Zoogs closed March 26; moving to Sequim

By Leader Staff
Posted 3/31/15

Zoog’s Caveman Cookin in Port Hadlock closed its doors Thursday, March 26, after losing its property lease.

According to postings on the business's Facebook page, the plan is to re-emerge soon …

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Zoogs closed March 26; moving to Sequim

Posted

Zoog’s Caveman Cookin in Port Hadlock closed its doors Thursday, March 26, after losing its property lease.

According to postings on the business's Facebook page, the plan is to re-emerge soon with a barbecue food truck operation based out of Carlsborg, in Clallam County, and hopefully open in a permanent location in Sequim by summer.

Bret "Zoog" Forsberg turned his mobile food cart into a family-run barbecue restaurant located at 141 Chimacum Road in Port Hadlock, which had been built in the 1960s as the Hadlock House and last operated as Boeitker's Restaurant and Sports Lounge.

Zoogs Caveman Cookin leased the space in late 2012 and by 2014 was in enough financial trouble that an application to be on the Food Network’s "Restaurant Impossible" reality television show – which specializes in attempts to save failing restaurants – was accepted. The show, filmed in November 2014 and aired Feb. 4, 2015, detailed family issues and problems with the aging facility; it did not suggest big problems with the food quality although it did point out some kitchen cleanliness concerns.

The TV show included a $10,000 facelift inside the building. Some of those decorative touches, much like the "caveman" motif on the building's exterior added earlier in 2014, were customized to the Zoogs brand.

Financial issues, however, continued to be a concern and the business faced a reported $16,000 payment to retain its lease. Instead, the family closed the business in Jefferson County, noting that catering services continue while plans are made to reopen in Sequim.

Next to the "closure" sign out front is a real estate "for sale" sign. The Port Hadlock property is listed on the Century21 real estate website with a sale price of $495,000, the advertisement notes, "This recently remodeled restaurant comes complete with everything you need to serve up supper. Not only do you get a Restaurant, Bar, Upstairs bonus room also 3 Apts in back for extra rental revenue. This is a unique business opportunity in the core of Port Hadlock."

Zoogs becomes the third barbecue restaurant in Jefferson County to close in the last seven years, joining Macadoo's and Dos Okies.

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