Zeeks started serving up pizza and beer in 1993 and has been at it ever since. The new Bellingham location will join 18 others scattered around northwest Washington.
The Bellingham franchise is locally owned by Matt Stotts, Julie Stotts, Brady Scott, and Cindy Scott. The four friends met at Western and have been pursuing their dreams together ever since.
“It’s all rooted in friendship,” says Cindy. “The partnerships grew out of the friendship.”
Nestled in the Fountain District, near the edge of Cornwall Park and in striking distance of Columbia, Lettered Streets, and Sunnyland neighborhoods, Zeeks aims to become a community hub for nearby residents.
“The walkability, the community, the family-friendliness of where we’re at…it’s a really cool spot to be,” Cindy says.
The restaurant is large and open, with room for more than 200 people. Big-screen TVs above the bar, plus an alcoved table near the front, make it great for parties, reunions, and game nights. Though the bar area is 21 and over, the rest of the space is family-friendly.
The pizza itself will keep people coming back for more. Neither New York nor Chicago style but something all its own, the crust at Zeeks is thick and slightly chewy, with a satisfying crispy-on-the-outside quality similar to a breadstick. The dough is hand-crafted using Pacific Northwest flour, the asiago comes from Ferndale Farmstead, and the basil is sourced from FarmWild in Bellingham. Zeeks also offers one of the largest large-sized pizzas in Bellingham, at 17 inches, making it an easy choice for families.
Known for unique toppings combinations, you’ll find pizzas like the Kitchen Sink ($34/large), loaded with five kinds of meat — pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, bacon, and chicken — along with mushrooms, green peppers, olives, tomatoes, and garlic.
The Cherry Bomb ($32/large) features Mama Lil’s Peppers, a double dose of Italian sausage, fresh basil, and parmesan. It’s slightly spicy, with a salty kick from the sausage and a fresh, herbal aftertaste from the basil. Of the pies I tried, this was my favorite.
More adventurous pizza-lovers can mix things up with a non-red-sauce pizza, like the playfully named Quentin Florentino ($32/large). The pie begins with an olive oil base and is generously topped with artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, and parmesan.
The Veggie Thai ($30/large) has a mild peanut sauce base that tastes sort of like if a spring roll and a pizza had a baby. Tons of veggie toppings — green pepper, broccoli, pickled carrots and daikon radishes — give it a fresh crunch. Red onion and cilantro bring up the flavor for a pie that’s more than just a novelty.
Round out your meal with various breadstick and salad options (the large salads are big enough for a meal), and then finish off with a scoop of Mallard Ice Cream ($3.50).
Among the 23 PNW beers, wines, and ciders on tap, you’ll find brews from Kulshan, Otherlands, Wander, Structures, Stemma, and Aslan. They also have offerings from Kombucha Town.
This summer, try Zeeks’ newly released lager, the Steller’s Jay. The crisp, dry lager is a collaboration between Zeeks and Black Raven Brewing out of Woodinville. The name came from owner Julie Stotts and is meant to celebrate the women business owners at the heart of Zeeks. It’s refreshing and light, perfect for washing down pizza on a warm summer evening. 2416 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360.858.8646, zeekspizza.com