Cultivating a Neighborly, Unforgettable Experience at Bake's Place
Even as recovery phases across Washington state threaten to slide backward and curtail gatherings and other activities, local businesses like Bake’s Place Bar & Bistro are not as daunted by what the future has in store.
Equipped with a waterproof, vaulted tent and ample al fresco seating options on a sprawling patio, Bake’s Place is poised to weather restrictions and reach customers hungry for a taste of normalcy.
Craig Baker and Chris Peterson, the respective owner and general manager of the popular neighborhood venue, are equal parts patient and determined to leverage all the resources at their disposal, expand its customer base and deftly shift gears to meet demand.
Inspired by the horn-driven outfit, Tower of Power, Craig rehearses “We Came to Play” as his own warrior mantra to rally his troops, raise morale and restore confidence.
“We’ve built ourselves to become such a versatile place,” Craig explained. “We’ve gained the experience, expertise and reputation to really thrive and reinvent ourselves this season.”
Capacity has always been reliable at Bake’s Place, where up to 120 seated guests can be accommodated between the main floor and indoor mezzanine, not to mention the 150 outdoor seats also available.
An imminent return to corporate offices Downtown could eventually spur larger reservations, holiday parties and private events, Chris said.
New outposts for mogul enterprises like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft cropping up in the Downtown core have recently accounted for an influx of fresh faces and the highest volume of clientele at Bake’s Place, Chris explained, likely bolstered by proximity, accessibility, and of course, an artfully curated Instagram gallery to draw greater appeal and broaden their scope.
Motivated by the degree of change and adaptation rife among COVID-19, Chris and Craig recognized their moment to tailor its image from an acclaimed entertainment nexus that serves food and beverage, into a premium “restaurant with live music, as the icing on the cake,” Craig and Chris described.
While live performances can still be expected on the menu, Craig stressed that any live music component should be considered as just one offering among a variety of choices, or “another layer of an enriched atmosphere,” Craig said.
“There are other promotions and incentives we’ve launched to encourage folks to visit us throughout the week, like Whiskey Wednesday or Tiki Thursday,” Craig said. “And musicians booked for an evening concert are reserved as a special, exclusive event people can look forward to on the calendar.”
Not a second has been spared since its temporary closure through the winter months, extra time Craig and Chris have invested in preparations for revamped customer service, architecture and other augmented operations.
While on hiatus, Craig and Chris have primed staff for an “explosive return” and dialed in on cultivating an unforgettable experience.
A true testament to its slogan, “You only have to find us once,” Craig and Chris are eager to foster the kind of fellowship, thoughtful accommodations and personable touches that have laid the foundation for their namesake establishment.
“Our bartenders aim to remember your usual drink, we strike up great conversation, we listen to your comments and strive to catch all the details in between,” Craig said. “When customers walk through the door, our staff doesn’t miss a beat welcoming each guest, like greeting your favorite neighbor.”
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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