Tag Archives: bremerton

Memories of Bremerton’s Pat’s Restaurant and Bakery

On Friday, we heard that Pat’s Restaurant and Bakery was closed, leaving a sign in a window on a place that was one of Bremerton’s longtime gathering spots. It was hard to go in there without seeing someone you knew. I’ll personally miss the harvest pancakes with orange butter.

Reporter Steven Gardner is trying to follow up on the closure today, asking about what happened and things like, ‘What will happen to all those cookie jars?’

When I posted about it on the Sun’s Facebook page, people lamented the loss of the local business, and generated one of the longest Facebook page comment threads I’ve seen in awhile.

The closing also inspired one woman, Heather Wood, to send us her touching memories of Pat’s, which I thought I’d share with you Food Life readers:

Pat’s Restaurant and Bakery Closes its Doors after 29 Years

By Heather Wood

This piece is about food, well really, about life. But you ought to know that I am not a writer by profession. In fact, I am in the field of finance and play with numbers all day. However, I don’t know that anyone else could truly tell this story as I could, and so I feel compelled to write it.

In 1981, a woman named Pat opened the doors up of a bakery in East Bremerton’s Wheaton Mall. It was called Pat’s Cookie Jar back then, and was a delight to a little girl’s eyes! Cases of cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls. My mother would take me there after preschool and let me pick out a treat. I loved the lemon bars. We would sit at a table, munching away, while she listened to me babble on about finger-painting, story time, and the like. Those were special mother-daughter times that I will never forget.

In the summer, my brother and I would beg to go there for lunch. We would walk into the packed restaurant and press our noses up against the bakery cases, admiring the frosted shortbread cookies. Then, we’d take a seat, arguing over who would get to sit next to mommy, of course! I would order an egg salad sandwich and he would order a BLT. While we waited for our food to come, we would look around at the cookie jars that were the restaurant’s décor and try to decide which ones we liked the best.

We’ve had birthday parties there. My graduation party was celebrated there. We’ve gathered with friends and extended family there. My parents have enjoyed anniversary and Valentine dinners there. Pat’s Restaurant and Bakery has been a part of the moments of our lives, both the small, everyday bits that go forgotten, and those bigger moments you never forget.

One of the things I’ve appreciated the most about Pat’s is the dignity with which the staff has always treated my family. You see, my brother has autism, and this sometimes leads to awkward moments in restaurants: stares and dirty looks from fellow patrons and somewhat curt treatment from restaurant staff at times. It was never like this at Pat’s, though. We were at home there. Relaxed. Comfortable. And the staff would even call my brother my name.

A few years ago, we donated our family cookie jar to Pat’s. It’s the yellow cupcake one with chocolate frosting and a cherry on top!

In recent years, my family has dined there two to three nights a week. This past Tuesday, my family drove out to Pat’s for dinner once again. But it was dark inside. The door was locked, and there was a sign on it saying “Thank you for 29 years.” As they were walking away to leave, one of the restaurant’s former employees pulled up and confirmed for my family that Pat’s Restaurant and Bakery had closed its doors for the last time on Sunday, January 24th, due to financial issues related to our Nation’s recession. The employee said that Pat’s will likely hold an auction at some point to liquidate its assets: tables… chairs… those dozens of beloved cookie jars…

My mother called me that night with the news. She said it made her want to cry. It made me want to cry as well! This is the loss of more than just a restaurant and of great food; it is the loss of a piece of our community, a loss of a piece of our lives.

To the former staff of Pat’s: You have served us well. You have been a part of my family and of my history. There is not a single month I can think of in the past 29 years of my life that you all have not been a part of. I have so many good memories filed away: laughter and blackberry pie all mixed together… lunch with my grandmother, who we lost many years ago… conversations with my mother about college life on weekends home… You have enriched our lives more than you could ever know. There are truly no words adequate in the English language to express my family’s gratitude to you all. Thank YOU for twenty-nine amazing years! We love you and wish you well on life’s journey.

There’s a New Dog in Bremerton

Dave Corin prepares a dog.
Dave Corin prepares a dog.

Retro Dogz celebrated its grand opening week before last, though it’s been open since for more than a month. (Yep, I’m a little late in spreading the word.) They even had their first health inspection, and scored a 98.75%.

If you haven’t been there yet, it’s in the spot formerly occupied by Frosty’s.

