David Johnson, co-owner of The Garden Bistro, eagerly awaits the eatery’s grand opening in early February. Sequim Gazette photo by Ashley Miller
by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
David Johnson and Henry Bridger aren’t new faces around town.
You’ve probably seen them at the Sequim Open Aire Market selling pizza, at the supermarket or around town immersing themselves in the community.
Now, after much planning, Johnson and Bridger are ready to make the move official and call Sequim home.
The two men plan to open The Garden Bistro at the corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street in early February — as soon as all the proper permits and inspections are completed.
Featuring “comfort American food,” The Garden Bistro will serve “great food at affordable prices,” Bridger said, describing the menu “as eclectic as we are with a hybrid bistro feel.”
Though they are leaving a little mystery in the air, they did say that the bistro will focus on fresh, local ingredients from Sequim and the surrounding area.
“We’re not just a little restaurant opening up cans from boxes,” Johnson said. “Some of my favorites (that we plan to offer) are a killer mac-and-cheese and a wonderful meatloaf that’s to die for.”
The bistro won’t serve small portions on a big plate. Hearty, home-cooked meals are promised.
Johnson and Bridger owned and operated a deli in Bremerton until recently but closed the business when they lost the building’s lease to a government agency. To prevent anything similar happening, the pair signed a five-year lease for the downtown lot with the option to renew for an additional five years.
Because the lot is larger than they need and at a prime location, Johnson and Bridger are committed to sharing it with others.
“We’re leaving it up to the community to utilize the lot,” Johnson said. “Anyone who wants to use it can as long as they have the proper permits. We know that the Sequim Open Aire Market will be utilizing the space for the Wednesday market along with the Irrigation Festival and other events.”
Johnson and Bridger didn’t purchase the business from the previous tenants and are not associated with the sandwich shop that formerly occupied the space.
In the near future, the building will be enlarged to include covered and outdoor seating. During the summer months, live entertainment will be brought in.
“We want to make this a fun little place to go,” Johnson said.
“It’s not going to look like a vacant parking lot for long,” Bridger added, spilling the beans on his plans to do some landscaping in the near future.
“The biggest thing we are focusing on is ‘community,’” Bridger continued. “We want it to be a place where the community gathers and we are in connection with surrounding businesses to support each other.”
In addition to opening The Garden Bistro, Bridger and Johnson will continue running Viaggio Pizza, a traveling pizzeria that makes and sells wood-fired pizza. The two men travel around the state making pizzas at festivals, fairs, community events, private parties and corporate functions.