Black Pearl taking shape in Washougal

Work continues on event center due to open in August

The large building that has been vacant for seven years on the Washougal waterfront will be the site of several events this year, starting in August.

Kimberly Sherertz, the trustee of the Black Pearl Event Center, said there are bookings for a Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership lecture, as well as a brewfest, Tango and Tapas, a corporate holiday celebration and a Christmas Ships viewing party. The Washougal High School prom will be held there in April 2019.

The Black Pearl Event Center is located at 54 S. First St., overlooking the Port of Camas-Washougal marina.

“The event center will provide an opportunity for companies to do corporate trainings and team building, bringing folks in from out of the area,” Sherertz said. “The Best Western (Plus Parkersville Inn & Suites) is in a great location to benefit from this activity as well as all the other service providers in the area such as restaurants, caterers, coffee purveyors and event planners to provide services to these various organizations.”

Sherertz said she has been told by many people that the Camas-Washougal area is in need of large areas to gather.

She envisions the Black Pearl Event Center as a place for craft brewing fairs, auctions that raise money for diverse causes, craft fairs, art auctions and charity events.

Meanwhile, work continues on tenant improvements, including the installation of plumbing and electricity, heating and air conditioning, bathrooms, warming kitchens, an elevator and a riverside deck.

Crews from GRO Outdoor Living are providing landscaping services. They recently placed boulders along the outside of the event center, creating a wall that will double as a sitting area.

The 12,000-square-foot concrete, steel and glass building was originally built to accommodate an upscale restaurant named Black Pearl on the Columbia, with a bar, banquet and meeting rooms, patio dining and a 5,000-bottle wine cellar with rentable lockers. The restaurant had been expected to open in the spring of 2011, but Sherertz’s husband, Bill, the managing member of Black Pearl on the Columbia LLC, died in January of 2011, at the age of 64.

Sherertz said later that year it was her husband’s wish to open the restaurant, but she was not as passionate about the restaurant business as her husband had been. The William W. Sherertz Trust owns the Black Pearl building and site. Kimberly Sherertz is the trustee, and their four children are part of the trust.

For more information, email blackpearlonthecolumbia@gmail.com.