Sara and Tyler Hansen became the new owners of The Oystercatcher Restaurant in Downtown Coupeville on December 2nd. They plan to maintain the current atmosphere of the restaurant, which is known for its fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Sara comments, “We know we have inherited a ton of goodwill.”
The Hansens lived in the Bellingham area for a while, then traveled to Lake Tahoe and Vail, Colorado before acknowledging they wanted to return to the Pacific Northwest.
Although Sara and Tyler are just 28 and 29 years old, respectively, they share many years of experience in the restaurant industry. Tyler has worked in restaurants since he began volunteering at a local place when he was just 15 years old. He worked his way up to becoming a lead chef over the years.
Sara was a barista in high school. She has worked in restaurants for 10 years, and helped manage a restaurant in Vail, Colo. She got a degree in Journalism. Her skills are being used in the promotion and marketing of their new enterprise.
They met at Chuckanut Manor in Bow, Washington and soon realized they were not only a romantic match, they were a great business team. They married in 2010.
Checking out Craigslist in July 2013, Tyler was able to find a job working for the Captain Whidbey Inn, and they quickly found a house to purchase in Coupeville. They decided to go to The Oystercatcher Restaurant that night to celebrate. They met Joe and Jamie Scott, then owners of the restaurant, and the two couples found themselves talking at great length and sharing their philosophies about being chefs and running a restaurant.
A few days later, Sara and Tyler learned that the Scotts were puttingThe Oystercatcher up for sale. Tyler wrote a business plan that was presented to Whidbey Island Bank, and their loan application for the purchase of The Oystercatcher was quickly approved.
Sara and Tyler are using local suppliers as much as possible for produce, as well as some fish, meat and poultry. Their menu features small plates that sell for $10 to $15 and they have four different entrees each week that generally include a fish, poultry and beef selection, plus a special entrée featuring pork, lamb, rabbit or shellfish. They will prepare vegetarian fare when requested.
Currently, The Oystercatcher is open Thursdays through Sundays from 5 PM to 9 PM. They will be extending hours in May and will be open every day but Tuesday. Reservations are advised.
360-678-0683. The website is: http://www.oystercatcherwhidbey.com/