POULSBO — Just a few days prior to closing shop, it still hadn’t quite set in that Barbara Lindblad would soon be serving her last basket of fish and chips.
She also hadn’t completely figured out what she was going to do after closing the doors of the New Day Seafood Eatery for the last time.
“I haven’t really had the time to think about it but I’m going to take my first vacation in five years and then I’ll figure out what I’m going to do. I’m definitely not ready to retire,” she said matter-of-factly.
After 18 years of serving seafood in downtown Poulsbo, New Day shut down Sept. 15.
Owner Lindblad, who bought the eatery in 1998, lost her lease when the building owner decided it was time to sell. Lindblad said she did not have enough money to purchase the building and had no choice but to close the business.
“I’ve been coming here since it opened, this is a landmark for downtown and it’s sad that its going to be gone,” she said.
Over the years Lindblad said the business has seen visitors from all over the world who came to eat fresh fish, enjoy the views of Liberty Bay and have their photos taken with the business’ trademark wooden fisherman. In lean times the restaurant was held afloat by generations of restaurant goers from the Poulsbo community.
Lindblad was one of those customers for many years, and said she jumped at the opportunity to take the over the business from its original owners. Now a Bainbridge Island resident, Lindblad lived in Poulsbo for many years and raised a family here. She said that serving up fish and chips was the perfect business for her.
“I was tired of working for other people and I wanted to do something else. The only things I knew how to do were raise kids and cook food and I didn’t want to raise any more kids,” she joked.
Besides inspiring the loyalty of customers, business also kept many long-time employees, including Donna Enos who began working there the second day it opened. With tears welling in her eyes, Enos, said she was one of the lucky people who loved what they did for a living and said she hadn’t even begun to imagine what she’d do after her last day.
“I like the people I work for and the people I work with. I’m already homesick and I haven’t even left,” Enos said.
Earlier this week the restaurant’s furniture and equipment were auctioned off. Lindblad will be out of the business by the end of the month and apparently the building has been sold to a new owner.