A man with more than 30 years experience in the food, beverage and hospitality industry has fulfilled his dream of opening a restaurant.
George Goodrich, 62, along with his wife, Elizabeth Goodrich, 64, and their daughter, Gwen Goodrich, 35, have opened The Hammond Kitchen + Craft Bar, in Camas.
Since its debut in March 2018, the restaurant, located in the Dwyer Creek Crossings development on Northwest Lake Road, has been “embraced” by the community, according to Gwen.
“The whole area takes care of their own,” she said.
Gwen said there are some customers who have already become regulars.
George and Elizabeth have lived in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver for more than 20 years.
“The sense of community in Camas is unique,” he said. “It is close-knit.”
The Hammond has 65 employees, including the three owners. George said 40 percent of the employees are full-time workers, and it gave him an immense sense of pride when he was hiring for the new business.
He said opening a restaurant has involved a lot of hours and sacrifice, and they have to strike a balance that involves setting a price for the meals and generating revenue to pay the staff.
When determining what The Hammond’s interior was going to look like, George said he wanted it to be “extremely comfortable, with larger, padded chairs,” where people could be really relaxed.
He added that the restaurant features food from regional farms, cocktails with fresh juice and 30 beers on tap.
Gwen, the Hammond’s director of operations and “wine lady,” said 60 wines are available to choose from.
Customers can enjoy a cheeseburger and a beer, while wearing shorts and a T-shirt, or steak and wine, while dressed up for a date night.
Gwen has worked in restaurants for 17 years, and her eights years of experience in the wine industry include serving as cellar manager at wineries in Australia, New Zealand, Napa Valley, California and the Willamette Valley, in Oregon. She is working on a business degree at Oregon State University.
Elizabeth is in charge of booking large groups at The Hammond. A private dining room that can seat 48 people for dinner or approximately 80 for a stand up cocktail party has been used for rehearsal dinners, birthday and college graduation parties, business dinners and wedding receptions.
The chef and director of culinary arts at The Hammond Kitchen + Craft Bar, Dylan Reish, of Washougal, worked for 23 years with Restaurants Unlimited (RUI), previously Pacific Coast Restaurants. He was the brand chef for Stanford’s, as well as a training chef for Henry’s Tavern, in Seattle and Plano, Texas.
“I worked my way up from an entry level position — dishwasher — and learned everything over 20 years in the culinary field, working for great chefs,” Reish said.
Buttermilk fried chicken and prime rib dip sandwiches are on the lunch menu, along with crab cakes, quinoa yam cake bowls and homestyle deviled eggs.
Fish and chips, skillet baked mac and cheese and Carlton Farms bacon brick oven pizza are among the “Social Hour,” options, served from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 3 to 6 p.m., on the weekends.
The dinner menu features fresh king salmon, mushroom meatloaf and wood grilled choice ribeye steak, as well as chicken salad, duck liver pate and seared brussel sprouts.
Brunch, served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, includes eggs benedict, forrest mushroom and gouda omelets, salads, sandwiches, brick oven pizzas and wood grilled chicken breasts and salmon filets.
The Hammond Kitchen + Craft Bar, at 4857 N.W. Lake Road, Ste. 200, Camas, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday. For more information, visit thehammondkitchenandcraftbar.com.