Brad Haggen’s Journey From Produce to Proprietor
Brad Haggen has been in the food business in one form or another his whole life. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because his grandparents, Dorothy and Ben Haggen, co-founded the Haggen grocery store chain in 1933. Despite working for his family’s store in multiple contexts over the years, Haggen began searching for a new opportunity of his own in 2011, after his family sold their stakes in the company. In 2016, he started Naples Best Restaurants, Inc., a company that now owns two restaurants: Tallulah’s in Seattle and Skylark’s Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven.
Haggen found Tallulah’s, a neighborhood-style restaurant in Capitol Hill, after considering several businesses in Seattle. Liking its prospects, he bought the cafe in July of 2018. “I kind of fell into it more than anything,” he says. Today, the restaurant serves dinner and weekend brunch, featuring a vegetable- driven dinner menu that also offers plenty of seafood and meat options. The drink menu boasts an extensive selection of imported and domestic wines, as well as cocktails made with in-house hibiscus ginger beer and cucumber vodka.
Haggen didn’t stop at one restaurant, however. Just as he was starting Tallulah’s, he came across Skylark’s Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven, which was looking for a new owner. He purchased Skylark’s last fall, reasoning that, if one deal fell through, he would
still have the other. “It was not my intent to be running two restaurants at the same time, initially,” he admits. “I kept riding both the Skylark’s and Tallulah’s horses at the same time.” Today, the local cafe is known for its simple-yet-satisfying dishes of fish, steak, clam chowder, and pasta, and for hosting live jazz and blues on Fridays and Saturdays.
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