Wendy DeFreest, owner of the very popular Avenue Bread sandwich cafes in Bellingham, is venturing into a full service restaurant in Fairhaven. “The Filling Station” will be a “burger joint,” with a full service bar and will be located in the previous A.W. Asian Bistro space, at the corner of Mill and 12th. She says the new burger joint will be a full service restaurant, totally different from the sandwich cafe, and be open for lunch and dinner every day of the week, plus breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday. The theme will be casual and fun.
The current Avenue Bread restaurant on 11th Street in Fairhaven will continue as it has since opening in 2005. The Filling Station will be on the opposite side of the same building, the Fairhaven Gardens condo building built by David Ebenal. Above is a photo of the entrance at the corner of the building.
Avenue Bread started 20 years ago, in 1995, on Railroad Avenue. In 2001, Wendy and her husband, John, purchased it. Since then, they have opened two more cafes, one in Fairhaven and one on James Street, and made their sandwiches the standard by which all others in Bellingham are judged. Wendy is also opening a new Avenue Bread cafe in downtown Lynden in the newly renovated Waples Mercantile Building on Front Street. This will be the fourth Avenue Bread cafe.
Her venture into a full service restaurant is a big step and this will be a good addition to Fairhaven, hopefully bringing in more college students and young people. While there are a dozen great eating places in Fairhaven, since the closing of Stanello's Pizza, The Fairhaven Pub and Martini Bar, and Bob's Burgers & Brews, we have not had a strong and large restaurant that catered to the younger crowd.
I’ve known Wendy for 10 years as a business acquaintance. She is a superb businesswoman, who brings imagination and an unstoppable work ethic to every project. She has participated in Fairhaven events, such as the Dirty Dan Days chuckanut chowder cookoff by donating all the breads and helping make the event work. We can expect this new venture of to be different and fun.
We look forward to the opening in late October.
To answer a question you may have, yes, NWCitizen will be going outside the lines of strictly political news. See my Editor Blog post of today for more on this.