An expansion has been “long overdue” at The Braeburn, according to the Langley eatery’s owner Lisa Carvey.
That expansion is now set for the near future, and the restaurant doors will close for a few months while work is done.
“We started talking about this last summer when the potential to move (expand) first came out,” Carvey said. “Plans finally materialized and we’re glad to be growing with the island.”
The brunch spot will temporarily close its doors after Sunday, Jan. 21 as it expands into the neighboring space once occupied by longtime book store, Gregor Rare Books.
The bookstore has relocated to First Street, replacing former natural cosmetics store Whidbey Island Natural.
“We’re already open at the new location,” owner David Gregor said. “I think it’ll be a good move, it’s a nice little spot. We’re still here after 30 years.”
Carvey is aiming to finish the remodel job by late spring, in time for the summer rush. The restaurant has struggled to cope with the demand in previous years due to limited space. Carvey says the storefront was better set up for a coffee shops than a full-fledged restaurant.
“We’re looking at opening back up in May,” Carvey said. “Our hope is that the expansion will allow us to be much more efficient and functional in the new space.”
The drive behind the expansion has less to do with seating capacity and more to do with expanding the restaurant’s kitchen area. Braeburn cooks have had to make do with close quarters, leading to “limitations” to the amount of food that can be prepared and cooked at any given time. Carvey predicts waits for food will shrink, and the menu will feature more specials.
She estimates the restaurant’s seating capacity will only expand by about 15. The current plan is to integrate much of the restaurant’s bar area into the kitchen and turn the newly-acquired space into a seating area.
“The expansion will allow us to do more with the menu,” Carvey said. “Since we make almost everything from scratch, we’ve struggled for space. We’re constantly having to utilize our burning space and prep space just to make sure we have enough product to get us through the day.”
“Our menu as it is has been too large for the space we’re in.”