The folks at The Fifth Avenue have a sense of whimsy in naming the facility’s dining hall SACKS at Fifth Avenue as a bit of wordplay on the upscale department store — and a sense of taste in its restaurant-style menus for breakfast and lunch, catering to residents and the public.
Before it opened in September 2015, the facility for active seniors served institutional fare, typically high in fat and carbohydrates.
But since 2015, when Bob Hitchcock was hired as executive director and his wife AJ as community relations director, the menus have been revamped. According to the Hitchcocks, owner Bill Littlejohn “has given us creative license.”
“We’re not the typical retirement community dining room — we’ve taken a little different approach to food service that most other (centers) don’t do and we like to believe we have a more healthy approach,” he said, noting that dishes have shifted to Mediterranean-based cooking. Bob has been in the senior housing business since 1983.
“The idea behind SACKS was if you didn’t have time to sit down for lunch, you could get a sack lunch featuring three kinds of sandwiches, chips, an apple and apple juice,” AJ said.
Both stressed that The Fifth Avenue is for seniors who want to continue an active lifestyle after retirement.
“Our market is a real active senior adult. We are trying to push you out of the building to keep you doing the things you want to do and support that,” said Bob.
“We got the opportunity to re-identify ourselves and find out what need we could fill,” she explained. “We opened to the public to generate a revenue stream so we were not putting the entire costs on the backs of our residents. The best thing about our restaurant is our four top-tier chefs — they want to meet with any group coming in to make dining here a unique experience.”
Groups that have discovered SACKS include Rotary, the Red Hat Society, book clubs and Sequim Single Seniors. The restaurant can accommodate up to 55 guests and is open daily.
AJ said she is revising the breakfast menu and expanding it quite a bit, noting that the restaurant is “a great breakfast spot for seniors on a fixed income” because no item is more than $10. Breakfast is from 7-10 a.m. and includes oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, fruit with yogurt, an egg/meat combo and bottomless beverages.
Lunch, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., has eight healthy cold sandwiches including turkey, tuna, roast beef and smoked ham piled high with vegetables on ciabatta rolls, croissants, wraps or brioche buns — or you can design your own from choices of bread, meat, cheese and condiments. Specialty salads that make a meal are The Greek and The Orient, but you also can sample what AJ calls the “best salad bar in Sequim.” Luncheon fare ranges from $5-$11.
Dinner is from 4-7 p.m. but for residents only unless they bring in a guest, so if you know a resident, give a little hint. Dinner includes four entrees, two pastas, two seafood meals, four sandwiches and three large salads.
“We’re a public restaurant in a private senior living facility and people love our service, food, ambiance and lots of attention that we give to groups,” AJ said. “My biggest challenge is getting people to come in and try it.”