New Vegetarian Restaurant
Friday Harbor will soon have its first vegetarian restaurant. The Green House Café and Juice Bar, slated to open mid to late May, will open for lunch at first, then will branch out to breakfasts. Featuring fresh from scratch soups, wraps, pastas, salads, and pizzas from the stone oven, the simple menu will also include vegan and raw fare as well as kids’ selections. Owner Jeff Altman plans to use mostly organic ingredients, buying as much locally-grown products as possible.
Renovations for the building, which housed the former Bistro Garden on Web St., include a vegetable garden in front and back, a back yard green house, and indoor and outdoor seating. A chilled foods display case will feature bottled juices made fresh on site each day, and they have several juicers on hand to make special request favorites. Desserts include raw vegan choices and “no cheese” cheesecakes.
Long time locals will remember Jeff as the founding force behind the popular Madelyn’s, which started in 1989 in a small shack on A street in the current Market Chef location. Jeff and his wife at the time started out serving frozen yogurt and coffee drinks, which was a novelty back in the 1980’s. They gradually added house-made muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones and cookies, and expanded the building. Never content, Jeff got a hankering for bagels like he used to eat as a kid. Tinkering with his bagel making skills paid off big time, as he soon began supplying bagels for all the local shops, grocery stores and restaurants. Finally, in 1999 he sold the business and took a much-needed break from the hospitality industry.
It was Jeff’s personal transformation that prompted his return to the restaurant business. Seeking relief from serious health issues, Jeff found his medicine in a raw vegan diet, and claims “I’ve never felt better in my life!” He wants to share this revelation with others by making high quality vegetarian and vegan selections easily assessable, and hopefully inspire diners to try a meatless lifestyle for themselves.
Jeff’s daughter Leah Altman and girlfriend Ricarda Burnett are assisting Jeff this time around. Though their Facebook page is still under construction, you will be able to reach them at 360 378-0099. The Green House Café and Juice Bar, 180 Web St., just the next block over from Coho Restaurant.