Chris Bortisser, who had previously owned August Wynn in Manette and Augustino’s on the West side, had a hand in starting it. He said he wanted to move to food that was far more simple than the upper-scale dinners of those previous restaurants. And dogs are pretty simple.

But he’s not there most days. Daily, Dave Corin is running the show with Matt Riggs behind the red and white umbrella-covered stand.

Chicago Dog
Chicago Dog

Retro Dogz specializes in dogs served many styles including one covered in chili, a Chicago style — with a sweet, neon-green relish, mustard, a spear of dill pickle, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and celery salt — and a standard Retro Dog with ketchup, mustard relish and onions. They also regularly serve tuna- and egg-salad sandwiches and treats.

The dogs are Nathan’s frankfurters, which were first sold at a Coney Island hot dog stand. For now, that’s the only kind of dog there is. Corin said the future may hold more when the weather improves enough for grilling. he may even expand to pulled pork and other items.

Slaw dog (left) and Baja Dog

For now, though, they’re varying the menu (photo below) with weekly specials, such as last week’s Coney Island style dog or the Carolina dog with slaw on top the week before that, which now are going to be regulars on the menu, Corin said. This week, it’s The Baja Dog.

Manette Sidebar Closes, Henry’s Deli Moving

The space next to The Manette (formerly the Manette Saloon) is going from martinis to meats.

The Bremerton Patriot reported (yeah, I got scooped, but in my defense, I’ve been working on the Sun’s site) Thursday that Henry’s Deli will be moving into the spot occupied by the Side Bar.

The Side Bar opened in 2007 and drew a fair crowd on the weekends when it opened, but honestly, I hadn’t been there in awhile, and maybe I wasn’t the only one. The owners told the Patriot that the recession has hit the bar, and  they were also looking for someone to run their food operations, so the partnership between longtime friends proved enticing.

Bremerton 15th Street Bakery Now Open

Bremerton has a second bakery again, the 15th Street Bakery in the space formerly occupied by Luigi’s bakery. It opened earlier this week, thanks to Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe owners Heidi and Lowell Yoxsimer, who have been working on the spot since this summer.

They have breads and pastries from the looks of the photos they posted to their Facebook page.

When they talked to The Bremelogger in September, they said they were getting specialty request, such as gluten-free or sugar-free.

If any of you have tried it out yet, let everyone know about it.

Oh, and in case you were curious, Bremerton’s other baker (besides the ones at the big grocery stores) is McGavin’s Bakery on Callow Avenue. It’s the “home of the pink champagne cake” (a personal favorite) and Larry & Kristi’s Bakery in Manette.

Bremerton Local Foods Grocer to Have an Open House

The promised FreshLocal grocery store in downtown Bremerton says they’ll really open soon and will host an open house  Nov. 6 timed with the First Friday artwalk.

They’re opening a little later than what was expected when I wrote about them in September. They apparently were waiting for  approvals from the City of Bremerton and the County Health Department, which they now have. They now have to finish installing equipment and purchase a business license.

New Eateries in Kitsap

I’m back from vacation, and I’ll offer a few notes on eats in Hawaii once I go through the many. many (too many) photos taken there.

But before I do, here’s a little information from a lot closer to home. Below are the new food-serving establishments who’ve registered with the Kitsap County Health Department in the last month. The only one I’ve tried so far was Dawn at the Dock, which on the corner across from the ferry terminal complex in downtown Bremerton.

M.E. Café Noir, LLC: 3261 NW Mount Vintage Way, Silverdale

Puccini’s: 1405 NE McWilliams Rd, Bremerton

Kelvin G’s Tropic Blast & Tiki Bar: 2825 Wheaton Way, Bremerton

Halo Halo Restaurant: 616 Pacific Ave, Bremerton. Haven’t been yet, but the menu shows that they serve Asian cuisine, and looks like mostly food from the Phillippines, such as pancit, adobo and bistek.

Dawn at the dock: 200 first St, Bremerton. I’ve been only once, so I’ll hold a review for more visits. They focus on burgers and dogs and real ice cream shakes in a variety of flavors.

Rachel’s on the East Side: 1217 Sylvan Way, Bremerton

There also is solid rumor of a new place opening soon in the old Frosty’s spot on Pacific Avenue in downtown Bremerton, next to the now Kitsap Bank.

