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News / Life / Clark County Life

Food & Drink: Boomerang Bistro takes you from day to evening

Downtown Vancouver spot reduces space, expands food, drink offerings

By RACHEL PINSKY, For The Columbian
Published: October 12, 2018, 6:02am
6 Photos
Executive Director Jill Walker at the new Boomerang Bistro.
Executive Director Jill Walker at the new Boomerang Bistro. Photo Gallery

You can now spend your entire day eating and drinking at Boomerang Bistro.

This sometimes-overlooked Main Street space quietly reinvented itself in August by eliminating the retail items, treehouse and art exhibits and then shrinking into a modest-sized space.

“The idea is the perfect place to transition all day. Start with coffee, lunch, and then dinner and cocktails,” explained Executive Director Jill Walker.

Boomerang remains a nonprofit organization. According to Walker, and Ryan Hurley, the board’s president and landlord, the decision to decrease Boomerang’s space was made in order to maximize its profit, all of which goes to local charities such as Share House and FISH (Westside Food Pantry of Vancouver).

The all-day-dining concept organically flowed from the re-imagining of the space. “We wanted to be able to extend our hours,” Walker told me, “so we added alcohol. With that came food.”

If You Go:

• What: Boomerang Bistro

• Where: 808 Main St., Vancouver

• Contact: www.bmrng.org, 360-818-4233

• Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Executive Chef Matt Hategan of Mad Hatter catering created the abbreviated food menu. Sandwiches (Chicken Torta, Buffalo Chicken Club, Seasonal Avocado Toast), salads (Caesar Salad, Romaine Wedge), shared plates (charcuterie board, hummus plate), and sweets (Affogato, S’mores Board, Apple Crisp) stay the same all day. Walker said her goal is to provide “simple food, made really well.”

In addition, the Bistro serves coffee and espresso drinks with beans from Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, and pastries — bear claws, caramel walnut rolls, cheese croissants, glazed scones and a vegetable tart — from Petit Provence in Portland.

Walker redesigned the space using the high ceilings and natural light to create an airy interior. There’s a variety of seating options — small, round, marble-topped tables, a long wooden table and a sleek, marble-topped bar. The room is a chic mix of exposed brick, well-worn wood floors, and marble made comfortable and welcoming with throw pillows in soothing taupe and cantaloupe. It’s a space for quiet work or deep conversation. On one visit, the woman next to me confided to her friend, “People’s feelings should be more important.”

The food fits this mood. A wedge salad spreads itself elegantly across the plate — a swath of romaine leaves drizzled with creamy bleu cheese dressing and speckled with pieces of bacon, chunks of tomato and lemon-colored edible flowers. A humble grilled cheese sandwich takes on the guise of a sophisticated meal — the sandwich wedges curled on top of each other beside a Picasso-esque swirl of balsamic vinegar dressing beside a half-moon of lemon and a yellow chrysanthemum bud.

As day shifts to evening, lights are lowered and candles are lit. The cocktail menu is a short list of classics (Paloma, Old Fashioned, Daiquiri). Seth Hires, the affable bar manager, is often mixing and shaking these smart, timeless concoctions. A refreshing cocktail sipped while grazing on a charcuterie plate (a small assortment of meats and cheeses, pickled asparagus, Kalamata olives, and honey) or hummus platter (warm pita, Jonagold apples, slices of red pepper, Kalamata olives and velvety hummus drizzled with luscious olive oil and yielding chickpeas) is a lovely way to cast aside the workday and drift into evening.