Latte Da owners buy Grant House restaurant

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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The Grant House, the restaurant within a historic home named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, will undergo a changing of the guard.

Suzy Taylor, who co-owned the restaurant with her sister since 2004, said Thursday she and her husband will move back to his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. They talked about moving before, she said, but they waited for their children to grow up.

“Then, last spring we realized ‘Oh, our last high schooler is graduating,’ so we started talking about selling the business,” she said.

Scott and Sarah Flury, owners of Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar, will officially take over in April. The couple opened the cafe in 2010 and bring experience that Taylor hoped to find in her replacements.

“They’re fantastic people,” Taylor said, adding that the transition is underway, and the Flurys are observing day-to-day operations before the hand-off.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed. Scott Flury said he expects staff to stay onboard and plans to keep everything the same for awhile.

“It’s going to be seamless,” he said.

The Grant House on Officers Row was built in 1849. Grant was a quartermaster stationed at Fort Vancouver from 1852 to 1853 before his ascendance to the general leading the Union forces in the Civil War and then two terms as president of the United States. Grant never lived in the house.

The city of Vancouver now owns the building, housing the independently run restaurant within. The restaurant is open six days a week for lunch and dinner. It is closed Sundays.

The Flurys expect to eventually open the restaurant for breakfast, seven days a week. Scott Flury said Vancouver has lacked breakfast options and the Grant House could be an answer.

“A lot of people were saying they go over to Portland” for breakfast, he said. “They take the bridge across to the other side of the river, and we’d like to offer something high quality” in Vancouver.

Latte Da, itself a restaurant inside a century-old building in the Lincoln neighborhood, won’t change. Scott Flury said he and his wife will remain active in operations; they have a manager there capable of running the nine-person staff.

“We’re still very involved at Latte Da and it’s not going to change anything at the coffee shop,” he said. “We’re blessed to have a great staff up there that’s going to keep the ship steered in the correct direction.”

Taylor felt the same about the Grant House staff, saying they will be an asset to the new owners. Some have worked there more than a decade.

“The guests have gotten to know people by name and we have gotten to know people by name, so it feels comfortable,” she said.

Though Taylor said her and her husband are leaving now that their kids are grown, she had joked with some employees that they were her kids, too. When she announced they were leaving, she said one employee wrote on Facebook that “mom and dad are cutting the apron strings.”