Once a used sporting goods business, the 1,500-square-foot building at State Avenue and Central Street has been transformed into a neighborhood pub.
And the response has been excellent, said Jeff Randich, one of four partners in the new venture, aptly named State & Central. The pub opened Monday.
“It was busy,” he said. So busy, in fact, that they had to turn some people away at the end of that first night. He also recalled seeing one person visit the business three times that day.
“I’m lucky to be part of it,” Randich said.
Randich and business partner Terry Wilson drove by the empty building a year ago and quickly hit on the idea of a pub that would serve the neighborhood.
Neighborhood eateries appear to have found a welcome audience in Olympia. Another example is the Wildwood building off Capitol Boulevard, which is home to pizza, coffee, lunch items and a grocery store.
The State & Central building was purchased in October and construction began in January. The interior was gutted and then remade into a restaurant and dining area. Post and beams were left exposed, and a former basketball court was used for tabletops and the bar counter.
The business hasn’t forgotten its history.
On one wall is an Olympia beer billboard, and there’s a cocktail called The Score, named after the business that used to occupy the building. In a nod to the area they serve, they also have a cocktail called the Bigelow Manhattan.
The enterprise has a bar, but the restaurant is open to all ages, Randich said.
“We wanted to make it neighborhood friendly,” he said.
Sylvia Bassett of Olympia said she drove by the business and couldn’t wait to try it.
“It’s so cute,” she said.
The menu offers appetizers, soups and salads, burgers and sandwiches, including the “juicy lucy,” a double-patty burger with molten cheese stuffed in the middle.
Twelve beers are on tap, with plans to regularly rotate them; wine, beer cocktails and soft drinks round out the beverage menu.
There also are a few dessert items, and the State & Central website suggests there will be breakfast on the weekends.
State & Central
- Business partners: Jeff Randich, Terry Wilson, Adam Adrian and Taylor Vroman
- Location: 1415 State Ave., Olympia
- Years in business: New; opened June 12
- Employees: 13
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week
- Online: www.stateandcentral.com
- Did you know? Randich also is a part-time middle school physical education teacher.