Thanks for the (food and life) memories, Chanterelle | Arts & Appetite
Last updated 10/15/2018 at Noon
Edmonds likes its institutions.
Events like Taste Edmonds and the holiday tree lighting, as well as shopping locales from 99 Ranch Market to Edmonds Bookshop, and bars like Engel’s or The Loft, have operated for many years.
We like to see the same friendly faces, and partake in reliably wonderful offerings.
But the one constant in life is change, and Edmonds institutions like Chanterelle Restaurant (or Chanterelle’s, as everyone refers to it) do eventually have to change.
Randy and Brooke Baker, owners and operators of the restaurant with its welcoming sign outside the historic Schumacher Building on Main Street are retiring after 21 years.
Residents and patrons have expressed their surprise and sadness. Teresa Simanton, an Edmonds resident and real estate agent, said, “I love Brooke and Randy. Sad to hear they are retiring, but they are amazing and have made Chanterelles such an important part of Edmonds.”
The Bakers shared that some longtime patrons came in and cried after the Bakers broke the news, because so many have made eating and visiting with neighbors at Chanterelle part of their routine.
“I love to see all of the different people at different tables who know each other,” Brooke said.
So instead of dwelling on the melancholy, we can linger in heart-warming food and life memories that people across Edmonds can share about their experiences at Chanterelle.
When I think of Chanterelle, I see my friends, Michelle and Ruth, sitting across the table as we planned the final details of our Mount Rainier climb, talking of our fears and excitement and making sure we have enough calories to get us to the top.
I remember our friends, Jack and Chris, raving about a dinner special nearly every week and telling us about the bottle of wine that paired perfectly with the food.
“There are so many memories, it's hard to know where to start,” Brooke said. “It's like my life is flashing by in front of me as I think or all the employees who have worked here, all the regular diners, the funny incidents. The memories come to mind when least expected.”
Many familiar local residents and business owners have an unwavering regular presence at Chanterelle. Michelle Clyborne calls their tomato bisque a “soup for the soul.” Jim Blossey, marketing whiz and Edmonds Veterans Plaza committee volunteer, has breakfast there three times a week.
John the barber is often seen, as is Doug Dewer, of Dewer, Meek, & Ekrem. The Bakers are heartened when friends of the late Port Executive Director Chris Keuss say that they always knew where they could meet up with him at Chanterelle.
Chanterelle even has a mayor’s table (table 21 one of the high tops in the bar). Dave Earling comes in often for dinner or business meetings.
"In my opinion, they have the best black-and-blue yellowfin tuna around,” he said. “The only time I am conflicted in ordering is on Friday, when I have to choose between their tomato bisque soup and clam chowder."
The restaurant is most consistently described as a comforting place to go. People feel warm and cared for, and it has become the choice for an everyday meal, as well as for a special occasion.
“I am Mrs. Chantrelle when I am out at the supermarket,” Brooke said.
The restaurant has been the Bakers’ identity for more than two decades, and the couple looks forward to enjoying Edmonds themselves, and as Baker said, “Now we can go out to other restaurants.”
“Chanterelle will live on,” Brooke said. The new owner, Hoa Tran, is “committed to our concept,” and will give Chanterelle patrons the opportunity to create more memories in the future.
Chanterelle is at 316 Main St., Edmonds, and is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.