A pizzeria that will fire made-to-order pies in a brick oven in 60 to 90 seconds is slated to open in April at the former site of Movie Magic.
Keith Bakker, a Vashon resident with a long background in the restaurant business, says his eatery will be called Saucy Sisters, named for his wife Susan Bakker, who works at Vashon High School, and her sister Vicky Eiselin, who will manage the eatery.
It will be styled in the fashion of Chipotle or Qdoba, two popular restaurant chains that have a brisk counter business and allow customers to pick and choose from a wide selection of items in creating their entrees, he said.
Standing in the middle of his gutted building last week, Bakker sounded an enthusiastic note as he described the concept. The restaurant will specialize in individual pizzas, 10 inches in size, with toppings and dough type — whole wheat, white or gluten-free — selected by the customer, he said. Hand-tossed salads will also be on the menu. Beer and wine will be served.
And for those who like sodas, Saucy Sisters will have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, featuring more than 100 varieties and flavors, he said.
“It’s the latest thing,” he said of the soda machine.
Bakker, 57, comes to the business with considerable experience in what he calls quick-serve restaurants, known in the industry by the acronym QSR. He owned two Chuck E. Cheese restaurants and a Take ‘n’ Bake.
Most recently, he was director of franchise performance for Burger King, working with franchises in eight Western states.
“I’ve been in the service business all my life,” he said.
But his franchise background, he said, doesn’t mean he’s trying to create a fast-food restaurant that’s chain-like in appearance. “It’s going to be anything but a QSR,” he said.
The restaurant’s specialty pizzas will have Vashon-inspired names — like the KVI Bonfire and the Ferry Karma, he said. Other pizzas will be customized, using fresh ingredients, he added. There will be seating for up to 48 people at tables and counters, as well as a brisk take-out business, he hopes.
“This is an original, a one-of-a-kind,” he said. “We’re promoting individuality, and Vashon does, too.”
Bakker bought the building in December after he and his wife searched for a business to purchase on Vashon — efforts that didn’t pan out. The goal is to run a business that “gives back to the community,” he said. He plans to hold fundraisers and provide other kinds of community support.
Bakker, a father of two, also hopes his restaurant will be both teen- and family-friendly.
His youngest son, Kyle, a football player, graduated from Vashon High School two years ago. Bakker said he imagines staying open late on nights when there’s a high school game in town and offering special pizzas to the opposing team as it heads out of town.
“We want to be known as the local place,” he said.
“You make it or break it by how you treat your regulars,” he added.
Asked about the presence of two other pizza places in Vashon town, Bakker answered that he’s not terribly worried about that.
“Competition is always good and benefits the consumers,” he said. “I think competition makes everybody better.”
Meanwhile, the restaurant already has a bit of a family feeling. His son, a business major, is helping with product line development, he said. And on a recent day last week, Bakker’s 83-year-old father climbed a ladder to help remove shingles from the aging roof.
Bakker grinned. “We’re having a good time,” he said.