By Lara Alexander
Edmonds loves its brunches and now has a new place to add to the mix. Friday morning, the Rusty Pelican opened on 5th Avenue North, across the street from the Edmonds Historical Museum, in the space previously occupied by Olives.
Owners Marilyn and Peter Limberopoulos and their daughters Johanna Limberopoulos and Stacy Gunsaules are feeling pretty good about opening day. “The people have been wonderful,” said Marilyn as she sat at a back table, observing the patrons coming and going and thanking the frequent visitors who came to welcome the family business and give their good wishes. “Everything is going good! There were a few wrinkles with the thermostat and the toaster, and I was panicking, but my husband told me to calm down!”
Marilyn says that she enjoys shopping in Edmonds and had been silently looking for a new business location. She had been eyeing an old house and considering opening an ice cream parlor, but realized that the building would require too much work. Walking back to Main Street, she passed the empty restaurant front and noticed the lease sign. “I called my husband and told him — I found the perfect location!”
Marilyn and Peter are not new to the restaurant business. They have owned the Rusty Pelican in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood for 10 years, the Gyro Delight in Lynnwood for five years, and a restaurant in Chicago for 25 years before that. “My grandma owned a restaurant too. Between us all, we have over 80 years of experience,” she said.
The experience showed on opening day. The staff looked genuinely happy and relaxed, bakery items lined the display, and food arrived to the table quickly and without any fuss. All of the staff are transplants from the Wallingford location and will work both restaurants. All, that is, except their employee Rose, who is happy to be able to walk to the new Edmonds spot from home. Marilyn said they will let her skip the commute to Seattle!
“Hospitality and good service are our main goals,” said Marilyn, “There will always be a family member here when we are open.” Self-described workaholics, Peter works 110 hours a week and makes all of the soups and salad dressings from scratch. Marilyn does all of the baking. “And we never say no to a customer. If we have the ingredients, we will make it for you!” she added.
The Rusty Pelican is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week, with an extensive breakfast and lunch menu that are both served all day. They anticipate having a robust to-go order business in addition to those who eat in; on opening day they already had the orders coming in from surrounding businesses. Although the whole menu is available to go, soon they will begin selling boxed lunches, delivered locally.
Boxed lunches, made with the business crowd in mind, will offer a choice between four salads, four wraps and four sandwiches. Each box will include a bottled water, small salad and handmade cookie and will sell for about $12 each.
The restaurant will also be available for private events in the evening. “There are a lot of condos in Edmonds, and we know many people have limited space for parties,” explained Marilyn. Patrons will be able to use the restaurant for their own celebrations for no rental cost beyond the cost of food. It just takes a guarantee of 20 guests to reserve the private event space.
Rusty Pelican Cafe in Edmonds
107 Fifth Ave. N.