When Katie Doherty and husband Thad Lyman bought Gig Harbor’s Brix 25 in 2009, she had a strong feeling about its location.
“When we bought Brix, we always thought it should be on the waterfront,” she recalled.
In a few weeks, it will be.
Doherty and Lyman, the restaurant’s chef, are moving their restaurant a handful of blocks down the hill to a waterside perch with fetching water and mountain views.
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The restaurant will close March 31 at 7707 Pioneer Way and reopen at its new location at 3315 Harborview Drive on April 12 if all goes as planned. Private invitation events will precede the public opening.
The project has been a few years in the making. Turning the old Ship to Shore supply store into a restaurant with a fully functioning kitchen where one previously never existed took months of planning and many more of construction.
“It was a serious undertaking,” said Doherty, describing the process of designing an efficient kitchen, installing support beams and figuring out how to divide the space.
The result is a made-over restaurant that still will feel familiar to fans of the upscale restaurant with a New American menu and a name that’s a nod to a wine term.
The menu features dishes that borrow from a wide range of flavors and techniques. There’s everything from Thai curry mussels and boeuf bourguignon to kalbi short ribs and roasted bone marrow.
Doherty said about half the menu will remain the same, a quarter of the menu will feature similar dishes that have been retooled and another quarter of the menu will be brand new creations by Lyman.
She described changes to include “singular” appetizers built for one, appetizers for sharing, regular entrees and a series of dishes built to be entrees for two.
“We’re focusing more on seafood,” said Doherty.
She described crudo, a Japanese crab dumpling, black cod and cooked whole fish. She also expects fish on the rotating seasonal menu.
That wine menu heavy on Washington bottles that has garnered the restaurant recognition? It will stay put. The cocktail menu will expand slightly, said Doherty.
The space will be divided a bit differently than the current Brix 25, which seats about 77 diners in the 2,500-square-foot building. The new location has fewer seats but a more flexible space with two stories for dining, said Doherty. It’s also slightly larger at 3,300 square feet.
About 66 seats will be divided between upstairs and downstairs dining areas. A bar will be nestled into the back of the downstairs dining room. Upstairs will host two smaller dining areas that will be reserved for groups or spillover dining on busy nights.
Inside the building, only the bar has a view of the kitchen, but diners approaching the building can look directly into the kitchen windows, Doherty said.
The decor is what a friend of Doherty’s called, “Northwest modern.”
Layers of wood pull the forest indoors. The handmade bar was fashioned with a live edge. The tabletops were handmade from black walnut. The restaurant has wood floors, and the drop-down ceiling is lined with natural wood. That’s all accented by black iron.
A grey, green and blue color scheme is meant to match the Northwest's waterscape.
“You feel the seaside without having shells all over the walls,” Doherty joked.
Diners will notice a few other minor twists. The restaurant will operate dinner only, as it does now, but Thursdays-Mondays (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The doors will open at 4 p.m., perhaps earlier in the summer months. The last dinner seating will be 9 p.m. Half-price wine day will move to Thursdays. Kids still will be allowed.
As for what happens to the previous Brix 25 location at 7707 Pioneer Way? That is a well-guarded secret. Doherty and Lyman will continue leasing the space, but they are waiting to reveal the next restaurant concept they open there. That will be the third restaurant for the couple. In 2013, they opened the breakfast-and-lunch cafe, Netshed No. 9.
New address: 3315 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor.
Info: 253-858-6626, harborbrix.com
Reopening: April 12, if all goes as planned