Baja comes down

Consignment Co. pushes on while Mexican restaurant’s future is uncertain

Crews with We Dig It begin taking down the burned out building on Oct. 30 at 820 W. Washington St. that formerly housed Baja Cantina and Sequim Consignment Co.

Crews with We Dig It begin taking down the burned out building on Oct. 30 at 820 W. Washington St. that formerly housed Baja Cantina and Sequim Consignment Co.

The damage is done and now demolished at 820 W. Washington St.

What formerly housed Sequim Consignment Co. and Baja Cantina Fresh Mexican Grill was taken down last week by We Dig It, a Sequim construction firm.

Demolition began on Oct. 30, more than five months after a May 19 attic fire destroyed the 7,200-square-foot building.

Linda “Candy” Diesen, owner of the building for about 11 years, said she watched crewmen begin taking down the building for some time on Thursday.

“It’s bittersweet,” Diesen said. “It’s been tough but it’s time. It’s quite an eyesore.”

She said it’s been difficult to drive by everyday and she has been waiting for permitting to go through to begin demolition. Her permit from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency for demolition went through on Oct. 29 and work began the next day.

Demolition and removal is anticipated to last 7-10 days, she said.

Diesen said she received some criticism for the amount of time it took to demolish the building but ORCAA officials told her it was about the average amount of time to permit demolition.

The fire burned for more than four hours starting in the early afternoon on May 19. It was first spotted by Brian Barrick, owner of Sequim Consignment Co., in the attic. He reported it to 9-1-1 simultaneously as did paramedics driving by who spotted smoke at 1:07 p.m.

Clallam County Fire District 3 determined the whole building to be a loss but no neighboring businesses were damaged during the blaze. The Clallam County assessor priced the building at just over $590,000 in 2004.

Sequim Consignment Co. reopened in Hollywood Video’s former location in late August.

Barrick has owned and operated Sequim Consignment Co., for about five years and said he’s happy with the new location.

“Customers like it and there’s a little bit more space,” he said. “It’s been a good transition for us.”

Baja Cantina has not reopened and its owners did not want to speak about the business’ future plans.

However, the Mexican restaurant’s management, who opened the business in early 2013, indicated shortly after the fire that they plan to reopen and continue to look for options whether it’s in the existing spot or elsewhere.

Diesen said the best case scenario at the former location would be to rebuild but she doesn’t see it likely happening due to costs.

“That would be my Christmas morning dream,” she said.


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