Wistful closing: Pinch Eats Cafe is no more

Family health issue necessitates that Hayter redirect her attention

PORT ORCHARD — Pinch Eats Cafe, the charming little cafe tucked away in the corner of Josephine’s Mercantile on Bay Street, served its final menu of eclectic lunch-hour items last weekend.

The restaurant was created by owner and operator Stacey Hayter, who offered customers a tasty selection of items, many of them influenced by her Welsh-born grandmother’s love of cooking. The business opened in Josephine’s on April 14, 2018.

Hayter wrote in a Facebook post last week that she was closing Pinch Eats indefinitely due to a pressing health issue with a family member in the Midwest. That concern necessitated that her primary attention is directed to family — certainly understandable, but the closing leaves Bay Street with a little less charm and culinary distinction than before.

In the post, Hayter said she may reopen the cafe in Port Orchard sometime in the future. Meanwhile, Hayter and her team will keep their catering business operational.

The cafe’s closing is sad news for Josephine’s owner Samantha Smith, who said Pinch Eats was a favorite stop for many of her customers. Smith said she’s considering options for the now-open space — “There’s almost too many to sort through,” she said of the possibilities.

The vintage goods and interior design store owner confided she even considered operating a cafe in the space herself.

“That would have been way too much to take on,” Smith said of that option, which would have added to her already busy schedule of managing the store, attending vintage-goods shows in the area and scouring the landscape to restock her business.

While she didn’t offer a decision end-date, Smith said whatever ends up in the former Pinch Eats space will bring value and interest to the community.