Following months of renovations and preparation, Ocean Prime Family Restaurant, a new fine dining grill and bar in Chehalis, is set for its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on March 20.
Though he had originally hoped to be open in December, a number of issues delayed chef Eyner “Rene” Cardona. But now, partnered with his new general manager Kristi Beebe, he is ready to open his first restaurant.
“We got 100% on our (health) inspection. It wasn’t actually the inspection that we were waiting for. It was everything else, like the new equipment not being grandfathered in like the new hoods and (Cardona) completely gutted this place out,” Beebe said. “The whole kitchen, the flooring, all new equipment, everything is new and clean.”
Located where the former Kit Carson Family Restaurant was at 107 SW Interstate Ave., Ocean Prime’s menu will feature a variety of items, such as ribeye, tomahawk steaks, king salmon, ribs, soups, sandwiches, pasta and salads.
Additionally, the restaurant has a complete breakfast menu and Cardona makes everything from scratch.
“I’m just making everything I know from my experience,” Cardona said.
Before moving to Chehalis to be closer to family and open his own restaurant, Cardona spent 15 years working as a chef in a fine dining establishment in Seattle.
While the kitchen is fully prepared and ready to go, Cardona and Beebe are still waiting on the restaurant’s liquor license. For now, diners will have to wait to enjoy a glass of wine or whiskey with their steak or salmon.
“We have big plans for after opening. We’re going to (be remodeling) the bar and the banquet room and even bigger things. The bar will open later. We still don’t have a timeframe yet though,” Beebe said.
Before joining Cardona at Ocean Prime, Beebe worked in fine dining. Her last job was managing Papa Bear's West Family Restaurant & Bar. She told The Chronicle she holds high standards when it comes to training the serving staff.
“I’ve already had servers quit because of my expectations and how I want the tables to be waited on and I even have an ironing board and an iron in the back for wrinkled uniforms,” Beebe said.
She said the staff that has stayed and are getting ready for the grand opening more than meet her expectations.
“I’ve been training my prep cooks up already too, and tomorrow I start training my cook line,” Cardona added.
For more information and to view Ocean Prime Family Restaurant’s full menu, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090218822898.