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Fairhaven Pizza settles into old Flats Tapas Bar space.

Tom Traibush was in Alaska king crab fishing when he learned that Flats Wine & Tapas Bar had closed and its heart-of-Fairhaven location was available. He came back from that trip three days early to try to secure that space for his family's business, Fairhaven Pizza Company.

Traibush signed a lease and on June 16 opened the doors to his 1307 11th St. unit.

Fairhaven Pizza has spent the last six years in a small suite in a strip mall at 1217 Harris Ave., next door to Fairhaven Laundry & Cleaners.

"Basically you walked right into our kitchen," Traibush said.

The old space was about 835 square feet, which was enough room for food preparation, four tables and a small walkway that separated pizza making from diners.

Fairhaven Pizza's new space is about 1,200 square feet, has high ceilings, a wall of windows, and seating on the main floor and mezzanine, bar and outdoors. There's more than twice as much seating, Traibush said. Still, the 11th Street unit doesn't have the same picturesque view of Bellingham Bay.

"Where we were has a dynamic view, but we weren't able to be open for lunch," he said, explaining that there wasn't enough foot traffic in that area to attract weekday afternoon crowds. "A lot of people didn't know where we were, so we moved anyway." The pizza shop used to only open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays, now it's open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Fairhaven Pizza now offers pizza by the slice and has more beer options. At the old space they had two taps; now they have five beers and Prosecco on tap. They also have a television behind the bar--Traibush said he installed it so he and patrons could watch games.

"So I didn't have to run all over town to find out what the score is" he said.

More space and more hours of operation means more employees. Eight employees worked at the old location, but the new space and the start of summer prompted Traibush to hire five more.

A grand reopening will probably be held in October, when Traibush returns from Alaskan spot prawn fishing--his catches are also for sale at the restaurant.

For more information, call (360) 756-7561.

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Title Annotation:BBJ BUZZ: Newsworthy and notable items for Bellingham business
Publication:Bellingham Business Journal
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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