Bremerton to Get Organic, Local Grocer

Here’s a story I wrote Friday for Monday’s paper. You’ll see it elsewhere on Kitsapsun.com, but I wanted to share it here too:

Even after the farmers-market tents have been folded up for the season, locally grown and made food will still be available in Bremerton.

Members of the newly formed FreshLocal nonprofit corporation envision a store that sells locally produced goods. It will have an open floor plan and engage in environmentally friendly practices, like favoring bulk goods over prepackaged goods and using energy-efficient appliances, heating and lighting.

“We’re doing everything we can to have a small carbon footprint and be part of the community,” said Jean Schanen of FreshLocal.

FreshLocal has all but signed a lease at 540 Fourth Street, a downtown building owned by Diamond Parking. Floor work and painting needs to be done, and a freezer, walk-in cooler and other equipment needs to be installed.

Schanen said she hopes to open the store within weeks.

She started ordering merchandise last month, storing it in her home until the shop is ready. Pounds of grain is on its way from Winthrop in Central Washington in anticipation of the store’s opening.

Schanen has long been involved in local food. She’s active with StartNow.org, a Bremerton group that encourages homeowners to rip out their ornamental grass and shrubs and grow an edible garden.

“Right now, local food is about 2 percent of our food supply in Bremerton. It’s just idiotically small, but people want it so badly,” she said.

FreshLocal is not connected with Kitsap Food Co-Op, which also is working to bring a store with local foods to Kitsap County, though “we certainly support them,” Schanen said.

“I think there’s plenty of room for more than one store selling local food in Kitsap,” she said.

FreshLocal will sell locally grown and raised produce, dairy, honey, meat and other products.

Schanen has busily been talking with local bakers and other food makers. They’ve also talked with Bremerton’s Coffee Oasis about selling the locally roasted beans.

Members also have talked with nearby Evergreen Kitchen about renting space to produce some foods there.

FreshLocal plans to bring in some organic bulk products and a few environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as locally made soap and biodegradable laundry detergent.

“We’re not going to try to compete with Safeway,” Schanen said. “We’re going into try to offer things you can’t get everywhere else.”

A few local farmers, such as Pheasant Field Farms in Silverdale and Harlow Gardens in Bremerton, have already sown winter crops in preparation for the store’s opening.

The idea for the store went too fast for some to put in winter crops.

“We expect to have lots more farmers involved before spring,” Schanen said.

Commercial Kitchen Space for Rent Opens in Bremerton

This is a little bit of a repeat with the site, but since I wrote it and it deals with food,  I feel I should share it here. Here’s the story I wrote for Friday’s paper about a new commercial kitchen venture opening in Bremerton. I’m also working on some other exciting food news happening in Bremerton. Stay tuned.


The barbecue sauce recipe was 25 years in the making. The trophy shop was more than 40.

It may seem an unlikely marriage, but the two have made a home together in a downtown Bremerton building.

Evergreen Kitchen, a recently opened commercial “kitchen co-op,” was built into space previously occupied by a storage room full of trophy parts for Evergreen Trophies. When it opened about two months ago, it became one of only two commercial kitchens for rent in Kitsap County. About a dozen kitchens in the state advertise open space.

Two products are currently being cooked up in the kitchen: Ken Barron’s Killer B’s Bar Bee Que Sauce and Williams Family Salsa.

Owners Joe and Lorraine Hudson credit Barron for the idea.

“I’ve been trying to get my barbecue sauce on the market for quite a few years,” Barron said. A carpenter by trade, the Texas native has been making barbecue for events ranging from political rallies to races at Bremerton raceway for 10 years. He previously rented space at the Grange Hall in Central Valley, but dreamed of having his own commercial kitchen. He was unable to build one at his home.

“One thing led to another and my miracle happened,” Barron said, referring to his conversations with Joe Hudson.

That was about a year ago.

Joe Hudson has been with Evergreen Trophies since 1969 and through the years took over the business and building at 545 Fourth St. from former Bremerton Mayor Morrie Dawkins.

In May 2008, the Hudsons talked to an architect, and though they originally planned to build it into an old dance hall upstairs, they decided to frame in part of the downstairs shop.

“We didn’t need this much space for a trophy shop,” he said.

They invited Barron’s crew, electricians, plumbers, inspectors and all the other people necessary to bring the kitchen together.

