Patty Freebourn and her husband Garrett shared a meal and a memory in an intimate spot outside a cafe in Florence, Italy years ago. Freebourn has since recreated the moment in her new restaurant, open across from Chase Bank (Paul Rowley/Staff Photo).

Patty Freebourn and her husband Garrett shared a meal and a memory in an intimate spot outside a cafe in Florence, Italy years ago. Freebourn has since recreated the moment in her new restaurant, open across from Chase Bank (Paul Rowley/Staff Photo).

Variety of new restaurants open on island

Each promises to be your new favorite spot in town.

With so many options for grabbing a bite to eat on the island, you won’t have to cook ever again.

Stop in for coffee or sit down for a meal at the newest restaurants on Vashon, catering to all types of appetites and budgets.

Pollard Coffee

This new shop, the brainchild of business partners Robin Pollard and Michael McConnell, opened with all-day free coffee and pizza in tandem with McConnell’s O Sole Mio Pizza House next door on Friday, July 5. Later that evening, a private party thrown by the two owners featured a performance by veteran grunge rocker Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) who played a set for both partygoers and onlookers in the alley to a large crowd on stage behind the renovated building.

The site of the restaurants was once the island’s main post office.

“We’re so excited to be in a building that has that Vashon story behind it,” said Pollard. “That makes it extra special.”

Inside is an airy seating area and a collection of vinyl records for sale on the far wall. Patrons can sip on an espresso or cold brew, and Pollard hopes that soon she will be able to offer wine by the glass from her vineyard located on the island.

“It’s just really kind of a dream come true for me,” she said.

Pollard Coffee is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

O Sole Mio Pizza House

McConnell’s shop next door offers New York-style pizza, both by the slice and whole 18” pies, with a variety of toppings to choose from. Eat-in or carry out — O Sole Mio is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Wild Mermaid

The Wild Mermaid, perched on the waterfront next door to the north-end ferry dock, is celebrating a grand opening tonight, Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. with full restaurant and bar service as well as a performance by musical guest Saint Ophelia. The restaurant is the creation of islanders Adam Cone and Megan Hastings, who own Snapdragon Bakery & Cafe, including the Hastings Cone Gallery, Home Sweet Home bar and new Black Cat Cabaret.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce, will take place at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Cone said it took a long time for the pair to narrow down the possibilities for the restaurant — they opened for limited hours last winter, serving baked goods, sandwiches and coffee. He added that they built Snapdragon in the same deliberate way.

“We learned that making modest but incremental changes over time was kind of a healthy evolution,” he said. “It deserved to have some extra time.”

The Wild Mermaid Restaurant will be open Thursday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. or later. The adjoining Bar Gabbiano — meaning “seagull” in Italian — will be open until 10 p.m. or later.

Patty’s Place

One of the island’s newest hotspots for breakfast and lunch, across from Chase Bank, draws inspiration from Italy and from a touching memory.

Years ago, Patty Freebourn and her husband Garrett traveled to Florence for a getaway, arriving by plane early in the morning before dawn. They decided to stop for food at a small cafe, taking their seats around a table arranged on the sidewalk under the flicker of an old street lamp. Freebourn said they ordered waffles and gazed up at the night sky blazing with stars.

“And it occurred to me to bring that experience to [Vashon],” she said.

Patty’s Place recreates that experience behind tinted windows under a black canopy dotted with bright LED stars. Antique sconces light up the walls and a faux window in the back corner of the restaurant marks the spot where Freebourn and Garrett sat together, enjoying each other’s company.

In 2017 Garrett was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine cancer that Freebourn said has now metastasized. But working inside the restaurant, she said, will remind her of that morning for years to come.

“It’s going to be there forever, and I’m going to remember eating with my husband in Italy,” she said. “So I want everyone to experience that.”

Patty’s Place is open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon and for lunch from noon to 3 p.m. The restaurant is open seven days a week.


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