Delilah’s Cozy Kitchin is one of several ventures started in downtown Port Orchard by radio personality Delilah Rene Luke. The restaurant, on Harrison Avenue, closed after the Christmas season, and it’s uncertain when or if it will reopen, said Kraig Kitchin, Deliah’s business partner.
Delilah was honored as the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce‘s 2010 Woman of the year for her investment in the downtown economy. (Man of the Year was McCormick Woods resident and civic activist Dick Davis.) Beside Cozy Kitchin, Delilah has a clothing boutique, Hootchie Wear, an event Center, the Port Orchard Pavilion, and she provided a space for local artists to display their wooden crafts and art work, Wooden You Love It.
Delilah and Kitchin started Cozy Kitchin three years ago, with a kitchy menu of comfort foods. The restaurant — like other downtown businesses — has been uneven, said Kitchin.
“There were some days it was incredibly robust, and some days it was not,’ he said. “We had run this for three years, and our thinking was we may want to remodel in terms of a new menu designed to make it more profitable.”
Staff members were let go, said Kitchin, who would not say when they might make a decision on the place. The restaurant is located in a strip of small boutique-like spaces that have seen considerable turn-over during the past three years. One long-time business, Bay Street Outfitters, folded during 2010, according to the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. Amy’s on the Bay, on the water side of the block, is alive and apparently thriving.
Delilah’s other downtown ventures are going well, however, Kitchin said. The Port Orchard Pavilion has seen a steady stream of bookings for weddings, sock hops, class reunions and the like. According to Kitchin, it’s the only place for hire in Port Orchard that can accommodate up to 500 people.
Leah Watree, former full-time manager, is no longer with the Pavilion, but she was not fired, Kitchin said. It was simply a change in the business plan. “Leah’s a wonderful woman and a good person,” Kitchin said. “But we needed to make a change. The work that’s involved in the pavilion is better suited to part-time specialists.”
Watree holds no ill will toward Delilah. “Delilah is a friend. She’s still a friend, and I still have that same loyalty.”
In other news of downtown business closures, the Historic Orchard Theatre shuttered its doors earlier this month. Owner Jeff Brein of Bainbridge Island is looking for a more sustainable business plan, such as running the theater as a “mom and pop” business.
Los Cabos Mexican restaurant on Bay Street closed several weeks ago, according to Coreen Haydock Johnson, executive director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce. Blondie’s, not in the downtown area but off Bethel Road, closed shortly before Christmas. The property owners are hoping to get another restaurant in that space, Haydock Johnson said.