Owner: Tim Shea
Why Bellingham? “I’ve been here for nine years now. One of the few things Bellingham is missing is this really strong downtown core of business, especially restaurants. I’ll go to Seattle just to get an awesome meal but I don’t want to do that. Bellingham can support not only this restaurant but also more restaurants like this.”
What is your favorite shop downtown? Why? “The Temple Bar. They have good cocktails and good service.”
Nestled next to the Mount Baker Theatre is a new restaurant that owner and New York City native Tim Shea hopes to bring a piece of home to Bellingham’s downtown scene.
Tim describes Hundred North as modern Northwest cuisine, but does not limit himself to a certain type of fare. He aspires to bring big-city level dining to a community that thrives on being the best of both worlds. Drawing his vision from restaurants in the West Village of New York, where there are smaller dining rooms, great staff and exceptional wine menus, Tim has designed his restaurant to emulate the same principles.
From the sleek stainless steel to the mahogany table and countertops, he spent over four months hand-building the dining area from scratch. Tim’s experience working in construction of off-grid homes back in Vermont has helped him exercise complete creative control over his business from the ground up. It’s an impressive one-man show that is driven by his passion for hospitality.
“I’m happiest when I’m entertaining people,” Tim said. “When there’s dogs and people in my house and everyone has a full glass of wine.”
While the food is considered fine dining, Hundred North is neither stuffy nor quiet like some upscale establishments. Tim describes the atmosphere as having a bistro feel that welcomes all those who appreciate good food.
“It’s loud, it’s fun,” he said. “You can have the best of both worlds here.”
Finding a team that shared his passion for quality and service was not a process that happened overnight. Beginning in March, Tim interviewed more than 30 potential chefs and even flew some candidates out from other parts of the country before finding his choice.
Nathan Huntington studied at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland and trained under one of the most famous French chefs, Laurent Gras. Nathan helped Laurent open L2O in Chicago, an establishment that received three stars from the Michelin guide, its highest rating. They are one out of only 14 restaurants in the country to be awarded such a prestigious review.
“He is a humble, soft spoken, hard working kind of guy,” Tim said. “I’ve got a chef and a good friend now, which has been great.”
With strong confidence in his staff and service, Tim is excited to bring a whole new kind of dining experience to the Bellingham community. He’s found it rewarding to open a restaurant in a town where you can see the economy boosting directly because of your business.
“Job creation is really fun for me,” he said. “When I sleep at night it makes me happy to know I’m employing 25 people who didn’t have jobs two months ago.” Though it has been just six months since he started, Tim says this has been the best he’s felt yet about his career.
“I want people to realize that this is a passion project,” he said. “I’m really interested in making sure that everyone that comes through the door is happy.“
Head to 100 North Commercial Street for exquisite dining and crafty cocktails.
Today's post was written by marketing intern Ashley Conradi.