Blue Bell Cafe to open soon
There are times when everything old is new again. What was once a long forgotten diner called the Blue Bell Café back in the 1940s is being resurrected by the Freese family of Quincy. Deborah and Dennis Freese are owners, and their daughter-in-law Rebecca will be co-owner and baker for the restaurant.
The Freese family has also put their soon-to-be-open restaurant, again named the Blue Bell Café, in the capable hands of their general manager, Da’Sha Hernandez, who has been in the restaurant and service industry for 14 years. She has had experience working at high-end restaurants and burger joints. She is also excited to use her skills to boost the restaurant with the help of social media and advertising.
Mark Adkins will be bringing the flavor as a highly experienced chef. He grew up in Alaska cooking at a young age and helping his mother, who was a cook on commercial fishing boats. He was inspired to go on and study at Le Cordon Bleu school in Tukwila.
Deborah Freese grew up in the restaurant industry. Her parents owned a restaurant in Wenatchee. It was always her dream to open a restaurant of her own. The family had been discussing the prospect for a few years, according to Rebecca.
“We were talking about selling my baked goods somewhere and I could do it out of here,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca was not formally trained but has been baking for 10 years. She bakes for co-workers and on occasion for special events.
Blue Bell Café, at 101 E St. SE, Quincy, will offer a classic menu, which will be a fusion of eras, rather than locations. The Freese family wants to bring back comfort food with a flair and trigger fond food memories their customers have from the past.
The menu will largely be cooked from scratch, using fresh ingredients to make things like handmade pasta, homemade dressings and more. The goal is to serve high-end comfort food at a good price.
“We want to create good experiences and memories,” said Adkins.
Chef Mark started cooking when he was 11, so he has nearly 40 years of experience in the kitchen under his belt.
“My Grandpa Dave was a chef in the military,” Adkins said. “My mother cooked for commercial fishermen.”
The concept of Blue Bell is to offer something Quincy doesn’t have, thereby nurturing the local economy and not taking anything away from it. It promises to be a place to gather and meet with friends and family.
“People are knocking on the door already trying to make reservations and asking when we are going to open,” Hernandez said. “We are excited to finally push those doors open and say come on in. We want to have everything just right.”
Chef Mark noted there will be a window that looks directly into the kitchen. Each customer will be able to see the production of their food. He is also flexible and is willing to tweak the menu if a customer makes a special request. As long as he has the ingredients, Chef Mark can make it.
“A recipe is just a guideline for success,” Adkins said. “It never changes.”
There are special touches the Blue Bell staff has decided to add to the restaurant, including an herb wall where they can grow their own herbs in-house. They have also decided to serve only fresh-squeezed orange juice, and offer a have-it-your-way omelet and build-your-own burger option on the menu.
Blue Bell Café promises to make everything old new and improved again. Deborah’s grandma Sue worked at the original Quincy Blue Bell restaurant and was famous for her chocolate cake. The restaurant will be serving the same cake made from the family recipe. Dennis Freese’s great-grandmother was also a cook at the original restaurant.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Deborah said. “I loved working in the food industry. I decided to dive in. We hired the right kinds of people and it will be good.”
The mission of the Blue Bell Café is to give the Quincy community more variety. The restaurant is slated to be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the option of occasional late night hours from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Blue Bell Café should have its grand opening within a couple of weeks.
By Tammara Green, For the Post-Register