“We’ve been working side by side ever since,” Barron said.


The floor of the kitchen is checked white and Cougar red.

Stainless steel shines from every corner, from the brand-new hood to the racks of stock and soup pots tucked on stainless steel shelves.

Much of the equipment came used, spoils of bargain-hunting.

A bank of 14 lockers near the entrance were purchased in an auction for $5 and dislodged from the walls of the old East High School/middle school/junior high in East Bremerton. The sink and a three-door freezer came from the now-closed Frosty’s restaurant on Pacific. Lacking a truck big enough for it, the thousand-pound freezer was pushed by Barron and a friend down Pacific Avenue one afternoon last summer. They caught the attention of one police officer and nearly got it stuck in the asphalt in front of the Admiral Theatre before they got it to the back of the building.


As a co-op, Evergreen Kitchen owners hope to get a steady group of about 20 people to share kitchen time.

Here’s how it works: a person or group can pay $200 a month to get eight hours a week of kitchen time at Evergreen.

The kitchen is open 24 hours.

The model of operation is similar to the county’s other commercial kitchen at Farm Kitchen in Poulsbo. Owners there remodeled a barn area and opened their commercial kitchen space in 2000.

State law requires those serving or making food products for the public have a kitchen space with items such as a three-basin sink, a hand sink and a separate entrance, things few homeowners are likely to have.

Once a food maker gets approval from the health department and obtains a business license, he or she can apply for time in Farm Kitchen.

They have drawn caterers, chocolate makers and breakfast-bar bakers, among others.

“It acts as an incubator for small businesses,” said Anne Thatcher, who co-owns Farm Kitchen with Hollis Fay.

“We have great products that are being made here on a regular basis and new ones all the time,” she said.

They have openings in their 24-hour kitchen, and they get calls from food makers around Kitsap and Seattle, where people have told them commercial kitchen space can be hard to schedule.

And as the recession draws on, they’re getting some increase in inquiries from people who turn to them for space or advice on starting their own food business, Thatcher said.


Barron has had his sauce recipe since the mid-’80s. He’s now working to pique the interest of local grocery stores and is selling jars to friends and catering customers.

The Hudsons and friends started passing around fliers about the kitchen two weeks ago, and in the past 10 days, eight or nine people have come to inquire about space, Joe Hudson said.

“Sooner or later, it’s going to get big,” he said.

They got an early hopeful sign from fate. When the Hudsons applied for a new phone number for the kitchen, they received — without asking — (360) 479-COOK.

Bremerton Native Featured on Food Network Show

If you didn’t catch it already, arts and entertainment reporter Michael Moore wrote a piece for Friday’s paper (posted early online) about a Bremerton native whose eatery in San Diego, Cafe 222, has gotten props from food celebrity Bobby Flay.

Terryl Gavre’s banana and peanut butter stuffed French toast was featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network.

Also of interest is a blog she recently started. In it she talks about the show taping and even has a recipe for biscuits.

Taming a Burger of ‘Goliath’ Proportions in Bremerton

Foodies, consider yourself warned: This is not a post about some gourmand or exotic delicacy.

This is about eating. And eating. And eating until you can’t eat anymore.

When the ’50s style Coffee Club Diner opened in the the old Park Avenue Diner spot in Bremerton on Armed Forces Day, one item on their lengthy menu didn’t go unnoticed for long.

At the bottom of their burgers listed, highlighted with a pink “Ka-Pow” kind of star burst is the Goliath Burger — “A monstrous 5Lb burger with 5 Lb of fries. Eat it all in 1 hour and get it for FREE!!” They promise that if you do, they’ll put your picture up on a wall of fame. If you don’t finish, it’s $25.

So far, no pictures have made it to the wall.

But seven people have tried.

The first would-be David was Cameron Stewart. He ate through to number four of 10 half-pound patties on one bun and a good portion of fries, all served on a large pizza-sized plate.

The second was my co-worker Paul Dent, who let me take video (or more likely, was nice about it when I showed up with a camera) of the spectacle.

I could try to describe what it’s like to try and watch someone eat 10 pounds of food, but really, you just have to be there, but you can get an idea by watching the video.

Watch the full-size version here.

Stewart just happened to be in the diner when Paul tried his attempt late last month. When Paul was done, they exchanged phone numbers and said they’d try an eat-off. So far, no date has been set.