In the dining arena, residents now have additional options, which are sure to make them happy.
Big Fish Grill, a popular Kirkland seafood restaurant, occupies the space that was formerly Ruby’s Diner.
"We’re delighted to be in Woodinville," says Brianna Orrico, one of the restaurant’s managers and daughter of its owner Carrie Orrico.
"It’s a great location and we really like the community."
Orrico explains that Big Fish has been a fixture in Kirkland for the past 17 years.
She adds, "We have a good following in Kirkland and we hope to create a community of regulars here in Woodinville."
The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, as well as a variety of other entrees geared towards meat eaters.
"We’re known for our casual, relaxed ambiance and our amazing service, as well as our reasonable prices," comments Orrico. "In addition to doing lunch and dinner, we also have happy hour in our bar, where we have specials on drinks and a focus on food."
Across the parking lot from Big Fish Grill, in what used to house the now defunct Hollywood Video store, is a newly opened Panera Bread Company.
The well-established bakery-café chain offers freshly baked artisan breads, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and a variety of baked goodies.
"We’re happy to be here," says Jenny Ladeau, manager of the Woodinville Panera. "The community has been so welcoming and everyone seems very excited that we’re open. Business has been great and people tell us how delighted they are to have us in town." She adds, "What’s nice about Panera is that you can eat in or take out and we’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week."
TCBY/Mrs. Field’s Cookies has also come into Woodinville. Located on the main drag, off of NE 175th Street, the new shop is the first to combine all three of the company’s brands, including Java Detour premium coffee products.
Residents can expect to see another restaurant, the Clay Oven, coming into town soon. Originally established in Monroe, the Indian dining establishment has filed a permit with the City of Woodinville and is planning to move into the La Plaza Garcia shopping center behind 7-11.
Woodinville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Witt comments on all the new food spots: "It’s exciting to see these businesses in our community. They offer great new dining alternatives and the fact that they chose Woodinville confirms the potential of our market. Hopefully, we’ll see more new businesses open here in the very near future."
There’s also quite a bit of action on the winery scene. Trust Cellars and Cougar Crest, both out of Walla Walla, along with Lachini Vineyard from Oregon, will soon be opening tasting rooms in the area.
According to Cynthia Dasté, executive director of Woodinville Wine Country, there are now over 80 tasting rooms and wineries in Woodinville.
She says, "The number just keeps growing and there appears to be no end in sight. I field numerous questions each week from wineries who are interested in opening up in Woodinville. It’s just a matter of finding the right space."
Other new businesses that have filed permits with the City of Woodinville recently include Le Timeless Beaute, a hair salon, and Magnadrive, a manufacturing company.
Later this summer, Balance Yoga will open its doors in the building that Venture Bank most recently occupied.
It’s the brainchild of Oasis Spa & Salon owner Michelle Michael.
"We’re planning to offer traditional yoga and meditation classes," explains Michael. "It’s all about finding one’s balance through the practice of yoga, which anyone, young or old, can do." She adds, "The yoga studio is a complement to Oasis and helps complete the circle of inner and outer beauty experiences."
Michael notes the many health benefits of yoga, including stress and pain alleviation, increased flexibility and body strength, weight reduction, relaxation and better immunity, among others.
As for the location of the studio, Michael says, "We knew we wanted to be in Woodinville in order to be closely connected to our existing Oasis clients."
On the retail front, Ross Dress For Less has already established itself in the storefront vacated by Linens ’n Things.
Other companies, including banks, boutique fitness facilities and various service-related businesses, have their eyes on the city.
"There’s serious interest out there," comments Rick Parks, leasing director for TRF Pacific, LLC., a company that manages several shopping centers in the downtown core of Woodinville.
"Woodinville is one of the five wealthiest census tracks in Puget Sound and it has this untapped market potential, particularly in the food and soft goods areas. It is an area that has the size and market distribution for a mall and yet it doesn’t have one, which makes it a highly desirable place."
Parks continues to explain that although businesses might want to move into Woodinville, they are confronted with the geographic limitations of the city.
He notes that there is a finite amount of existing space and that it’s expensive to add new square footage, adding, "Retail is site specific and location is very important. Businesses obviously want the best locations, the most visible places, and the hot spots go first."