Zombiez (Susan Riemer /Staff Photo)

Zombiez (Susan Riemer /Staff Photo)

Zombiez sold to island family, menu is not expected to change

After six years in business, Zombiez has changed hands.

As of last week, the new owners are Matt and Jennifer Harvey of Vashon.

The sale closed Monday, June 11, and almost immediately Jennifer was at work in the restaurant, with help from former owners Jim Hassell and Corlean Payne, for as smooth a transition as possible. For now, customers should expect the same food and service as before the sale.

“My plans right now are to learn everything I can about the business, the guests and the food,” Jennifer Harvey said via email over the weekend. “It will continue to be the same great staff and delicious food everyone expects from Zombiez. Hand cut fries, grass-fed beef, and the most amazing housemade beer battered onion rings aren’t going anywhere. Gluten-free and vegan options will continue to be available, and I’ll be looking to expand our frozen treat options to accompany our existing shakes, cones and floats.”

Harvey, who moved to the island with her family from the east side last September, noted that she grew up in a small town in Wyoming, and that the local burger joint was always the hub of activity, “the place to be.” She said she is looking forward to continuing that tradition with what Payne and Hassell created, and is excited to become a member of the Vashon restaurant community.

She also had high praise for Zombiez’ staff.

“I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful this staff is to work with,” she added. “The atmosphere of Zombiez is a casual burger joint, but the menu is complex, and the kitchen staff is able to execute it flawlessly. As I look to expanding hours and offerings, I’m excited to bring in more people to join the Zombiez team.”

Payne also shared her thoughts about the transition and what comes next for her family.

“We are happy to pass the torch to another island family and look forward to seeing what Jennifer and Matt have in store for the old DQ/Zombiez,” she said, also via email.

She added that the two couples will continue to be in touch to support each other in their ventures.

For Payne and Hassell, those ventures mean a move to Oregon where Hassell has been spending considerable time at their new business, Spyglass Otter Crest — a restaurant and event space at the Inn at Otter Creek on the coast.

“We will miss Vashon and everyone we’ve come to call family during our 10 years here,” she said. “It’s bittersweet, but we will continue to visit and keep in touch. It’s not goodbye but see you later. We are very grateful to the community that has supported and encouraged us. It was a group effort to be sure, making Zombiez what it is today and giving our family a strong foundation to set on during our time here.”

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