The atmosphere of the Lovitt restaurant welcomes you with dim lighting, large farm style furniture, and the smells of fresh sourdough, herbs and spices. Kristen and Norman Six opened the restaurant in March with a commitment to bringing farm-to-table eats to Fairhaven. “We feel like there has been a farm-to-table movement but it hasn’t been accessible. It is good for people and American farms. We are trying to get people to crave” fresh food, Norman said. Lovitt restaurant brings the quality of farm to table without the typical high prices. Dinner entrees range from the $13 Lovitt burger to a $27 aged ribeye, and are often accompanied by homemade sauces and sourdough bread.
The enormous space, located in what was once The Fairhaven Pub, houses a bar that, along the east wall, reminds visitors of the space’s past. Settled between the bar and kitchen is the main seating area, decorated with bold art and plenty of seating. While the couple renovated for nearly six months, Kristen said most of the work was simply removing the layers of outdated decor. “It was the style to sort of cover everything up in the 80s. We just wanted to bring it back down to the concrete and wood,” she said. Now, the rustic environment is part of the entire Lovitt experience.
While this is the couple’s first foray into the restaurant business in Bellingham, Lovitt originated in Chicago and moved to Colville, WA before settling here. Bellingham appealed to the young family because of the schools, ocean, and inviting artistic community, Kristen said. When the Colville farmhouse began feeling too snug with the addition of kids, it was time to look elsewhere.
It was in Colville that Kristen and Norman began buying entire animals as a way of providing the best, most sustainable food for their customers. Buying entire animals at a time means the menu changes accordingly. “The changing-menu thing was difficult at first, but we’ve been doing it for 10 years now. It keeps things interesting,” Norman said. Strong relationships with farmers means high-quality ingredients and more powerful flavors. Probably the best example of the impact of fresh foods is the popularity of Lovitt’s liver dish. Many people stopped eating liver 15 or 20 years ago because animals’ poor diets were creating an unflavorful liver. However, that isn’t the case at Lovitt’s. “I’ve had an old woman cry over our liver. That was probably the highlight of my career,” Norman said.
Beyond the American style savory dishes, the owners encourage visitors to stop by just for a cup of French press and a treat. Desserts like chocolate bonbons, salted caramels, and seasonal ice cream are made in-house. While the menu changes seasonally, visitors will find a consistent quality and creative uses of local ingredients. Lovitt’s attention to detail reminds customers that eating is more than just a necessity. Norman and Kristen bring the respect and dignity to food that can easily be forgotten.