There is something about a busy coffee shop that feels welcoming. Voices struggle to be heard over the sound of the espresso machine pushing hot water through fresh ground coffee. Cups clink when they are placed back on their saucers as customers slowly sip the decadent liquid. At Camber Coffee in downtown Bellingham, customers will want to stay awhile just to soak it all in.
The location is ideal for an afternoon of people-watching. Camber’s entire street-facing wall is glass, making it the perfect spot to get lost in Bellingham’s scenery. And, if the view outside isn’t enough, the modern, bright interior is almost as appealing to the eye. Previously The Comics Place, the building has been given new life after a six-month renovation. Light finishes like white marble, natural wood, and retro light fixtures give the space a one-of-a-kind atmosphere unlike any restaurant in Bellingham.
While the Holly Street location is Camber’s first storefront, Camber coffee has been roasted in Bellingham since 2015 and sold wholesale to restaurants and cafes. Co-founder David Yake described the Camber roast as light-to-medium with sweet, complex flavors. Camber roasts single origin coffee, which can be purchased at the new location. The decision to open the flagship store was moved forward by the availability of the Holly Street location. “Things got started more quickly than we expected,” Yake said. Since opening the restaurant on July 25th, Camber has moved into a whole new realm of business.
Camber is more than a coffee shop. Customers can decide to order at the counter for a quicker bite, or enjoy table service for a more traditional restaurant experience. The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Throughout the day customers will find a full menu for breakfast (or brunch depending on your wakeup time), lunch, and dinner. Yake said the food is best described as “new American comfort.” Breakfast includes hearty favorites that are given a facelift, like buttermilk waffles made with whole grains and served with European butter — richer than the American version. The lunch and dinner menu features a half-roasted chicken with summer squash and fennel, one of Yake’s favorites. Customers can expect a growing dessert menu in the coming months as well.
Of course, what is a good meal without a well paired glass of wine or a beer? Camber has you covered with a rotating wine list and nine beer taps, Yake said. “We are excited to have beers you can’t get on tap anywhere else,” he said. In addition to a couple local beers, Yake said they connect with breweries that have not yet made it to a wider market. Camber’s happy hour menu is an easy way to give the new restaurant a try with discounted beer, wine, coffee, and small plates from 3 to 5 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. daily.