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Back Bay dresses down, dubs itself a pub

Islanders enjoy opening night at Quartermaster Pub in the Back Bay Inn on Friday, Nov. 7. The inn hosted a show by photographer Ray Pfortner and live music by Eelgrass. - Amelia Heagerty/staff photo
Islanders enjoy opening night at Quartermaster Pub in the Back Bay Inn on Friday, Nov. 7. The inn hosted a show by photographer Ray Pfortner and live music by Eelgrass.
— image credit: Amelia Heagerty/staff photo

For Back Bay Inn in Burton, the financial disaster on Wall Street has hit home — hard. October saw the eatery’s lowest sales in years, prompting the small family establishment to remake itself entirely.

This weekend, the once linen-and-china restaurant quietly reopened as Quartermaster Pub, with new decor and nine menu items under $9.

After last month’s dismal sales and drop in customers, owners Victoria Davies and John “Stormy” Storms reached out to their regular customers, many of whom live in Burton.

“We were able to talk to them in passing and find out what’s going on,” Davies said. “The neighborhood said, ‘We love you, but we can’t afford to come there any more.’”

So, she said, Back Bay adopted a whole new look — and name.

The Quartermaster Pub has no crystal or fine china, but it has an array of comfort food on the menu, new wines and beers and a cheery, colloquial atmosphere.

Open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner, the pub hosts unplugged music on Wednesday and Thursday and aims to be a place where Islanders can “forget the stress,” Davies said.

She, Storms and head chef Steve Knoder came up with the restaurant’s new image and menu to revitalize the neighborhood restaurant, the Island’s only eatery south of Vashon town.

Knoder, a longtime employee at the restaurant, was instrumental in creating the pub, Davies said.

On the “9-9-9 menu” — nine items under $9 — are dishes such as baked brie in a bread bowl, curried sweet potato french fries and “an Asian lettuce wrap that’s to die for,” Davies said.

The traditional menu remains, though a bit pared down, and the dessert menu has stayed the same, she added.

In its inaugural weekend, the pub seemed to be a hit with locals. People popped in to ask about the new Quartermaster Pub sign, stayed for appetizers and hung out all night.

“It was off the charts. It was just like summer,” she said.

 

Community Events, April 2014

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