In 2006, Peter and Lisa Dougherty knew they wanted to open a restaurant. Searching for spaces, they fell in love with Uptown Village in Vancouver. It reminded Lisa of a town from her childhood in the Midwest.
After researching the area, they decided that Vancouver lacked something that they felt would be popular — Italian food. Peter had a culinary degree and worked in many kitchens. He wanted to focus on traditional food from northern Italy with an emphasis on local, organic and sustainable ingredients.
The restaurant, La Bottega, quickly became a Vancouver favorite. It’s won Best Italian restaurant in The Columbian’s Best of Clark County vote for the last several years.
Five years after opening, it became obvious to the Doughertys that they would need to renovate and expand the space for La Bottega. They began saving money for this extensive project. Two-and-a-half years ago they started planning to add square footage by bumping out the back of the building.
The quickest way to complete the renovation would be to close for a month. They decided that was not economically feasible. Instead, La Bottega closed several times for a few days during March through January. They continued to serve customers during the renovation by being creative about using the space available and instituting a construction menu. Some customers didn’t like the limited menu which led to a decrease in sales. Now that the renovation is complete and the regular menu is back, business has been “insane,” Lisa Dougherty said.