Husband-and-wife owners of two local restaurants will open their third venue in the former Hazel Dell Brewpub, a popular spot that was shuttered last year.
But unlike the former brewpub's owners, the owners of the new Yummy Mongolian Barbecue, set to open in March, won't shoulder the high lease payments known for shuttering many good restaurants through the recession. That's because the couple bought the site for $723,000, said Angela Park, who purchased the property with her business partner/husband Jonathan Park.
"We think this is a long-term investment," she said, adding that the new Hazel Dell location would cost less to operate than the leased site the couple opened one decade ago in east Vancouver.
"There, we pay rent at $7,000 every month," she said.
Her company's second location opened about two years ago in Portland in a former restaurant building the couple purchased at 7339 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
"Next, we're going to open two more (restaurants) in Portland," Angela Park said.
But first, she and Jonathan have launched an approximately $300,000 renovation project at the new Hazel Dell location.
Remodeling costs are just one issue for potential restaurateurs to keep in mind when they are considering buying a former restaurant building, said Pam Lindloff, a retail specialist and associate vice president with NAI Norris Beggs & Simpson in Vancouver.
"I always encourage them to seek advice," she said of clients looking to purchase a restaurant site. "Their business model and personal finances all come into play."
The Parks say their new Hazel Dell site won't have a brewing operation or booze of any kind. They prefer a no-alcohol restaurant model that offers simple food and a "family-friendly atmosphere," said Angela Park.
"I have a special heart for the children," she said.
Lindloff said she expects the venue to do well in the former brewpub location, as several months have passed since the last venue closed.
"I think the brewpub has been closed for long enough that it will be easy for them to change the concept of that building," she said, adding that Mongolian cuisine is generally well received by mainstream clientele.
Kids (age 9 and younger) eat free at the couple's other Yummy Mongolian sites in Portland and east Vancouver, 316 S.E. 123rd Ave. The restaurant concept allows patrons to choose from meats, vegetables and sauces to be stir-fried on an enormous, round, metal grill and served over Asian noodles.
Included in their purchase of the former brewpub were three adjacent tenant spaces at 8505 N.E. Highway 99. The sites house an alterations store, barbershop and nail salon, which Angela said she hopes will drive traffic to the new restaurant and vice versa.
"They are so happy to see us because they'll get so much foot traffic," she said.