Mt. Tabor Brewing, a local craft brewery with a taproom in downtown Vancouver and a production facility opening soon in Portland, will open its first restaurant in Vancouver’s Felida Neighborhood next year.
The restaurant will be located at Felida Village (3600 NW 119th St.), a new mixed-use development from Western Properties II LLC that is also home to a Barre3 and an Edward Jones office. The restaurant will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet of space in a yet-to-be constructed building on the corner of NW 119th and NW 36th/Lakeshore Avenue.
Mt. Tabor Brewing owner Eric Surface said that in terms of size and scope, the restaurant will be a big step up from the company’s current Vancouver operation, which is open just two days a week.
“The downtown taproom is pretty small – 1,100 square feet,” he said. “The Felida spot is going to be 7 days a week – a full-on restaurant with all of our beers, wine and food.”
Surface said his vision for the restaurant is to create a family-friendly space that features locally sourced wood-fired fare. Potential food items range from pizza and calzones to mac and cheese, pretzels and “really anything that can be cooked over a wood fire.”
“I’m a bit of a foodie and we want to keep it local,” Surface explained. “There will be a big focus on what’s seasonal and fresh at the time, [and] what we can get from vendors in the area.
“If we can get people talking about locally sourced food, plus having the brewing facility in Portland… things like that definitely help you attract more people to come see what Vancouver has to offer,” he added.
The restaurant is expected to open in the spring or early summer of 2016. The downtown taproom will close in June, after the restaurant is up and running, Surface said.
Location, location, location
Surface said he chose to locate in Felida Village for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he and his family reside about six blocks away.
“With the growth in Felida, being that that’s where we’re from, it made a lot of sense for us to look at that area,” he said. “It seemed like a no-brainer to get in there now and be one of the first in, before any of the other developments get built up commercially.”
R. Tom Smith, a real estate broker with NAI Norris Beggs & Simpson, represented Western Properties II and worked with Surface on lease negotiations. He said the Felida area is definitely underserved, from a commercial standpoint.
“That whole Lakeshore corridor is growing by leaps and bounds with residential,” said Smith, “but for commercial, you have to drive out to I-5. It’s an underserved area and it continues to grow.”
Given the neighborhood’s demographics, Smith said he expects the new restaurant to be a big hit. And with a new coffee shop also coming soon to Felida Village, he said the mixed-use development is ready to take off.
“The parking lot is in, all the landscaping is in. It’s just waiting for that last building to go vertical and it’s pretty much done,” he said.
Ron Edwards, president of Western Properties II, said the need for amenities in Felida is what prompted his decision to purchase the property Felida Village now sits on, back in 2007. Today, he credits much of the project’s success to several key players who have supported it, including Riverview Community Bank, Amy Grabenkort at Barre3, the Felida Neighborhood Association and Clark County.
“We’re trying to build a place that people can look at and say, ‘Hey, I want to be there,’” he said. “People like Amy at Barre3 recognized that and took a leap of faith when nothing was there.”
To ensure there’s plenty of parking for the new Mt. Tabor Brewing restaurant and other Felida Village tenants, Edwards has purchased property across the street from the development.
“We have to get the county to rezone it, but my plan is to have a single mixed-use building and parking for that building and Felida Village.”