Thursday, October 29, 2020
Oct. 29, 2020

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Restaurant The Sedgwick coming to former Tommy O’s site in downtown Vancouver

Eatery will feature small-plates menu, lounge atmosphere

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

A new upscale restaurant is set to open in the former Tommy O’s spot in Downtown Vancouver.

The Sedgwick, which will have the same head chef and co-owner of Camas’ Feast@316, will offer a small-plates menu in a lounge-type atmosphere, co-owners Melissa McCusker and Darren Nies said. It’s undergoing tenant renovations at the Sedgwick Building, 801 Washington St.

“We wanted to bring something new to Vancouver,” Nies said. “A Portland, New York or Chicago atmosphere.”

Head chef and co-owner Tim McCusker is creating the menu for The Sedgwick with influence from his Irish roots and his world travels, similar to Feast@316’s menu influence.

The restaurant will have couches in its lounge area and also table seating. The small, family-style shared plates will pair with craft cocktails focused on the classics, Nies said.

“It’s going to be small plates,” Melissa McCusker said. “You can get a whole bunch of different flavors. It’s not a traditional way of eating. You can order a whole bunch of different things.”

Nies, who has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and worked at Mill Creek Pub and 3 Sheets at the Harbor, said that the owners were interested in opening a downtown Vancouver location before the pandemic hit. After March, Nies said he was able to negotiate a revenue-sharing-style deal with the building owners.

Nies said that the deal with the landlord targets a certain revenue, but he would not reveal the amount, and if that target is not hit, the restaurant does not have to pay as much rent.

“If we’re not up to those sales, it makes us easy to survive and get to the next month,” he said.

Nies said he is trying to get the building open by the end of the year, but he is not certain. Finding contractors to do quick work is difficult under the pandemic, he said.

Melissa McCusker said Feast@316, at 316 N.E. Dallas St. in Camas, is holding steady under the pandemic.

“We’re not making any money but not hemorrhaging any money,” she said. “We’ve hired a few more people. Finding people to work during the day has been a challenge because of home schooling.”

Historic building

The McCuskers and Nies named the restaurant after the building’s namesake, Dr. Alice Isabel Sedgwick, a prominent doctor and businesswoman in Vancouver during the early 1900s.

Sedgwick was one of the few licensed female doctors at the time. She built the building in 1907 and operated her practice, the Sedgwick Sanitarium, out of the first floor. On the second floor were a grocery store, a pool hall, a telephone office and a nine-room hotel.

“One interesting thing was she applied to get a streetcar franchise,” said Bradley Richardson, executive director of the Clark County Historical Museum. “She ended up going up against a big transportation group but lost that opportunity. She would have basically been in charge of that streetcar system.”

Sedgwick is mentioned in The Clark County Historical Museum’s newest exhibit that tells the stories of prominent women in the county’s history.

The building was added to the Clark County Heritage Register in 2018. The building is also named “Murray’s Corner” because of past owner Glenn Murray. That name can be seen from the south side of the building.

Naming the restaurant The Sedgwick was “a nod to the past,” Melissa McCusker said.

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