, and we’ll spiff it up with new carpet in the bar and make it nice, but it will look pretty much the same as it always has,” said Dana.
Most of the same logging tools and pictures are on the walls, with the same ambiance.
“They took some of the old decorations, but left a lot,” said Dana. “If anyone has family pictures, they can bring them in. We don’t own them, they’re just here.”
A picture of local legend Red Cook that hung in the far corner was removed for safekeeping by his grandson, but returned when he met the new owners.
A short counter with stools is to be installed in the restaurant side, and the bar’s pool table is gone.
The wiring wasn’t as bad as it appeared, and the Mays are moving the dishwashing system away from it, and installing a handwashing sink.
A pleasant surprise was finding out that the hood system worked, said Dana.
Because the restaurant has been closed for more than six months, the prior permits and licenses did not carry over. Dana has a clean criminal check and already had a couple of liquor licenses, so she expects that the liquor license will come through.
The menu is to be a little different, simpler, but still with burgers and sandwiches, and some house specialties.
“I make my own soup,” said Dana.
She is helping to cook as she trains the six-person starting crew.
“It’s going to be a lot better,” she said.