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New Taprock Northwest Grill opening is delayed

POULSBO — Originally scheduled to launch this month, the new Taprock Northwest Grill in the Poulsbo Village is now scheduled for an early 2008 opening.

While its construction, like that of many other projects this time of year, may be running a bit behind, Elmers Restaurant, Inc. is still awaiting the debut of the restaurant with excitement.

“Our hope is that Taprock will be a welcome addition to the community,” said ERI marketing manager Michelle Hicks. “As a company whose heritage is based in the Northwest, we believe whole-heartedly in connecting with the neighborhood and the residents we serve. We’re hopeful we’re creating a place that will immediately blend into the close-knit community.”

Public relations representative Becky Emmett said the restaurant’s progress hasn’t hit any major road blocks, and construction is steadily moving ahead despite missing the September completion date.

“Construction is construction,” she added.

Hicks said plans are still moving along for the eatery, though the hiring process — expected to start in September — has not yet begun.

“We are getting very close, but have a few things to accomplish before the hiring begins,” she said.

The company is also planning a grand opening event to kickoff the start of its Pacific Northwest-themed business.

“With the beautiful lodge-style setting, comfortable atmosphere and genuine hospitality, all unique to the Northwest, it’ll feel like a mini-retreat,” Hicks said. “The menu will offer dishes prepared with care by our talented chefs utilizing fresh and local ingredients that we hope will rekindle some of their fondest memories of Northwest vacations past. We hope they leave us a little inspired and rejuvenated, anticipating their next visit.”

Taprock’s predecessor, Mitzel’s American Kitchen, was destroyed in a May 30, 2006 fire. In the new digs, ERI is planning to utilize many of the farmers and suppliers in the area.

“Northwest chef and cookbook author Diane Morgan has partnered with us to develop the new menu,” Hicks said. “We don’t have specifics yet, but I can tell you that the menu will include a range of options... We’re currently talking with local farmer’s to supply our produce and Northwest suppliers like Beecher’s Cheese and Painted Hills Beef in Oregon. From great breakfasts, seafood to steak, burgers to salads, there will be something for everyone.”

Poulsbo Village manager Beverly Lyon said she and the village’s business owners are looking forward to the restaurant’s grand debut, and are already relieved the exterior construction work is finished.

“The other tenants are obviously very pleased that our parking lot is back operational,” she said.

Lyon added Mitzel’s brought in a lot of customers to the shopping area, and she thinks ERI’s plans for Taprock will meet with just as much success.

“Everybody’s very anxious for it to be reopened and be a part of the Poulsbo Village family,” she said. “I know that all the tenants are anxious for it to be reopened because it generated visitors to the center. I think with their new format it’s going to continue to bring in a lot of folks.”

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