Darby’s Cafe will permanently close the doors of its current downtown Olympia locale after brunch service Dec. 20.
But fans of the funky eatery at 211 Fifth Ave. SE, which was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” two years ago, will have something to celebrate on New Year’s Day: Darby’s is scheduled to reopen Jan. 1 in the Thurston First Bank Building, where it will share space with Three Magnets Brewing Co.
The new location at 600 Franklin St. SE, Suite 105, is about 200 footsteps away from the current space, as long as you use the shortcut through a downtown bank’s parking lot, according to Sara and Nate Reilly who own the cafe and the brewery.
The couple said they’re excited about the idea of bringing both of their enterprises under the same roof. They opened Darby’s about 10 years ago, and Three Magnets recently had its one-year anniversary.
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“Realistically, it should make everything run smoother, from service to quality of food,” Nate Reilly said.
The couple are expecting their second baby in March, and they’re hoping the consolidation will make their lives easier. Many of the behind-the-scenes duties of running a restaurant, such as accounting, will be easier under the same roof because there will be less duplication, Nate Reilly said.
“Our lives are just getting complicated with two businesses,” he added.
Darby’s will be moving into the front area of the brewery. They plan to create a separate space for Darby’s with the use of vintage window panes.
They also plan to use the same color and décor in the new space, and are in talks with artist David Joel to create another mural for the new location, Sara Reilly said.
In fact, the Reillys said they don’t believe regulars will much notice the change because they’ll still have the same food, furniture and staff. They don’t expect any job loss and said they might have to add dishwashers after the changes settle in.
Darby’s menu will essentially stay the same, although the new space might give them a chance to incorporate more fresh baked items or smoked meats since they’ll be able to use the brewery’s much-larger kitchen, Sara Reilly said.
“We feel like, over time, we’ll actually be able to help each other out,” she added.