Ownerof Stephani’s restaurant decide to close

Published on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Owner of Stephani’s restaurant decide to close

By Tara Nelson

Following years of uncertainty and changes in lease agreements, Stephani’s By the Bay owners Stephani and Eric Smith said they will close their doors forever.

The restaurant and café, located at 7878 Birch Bay Drive, will be serving full menus through August 27, said Stephani Smith. After that, the restaurant will stay open to serve buffet-style lunches and dinners until the kitchen runs out of food, said Smith.

“We will offer a $10 plate menu until the kitchen is cleared out,” she said.

Stephani’s specializes in fresh seafood, with dishes ranging from the Shellfish Sampler Provencale, a combination of local clams, mussels, prawns and scallops steamed and served in a Provencale broth to burgers and lunch items such as the pan-fried oysters and chips beach baskets.

The news came as a disappointment to several frequent customers such as Birch Bay residents Jody Fox and Teddy Boatwright, who were dining there Tuesday.

“It is the best food and the best service on the bay,” Boatwright said. “As we say in the south, the whole place will be sorely missed.

The property was recently purchased by Homestead Northwest development company through an auction earlier this month. It was formerly owned by Iskum, which is affiliated with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Grand Ronde, Oregon.
Smith said although Homestead had offered her a new lease agreement, the company has plans to renovate the building and add fire safety upgrades, which would force the business to close temporarily.

This, combined with the continual property transfers, have caused the couple too much stress, she said. “It’s very difficult to function well under these conditions,” she said.

Smith said she and her husband own commercial property in eastern Washington, where they plan to relocate and open a new restaurant.

Stephani’s By the Bay is open daily from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Beach Café is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They can be reached at 371-3724.