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Sept. 20, 2020

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The Black Pearl nears opening as events venue

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
2 Photos
Efren Martinez Zavala with GRO Outdoor Living works on the outdoor patio outside The Black Pearl in Washougal. The long-unused building is expected to open as an events center in August.
Efren Martinez Zavala with GRO Outdoor Living works on the outdoor patio outside The Black Pearl in Washougal. The long-unused building is expected to open as an events center in August. (Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A prized but unfinished restaurant on the Washougal waterfront is on its way to finding new life as an events center.

Kim Sherertz, whose late husband died before completing the glass and concrete cube called The Black Pearl, said Tuesday that the 12,000-square-foot building has started taking reservations for events and could officially open in August.

“We’re going to run it as a family business and enjoy what my husband began,” Sherertz said, noting that her children will help oversee the business.

Reservations are filtering in for corporate Christmas parties, class reunions, wedding receptions and even a 2019 high school prom, she said, and some bookings are as far out as the year 2020.

“It’s exciting. It’s just word of mouth. We haven’t advertised,” she said.

Before it can open, Sherertz said, they have to complete some interior work on the two-story building and put in an elevator. The elevator won’t pass inspection until August at the soonest, she said.

Still, its eventual opening could complete the vision left by her husband.

Before his death in 2011, Bill Sherertz set about building a premiere waterfront restaurant near the Port of Camas-Washougal marina. The former chairman and chief executive officer of Barrett Business Services Inc. then led a group of investors to buy the former Parker House Restaurant and stake $6 million into property acquisition and construction. He died of an illness months after the groundbreaking.

Kim Sherertz said The Black Pearl still has a lot of openings for events once it opens. A grand opening is planned, but nothing is official, she added.

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