New owners sweeten Sunshine Café in Sequim

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group
Kyla and Josh Washburn, new owners of Sunshine Café, said they are excited to offer fun food at the downtown Sequim restaurant.

SEQUIM — Loud, locally-driven and loving it.

“We wanted to make something different … and we wanted to keep it fun,” said Kyla Washburn, inside the newly redesigned Sunshine Café at 145 W. Washington St. in Sequim.

“We always wanted to do a breakfast place. This seemed like the natural next step.”

Kyla and husband Josh Washburn, the new co-owners of the downtown Sequim eatery, have their hands full with two other businesses — Adagio Bean and Leaf and HMP Construction — but are making it work to offer a revamped menu and atmosphere to serve breakfast, brunch and beverages five days a week, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

In fact, the couple has a number of staffers from Adagio — a stop for many coffee aficionados on Sequim’s east end (981 E. Washington St.) — to fill out the staff at Sunshine Café.

“We have a great team,” Kyla Washburn said. “[And] we still have time for our families.”

Regulars of the café that for nearly two decades was overseen by Alan and Dianne Drake and more recently Tristen Beck and Lucas Shifflett have seen a new interior, a waiting area, modified seating and a new menu featuring some of the Washburns’ favorites since the restaurant re-opened March 23.

Several of the breakfast and brunch items are inspired by the couple’s travels, Kyla Washburn said — including the Loaded Potatoes Tumblers “Ode to Oklahoma” that she said they picked up on one of their long annual trips, one that took them through, unsurprisingly, Oklahoma.

“Everything else is stuff we love,” she said. “[And] we do everything fresh.”

Among Kyla Washburn’s favorites are the Mac-N-Cheese Please — a plate featuring macaroni-and-cheese bites topped with pulled pork, a fried egg and chipotle Hollandaise sauce — the Northwest Benny and the Loaded Tumblers.

Other menu highlights include a breakfast poutine, Cinnamon Roll Me Outta Here, the quixotically-named Mountain of Yum (beignet balls piled high and topped with candied bacon, butter drizzle and spiced maple syrup), the Southern Joe (grill cakes topped with Verde pork, a poached egg, chipotle Hollandaise sauce and tortilla strips) and various other culinary delights, from Southern fried chicken to sirloin steak to pork Verde tacos and more.

The menu also features a “Kids Corner” for the younger palates.

Check out Sunshine Café’s menu online on its Facebook page.

“He [Josh] is really the one who puts it all together; he’s the brains behind the food,” she said.

Customers can also get a coffee or espresso from — you guessed it — Adagio Bean and Leaf, a company the Washburns bought in 2019, and eventually spirits, when the business’ liquor license comes through.

Kyla Washburn said the Washburns stopped in and talked with Beck and Shifflett, then the owners of Sunshine Café, to see if they’d be open to selling, and the cafe soon had new owners.

In recent weeks, the Washburns have been hard at work renovating both the eating area and some major changes to the kitchen — adding prep stations and re-flooring — and making some changes to the branding, including a new logo.

Cafe customers also can order to-go meals and drinks, something Kyla Washburn said they plan to add at Adagio as well.

Along with the changes, cafe-goers can expect to see plenty of the owners themselves; with Josh in the kitchen overseeing meals and Kyla working the tables alongside staff, something she says was important to the couple.

“[We have a] really solid, consistent, loving team. Not just out here [on the floor] but back there [in the kitchen],” Kyla Washburn said. “Everyone really does care about each other.

“It’s a natural extension of what we normally do.”

The Washburns said that they get plenty of help from the four grown children they’ve raised on the Peninsula.

In the two-plus weeks since it re-opened, the cafe has been filled, she said.

“People want to get out right now; they’re itching for something new,” she said.

That’s something everyone — even other restaurants — can get behind, Kyla Washburn said.

“Community is really important to us,” she said.“If we’re successful, why can’t everyone be successful? And it comes back to you.”

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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