Auburn's Station Bistro looks to corner business
By MARK KLAAS
Auburn Reporter Regional Editor
March 18, 2011 · Updated 10:33 AM
Three attempts to establish a successful restaurant at one corner of the Auburn Transit Station have failed.
Rhonda Ward and her team of experienced hands hope to change those fortunes.
The Station Bistro – formerly My Spot at the Station and Fields & Co. and originally Heavenly Grounds – recently opened to favorable reviews at 110 2nd St. SW, Suite 125.
New management has given the 2,900-square-foot space a quick face lift, from the warm decor to a menu filled with breakfast and lunch favorites daily.
Ward, one of the building's original lease partners, is determined to succeed where previous managers have failed.
She represents one of several new faces in familiar places – those downtown restaurants looking to grow in the midst of a sour economy.
In previous months, new management or operations have graced the restored Oddfellas, as well as Main Street mainstays Rainbow Café and Home Plate Pub.
Ward says area restaurants are on the rebound.
"I see lots of potential here," Ward said while serving customers and taking phone calls behind the restaurant's newly-installed pinewood counter. "A lot of people are coming into this area, and it would be nice to have a little area where people can walk to … to different restaurants to try different things. We can all work together."
Ward, a longtime Federal Way resident, brought in Jay Yager as general manager. Scott Turner brings his expertise as kitchen manager and head chef.
"There's a ton of potential here," said Yager, who has 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry. "The City of Auburn and the people who know us have been very supportive.
"Our philosophy is to meet the needs of our customers," he added. "If we are physically able, we will make it for our customers. We intend to bring quality food and quality service at affordable prices."
Ward hopes soon to offer dinner three evenings a week, as well as add beer and wine to the menu.
• A San Jose, Calif.,-based-company has purchased a 134-lot, single-family parcel in Auburn.
Union Community Partners, which buys real estate and provides liquidity to developers and home builders, paid slightly more than $7.5 million two weeks ago for the parcel, which abuts a residential neighborhood near South 340th Street and 55th Avenue South, southwest of the SuperMall and south of Peasley Canyon Road.
The purchase represents the Bay-area company's first acquisition in the Puget Sound-area.
• Algona-based Tim's Cascade Snacks recently received an Association of Washington Business Better Workplace Award for job training and advancement.
The AWB praised the company for consistently cross-training employees, providing workers with new skills in all production lines and opportunities for advancement.
In 2008, when the company automated its packaging and palletizing lines, each employee was given the opportunity to apply for new jobs and learn new skills.
In addition, Tim's sends employees to company-paid educational workshops and seminars and provides generous reimbursements for educations.
Tim's was the 2008 Employee of the Year by Vadis, an organization that finds employment for the disabled. Washington CEO Magazine also chose Tim's as one of "Washington's Best 100 Companies to Work For" in 2008.
In addition, the company has won several Environmental Excellence Awards, including water conservation, packaging reduction and a 10-year continuing Environmental Commitment Award.
Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips began in 1986 with Tim Kennedy and his family in a makeshift 15,000-square-foot facility in Auburn.
In 1988, Tim’s was named “the best potato chip in Seattle.” Since then, Tim’s has continued to be recognized with top taste awards from Esquire Magazine and The American Culinary Institute.
• Kevin Massimino and his crew will be working the Auburn area this summer as interns with StudentPainters.Net, a program that trains college students interested in running their own business.
As Auburn branch manager, Massimino is building a customer base, learning the ins and outs of the painting business, doing marketing, providing estimates and even hiring painters for the summer.
"How often does a 19-year-old have the opportunity to say they own and operate their own business?" said Massimino, a freshman at Washington State University who originally is from Kent.
Massimino, who was recruited to run the branch, will gain experience and earn college credit for his summer work.
"If you're pretty motivated, there is a big payoff. I hope it will fund my sophomore tuition," he said.
The team is taking residential orders to begin work in May and finish in August.
To learn more or to place a project order, visit studentpainters.net or call 253-334-7252.
• Business: The Station Bistro
• Location: 110 2nd St. SW, Suite 125, at the corner of A Street Southwest and 2nd Street Southwest
• Specialties: Fish-n-chips and clam chowder made from scratch; soups, salads and sandwiches; burgers and wraps; omelets and griddle items; freshly baked goods for morning commuters.
• Hours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m., daily.
• Information: 253-735-1399. Website TBA.Contact Auburn Reporter Regional Editor Mark Klaas at email@example.com or 1-253-833-0218 (ext 5050).