By Stefanie Donahue
With just weeks before they break ground, Blaine couple Skye and Mike Hill have high hopes for their latest business endeavor – soon, they plan to unveil a new restaurant in the heart of Blaine’s downtown.
The duo promise a simple menu and family atmosphere at the restaurant, which they’ll manage together. Dubbed “Red Door Fish and Chips,” the new spot will serve up heaps of the English classic as well as other seafood dishes, beer and wine.
Red Door Fish and Chips will be located in the former Woody’s Service and Repair, next to the 568 Peace Portal Drive Chevron station that Mike has owned for 27 years. After Mike (Woody) Wood announced his retirement in January, the Hills realized it wasn’t going to be easy to find a replacement and decided to open a restaurant in his place. They felt it was a good fit for Blaine, Mike said.
“You can’t find a spot like this,” he said. “It’s a jewel that’s never been polished.”
After crews tear down the repair bays, they’ll construct a two-story building that encompasses about 3,000 square feet. Mike and Skye will use the top floor as private office space; below will be the restaurant, which will seat about 80 people.
Red Door Fish and Chips will have large garage doors that can be opened to the outdoors in the summer. Indoor and outdoor seating will be covered and the building will feature a brick and tile exterior. The restaurant’s hallmark red front door will serve as the main entrance, Mike said.
This week, the couple will finalize building costs and hope to start construction in late June or early July once the proper approvals are in place. Mike expects crews to take about six to eight months to complete construction. Mike said that they plan to stay with local food suppliers.
The couple is hopeful the restaurant will bring business to Blaine from around town and across the border. “We’re like a foundation with no house,” Mike said about Blaine business. “We need a new house.”
The restaurant is not the only project on the couple’s list. While they weren’t ready to disclose too many details, they said they intend to build a mix of commercial, office and retail space on the property that sits between the Peace Portal Drive Chevron station and Edaleen Dairy.
They’ve been working on the project for seven years and are weeks away from making a formal announcement, Mike said.
“The restaurant is part one and part two is coming,” he said.