When Thad Lyman and Katie Doherty became the third owners of Gig Harbor restaurant Brix 25 in 2009, they inherited both the good and the bad. On the good list? Devoted customers, accolades and awards for the destination restaurant regionally known for its Northwest centric wine list. The bad? A lovely, but much too dark dining room. While some may have called the dining room “romantically lit,” others might have complained that they needed a mini flashlight to read the menu.
Well, let there be light at Brix 25. The restaurant broke through the dining room wall last week, brightening up the dim room with pass-through cutouts that pull light from the front windows. “It’s been funny to hear the comments,” said co-owner Katie Doherty by phone this week. Diners thought they had knocked down a wall or changed the structure somehow. “All we did was open it up and add some light,” said Doherty.
They painted over the beige palate, coloring the dining room with a more modern palette with tones of medium to dark gray. They decorated the dining room with large-format aerial photos of West Coast landmarks - such as Oregon sand dunes, lighthouses and aerial views of Bremerton. The revamp closed the restaurant for three days last week, and they accomplished much of what they needed for the revamp, but there’s still work to be done. One more change coming: Two upholstered booths that can be moved and reconfigured throughout the dining room for small or large groups.
And more lighting is on the way. Expect to see new custom-made light fixtures crafted from wine barrel rings. How fitting for a restaurant that won the Washington Wine Commission’s Wine Restaurant of the Year award in 2008. To read my August 2010 review of the restaurant, click here.