After more than a decade, the 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop is looking to move out of its namesake location in downtown Olympia.
Owner Bonnie Elsey said her lease is up in June and she wants to move somewhere with a larger kitchen and more storage so the restaurant can add breakfast and dinner service.
“That got the ball rolling,” she said of her lease ending. “I need a bigger space, so this is the time to move.”
Elsey opened 5th Avenue Sandwich in 2005. In 2013, she opened 5th on 4th — on Fourth Avenue and Quince Street Northeast, east of downtown — which she turned over to her daughter and son-in-law to run two years ago. Earlier this month, Elsey sold her Tenino coffee shop, Quarry Town Coffee Shop.
Now, she said, she is focused on expanding 5th Avenue Sandwich. She has been looking for a new location for a few months, something downtown (“basically my customers prefer that I stay downtown”) that was previously used as a restaurant so she can avoid extensive renovations.
Recently 5th Avenue Sandwich posted on Facebook asking its customers: “Please help us find a new location … time is of the essence, they do want us out of here soon.”
“There’s a lot of things being built, but they’re all two years out,” Elsey said. “I’m just hoping to push it (up) so I can be open in June.”
Elsey said she is in talks to lease space that is double her current size in the Olympian Hotel building on Legion Way that formerly housed Urban Onion Restaurant & Lounge. The Urban Onion closed in 2015 after 42 years.
Sandy Desner is president of Deskoba Inc., which owns 5th Avenue Sandwich’s building. Desner said it is too early to say what will happen with the space, but noted it housed another sandwich shop for decades before 5th Avenue Sandwich moved in.
Desner said maybe another one will move in.