Rebuilt Ocean Crest Resort restaurant almost done

The Daily World (Aberdeen)March 3, 2014 

MOCLIPS — The view of the majestic Pacific Ocean is the same, maybe even a bit better, and the new cliffside lounge now includes an outdoor deck nestled into the trees.

The Ocean Crest Resort’s rebuilt restaurant likely will open sometime before the three-year anniversary of the June 22, 2011, fire that destroyed the old landmark building, known for its fine cuisine and spectacular vista.

Jess and Sara Owen, part of the family that has owned and operated Ocean Crest for more than five decades and several generations, still can’t say exactly when the opening will be. The resort received approval from Grays Harbor County a year ago last February to build on the same footprint, but the base is far different, sitting on new pilings and steel girders with new piping everywhere for the plumbing system.

The new design by Alan Gozart and Harbor Architects of Aberdeen upholds much of the character of the old cedar building, which once served as the home of “Grandma” Barbara Topete, the resort’s founder, who lived and raised her family there when she bought it in 1953. Jess Owen is her grandson.

Owen said the square footage of the new facility is not as big as the old restaurant, lounge and gift shop, and it will not include a full gift shop as in the past, where many local and Northwest artists sold and displayed their works.

It will, on the other hand, have a showcase wine display. As many as 48 people can be accommodated in the dining area.

“We used to have the upstairs lounge, conference room and gift shop,” Jess Owen said. “Now everything will be located on one floor.”

There will be an office and equipment storage, and the kitchen will have a receiving area, a prep station, shelving and storage, along with a 120-square-foot walk-in cooler. There will be one area to prepare the cold foods, such as salads and deserts, and another area to plate the heated food.

“Our old restaurant, we put things in places because they fit there,” Jess Owen said.

“Now we get to put things in places because they make sense.”

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