Posted April 20, 2014 at 5:19 p.m.
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — A familiar bakery and a new tavern are among the businesses setting up shop this spring on Bainbridge Island’s busiest street corner.
Contractors are putting finishing touches on the last building in the Island Gateway development at Winslow Way and Highway 305. Interior finish work, driveway paving, landscaping and signage are all that remain to complete the five-year project, said Andrew Lonseth of development firm Asani.
Bainbridge Bakers, a popular café in Winslow Green, will open a second location this week on the ground floor. The bakery will be joined in late June by the Ale House on Winslow, a planned craft beer taproom. Avalara expanded into the top floor of the building. A rooftop event deck will be available for rent.
“We’d like a tenant that brings interest and excitement,” Lonseth said. “It’s important to us that we have a destination community.”
Bainbridge Bakers owner Mike Loudon said he’d had his eye on the corner location since well before the Gateway project broke ground.
“It’s the realization of a pretty long dream,” Loudon said Friday.
The new Bainbridge Bakers has seating for 85. Like the original location, it serves coffee, baked goods and food. Beer and wine will be added to the mix later this year.
The café also can double as a venue for theatrical and musical performances. Loudon, an avid community theater booster, said seating can be rearranged to accommodate 150 guests.
“I’m so excited about having it filled with music and people and light,” he said. “It’s going to be something pretty special for the island.”
Bakery customers might well mosey next door after those evening performances. The neighboring Ale House on Winslow aims to fill a niche as a craft beer taproom and late-night hangout.
“I’d like to make Bainbridge more of a destination for beer geeks,” Samson said. “Our overall goal is to have a beer there for everyone,”
Samson, 27, worked at Silver City Brewery before deciding to go into business with a group of college friends. They still have ambitions to start a microbrewery in Seattle, but Samson said the chance to create a tavern in the Island Gateway was too good to pass up.
The Gateway project rapidly transformed the island’s main entry over the past five years, filling the 5-acre corner with a cluster of distinctly modern structures.
The final building in the development was constructed on the site of the Eagle Harbor Market, a small grocery opened by the Nakata family in the 1940s. The new Gateway building now bears the same name.
“It’s a little historical gesture,” Lonseth said.