The Cove offers seasonal dishes and a variety of entertainment, bringing guests back to their usual good vibes and fresh, new cuisine. Olympic Sotheby’s International Realty features agent Justin Hjelm in a community story video about his partners and his investment in downtown Olympia. Even after its first year, Cove Restaurant and Bar continues to provide a sense of community with its welcoming atmosphere.
Cove is celebrating its inaugural year in downtown Olympia
Owners Justin Hjelm, Cody Mills and Jason Gilbertson opened Cove on October 5, 2022. They had spent time visiting The Royal Lounge and Rhythm & Rye when they were younger, when the former stores occupied the same space. When the building became available, the Cove partners purchased it.
“Cove came from an idea where all three of us had a lot of experience in the industry on both sides of the bar,” Hjelm says in the Olympic Sotheby’s video. “We all eat out a lot and thought if we could take all of the positive experiences we’ve had and eliminate all the negative experiences we’ve had, we were confident we could put together something that was very inviting, is entertaining and enjoyable.” beat.”
The result is the happy, cozy atmosphere at Cove.
Just two blocks from the waters of Budd Inlet, its casual, clean and modern aesthetic makes it perfect for stepping off the boardwalk in your flip-flops or arriving in a jacket for a special dinner. The open-arms inclusivity extends to the artworks on display. The work of a local photographer adorns the wall and above the kitchen area hangs a valuable piece of Dungeness crab artwork created by a friend’s daughter.
Signature Cove dishes and local drinks
Cove is just a few blocks from the Olympia Farmers Market and can offer ingredients from local vendors and producers.
“Seafood has always been an important part of our background, so we really want to highlight it on our menus,” says Hjelm. “Our two favorite cocktails are a bourbon smash and our Old Fashioned. Many of our purees, mixers and ingredients for our cocktails are either purchased at the farmers market or even grown in one of our bartender gardens and made from scratch on-site.”
Weekend brunches include comfort foods like chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, and more. Seafood is indeed a Cove theme with scampi toast, steamed mussels and fish tostadas on the appetizer menu. Cove’s signature dishes include the pokey nachos and crab roll. Shrimp, tuna and crabs can also be found in their homemade sandwiches and appetizers.
Cove for sports, music and entertainment
Gathering to watch a football game on one of the many screens or sitting near the stage for entertainment also brings people to Cove.
“It’s fun,” partner and general manager Jason Gilbertson says in the video. “Sport is part of life for me and for many people. Competitiveness, unity, bringing people together and the atmosphere behind a bar in a restaurant are the same. Sometimes you don’t see people unless you meet them in certain places, and sometimes those connecting things bring you closer to people outside those walls. It’s more than just sitting down and eating a meal.”
The Cove music program offers something for everyone and crosses genres and does so consciously. Solo country acts, rock from the 70s, 80s and 90s as well as Olympia native Ethan Tucker, who performed on New Year’s Eve, provide variety. Cove’s goal is to give everyone a place to play. A monthly jazz night is part of a future plan, and the Cove stage already hosts comedy shows with local comedians Sam Miller and Dan Farley.
The meeting point for the local community in the bay is being expanded
With a planned expansion, Cove would like to create 2,000 square meters more space for private parties, class reunions or reception rooms for local groups. Directly on the other side of the kitchen and with a private bar, the Cove event space is designed to accommodate 60 to 75 people, or up to 100 people for a standing room only cocktail party. Sharing the Cove menu on a larger scale, at a family birthday party, at a store employee luncheon or at holiday celebrations makes for good times, and such events aim to carry the culinary and restaurant successes of the first year into the next chapter .
“We have been extremely shocked and grateful over the last year for this little Cove family we have been able to create,” says Hjelm. “It has been a blessing to have made it through this year and the future looks truly bright not only for the employees but also for our customers.”
If you haven’t been to Cove yet, stop by on your next trip downtown or on the boardwalk and try some seasonal dishes and drinks. For the latest events and menus, visit the Cove Facebook page.