Tristen Beck and Lucas Shifflett unwrapped possibly their biggest Christmas present ever on Dec. 11 — a remodeled Sunshine Café.
The co-owners closed the popular downtown eatery on Nov. 4 and reopened about five weeks later with a new layout, bar area and drinks.
“We knew when we bought it we needed to do some work,” Shifflett said.
“Most of the flooring was carpet except the kitchen and behind the counter, and carpet in a restaurant is never a good idea.”
The café has been a fixture at 145 W. Washington St. since 1974, and the Sequim couple purchased it in July from long-time owners Allen and Dianne Drake. Allen remains on staff as head cook.
“It was hard to change something we’ve loved for 20 years,” Beck said of the remodel.
The couple both worked in the café years ago, too.
Shifflett said they were kind of scared of displeasing long-time customers with a new look, but that everything has been positive.
“Dianne was our first customer (after reopening) and that was pretty cool,” he said.
While the food and menu and cook remain the same, the look and feel of the café is more modern with a new bar, lighting, tables and chairs and color scheme.
Shifflett said he covered all the chairs with new paint and upholstery, and the new table tops feature legs from the old tables as well.
A changing Sequim
Along with the new look, the café began serving alcohol when they reopened a few weeks ago.
Some of their key drinks include beers on tap, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s available all day.
“People are stoked about it,” Shifflett said.
Tentatively coming in March, the couple plans to open at nights Thursdays-Saturdays.
“Good things take time, but we plan to definitely (open at night) before tourism begins so we can work out the kinks,” Shifflett said.
One physical change patrons might notice are the sliding doors above the bar area where alcohol is placed where staff can maintain the café environment in the day and a chill eatery at night.
Shifflett and his staff with Titan Builders also installed a host/hostess stand to help with nighttime seating.
Beck and Shifflett said they feel Sequim is adding to its cultural scene particularly with food.
“Businesses are doing a great job downtown to create a nightlife that Sequim needs and we want to be a part of that,” Shifflett said.
He said they had a good summer and their clientele has been a good mix of the existing crowd and their crowd of friends, family and acquaintances.
“The community has been good to us, even with a different generation of ownership,” Shifflett said.
“The food is the same. The cook is the same. We’re trying to maintain good food while serving the community happily. We’re trying to make it the best as we can.”
With the remodel finished, Beck said they plan to install more art and begin writing specials on a chalk board for customers.
Sunshine Café is closed Christmas Day but open Thursday, Dec. 26. The café opens 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays and can be reached at 360-683-4282 and online at www.facebook.com/seqsunshineCafe. To-go orders are welcome.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.