By John Wolcott Snohomish County Business Journal
ARLINGTON — Hubb’s Pizza &Pasta is scheduled to open in late January in downtown Arlington, breathing new life into the former Eagle Crest restaurant at 67th Avenue NE and 211th Street NE.
The restaurant is newly renovated. The menu is filled with specialty pizzas and pasta meals with “secret recipe” sauces. Experienced restaurateur William Hubbell and general manager John Sullivan plan to develop deep roots in the community.
“We’ve already gotten such great treatment from city officials and others we’ve met in the community,” said Hubbell, who promises a friendly restaurant with great-tasting food and professional service.
“Our mantra is, ‘Great service isn’t what we think we’re giving, it’s based on what our guests think they’re getting.’ We want our customers, whom we consider our guests, to really feel like guests,” he said.
Hubbell and Sullivan, with 27 and 35 years in the restaurant business respectively, know a lot about making guests feel welcome, as well as how to make their menu welcoming. There will be a wide selection of pizzas and tastefully prepared pasta meals.
Because he knows price is important, particularly in today’s economy, Hubbell plans to offer lunches for less than $10 and dinner items priced so families can afford to eat out more often than once a month.
“I’m originally from Silverdale, and I love small towns like Arlington,” Hubbell said. “We’re excited to be here and plan to have good, affordable food in a comfortable environment.
“My wife, Debbie, and I raised three boys and we know how expensive it can be to take a family to a restaurant, so we want to make it attractive.”
The restaurant will have new booths and carpeting, a special dining area near the giant river rock fireplace, warm colors inside and Wi-Fi throughout the building. In the spring, Hubbell will add landscaping and perhaps paint the outside.
Hubbell said his restaurant business concept is to make his own pizza dough, sauces and dressings, to buy local products and produce, and use premium mozzarella cheese and other fresh ingredients.
He expects about 40 percent of his pizzas will be take-out. He hasn’t decided if he’ll offer pizza deliveries.
At first, the restaurant will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. for dinner. Hubbell said he’ll then add lunch, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We’ll be hiring new staff for the restaurant, but we don’t necessarily need people with 10 years or more of experience. We have our own training standards and we’ll spend time with our employees,” he said.
Hubbell’s extensive restaurant career began soon after he graduated from Washington State University, landing a job at Charlie’s at Shilshole in Seattle, where he also met his future wife. Debbie was a waitress while she was studying to be a teacher. Her father, Mark Mitchell, owned Charlie’s.
Later, Mitchell and Hubbell bought the Drift On Inn Roadhouse in Shoreline, which now is a casino.
“Later on we bought property north of there and opened Club Hollywood. It was around that time we had more than 500 employees,” Hubbell said. “That’s also where I met John Sullivan, who’s now my general manager in Arlington.”
Sullivan said that even after 35 years in the restaurant business there’s nothing else he would rather do.
“I grew up in Seattle, then went to Montana, Utah and came back here. Met my wife in the restaurant business, too, and met William 10 or 12 years ago. I’d already opened restaurants in Ballard and Edmonds and I had a good relationship with him, so when he asked me, I decided to come to Arlington.”
Hubbell said he plans to make a considerable investment in the Arlington community not only by establishing the restaurant but also by supporting sports teams, charitable nonprofit groups and schools.
Hubbell said he’s excited to be in Arlington, loves the community and hopes that once he’s established Hubb’s Pizza and Pasta, he can open more of his “new concept” restaurants elsewhere in Snohomish County.