Diamond Knot reopens expanded alehouse
The alehouse is in a decades-old wooden building not far from the ferry landing at 621 Front St.
Diamond Knot expanded into the other side of the building and now offers coffee, ice cream and family-friendly restaurant seating. By summer, there should be outdoor seating, too.
The city asked Diamond Knot to expand after the previous tenant went out of business, said Diamond Knot communication director Sherry Jennings.
Workers added a new bar top of reclaimed wood, opened up the walls to reveal wooden beams and added a kitchen.
Regulars take note: The renovation didn't smooth out all the delightful rough edges. This is still the type of place where a man who get his hands dirty at work would feel comfortable drinking a pint.
"Crusty industrial" is how Jennings jokingly describes the alehouse decor.
Former Boeing employees Bob Maphet and the late Brian Sollenberger founded Diamond Knot in 1994 after their beer-brewing hobby got a little out of control.
The two started brewing their signature India Pale Ale in the 300-square-foot brewery still in operation at the back of the alehouse on Front Street. In 1999, they expanded and opened the alehouse.
Today, most of Diamond Knot's beer is brewed at a separate facility off Chennault Beach Road. The company is one of the top craft breweries in the region, distributing ale to 12 states, Jennings said.
The company also operates two other restaurants: Camano Lodge on Camano Island and the Pizza House on Lincoln Avenue in Mukilteo.
It's not clear how old the Front Street building is, but in the early 1970s, city records show, it was used as a bus barn. The old roll-up door is still on site.
The company is named for the 1947 Port Angeles collision of a freighter into the Diamond Knot, a cargo ship loaded with several millions of dollars worth of canned salmon from Alaska. A Herculean rescue effort saved the valuable cargo.
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