Restaurant Design Restaurants & Bars

Contract Design Feature: Bob’s Classic Restaurant & Distillery

Located just over the George Sellar bridge on the East Side of the Columbia River from Wenatchee, lies East Wenatchee, WA. There you will find the latest project partnership between Bargreen-Ellingson and the Kuske family. Owner Peter Kuske’s inspiration for Bob’s Classic Restaurant & Distillery comes from his father Bob Kuske’s love of nostalgia from bygone eras and simpler times. You can see this tribute infused throughout the decor and atmosphere of Bob’s Classic. 


Mission-style mahogany chairs line communal wooden table tops with a classic swerve style inlay. Walls are trimmed in a warm cherry finish and lined with comfy booth seating. Above the seating hangs a row of black and white photographs featuring talented sports and arts figures from decades past. Let your eye keep wandering upward and you will notice towering shelves full of liquor, some only reachable by a long, rolling wooden ladder. There are 24 rotating beer taps… and what could that be hanging from the ceiling?  Well, it could be the full-sized replica of a 1927 Ford Model T, or a 1960’s crew boat, both of which have a story. From the plaque underneath the Model T replica:

“In 1959 at the age of 12, I started to build my first car. I was inspired by the Model T Ford Hot Rod that was on the cover of Life Magazine. It was also featured in the popular TV show 77 Sunset Strip. At the time I was a box boy in my father’s grocery store, Peter Rabbit, so my funds were limited. It took me four years to complete the build. The build was all done in my parent’s garage. It was a 1927 Model T with a 1956 Chevy V8 engine with dual four-barrel carbs. It had a 1939 transmission and rear-end. I was honored and excited to build it again 56 years later.” – Bob Kuske

At the age of twelve my father started not only a car but also a love for the classics. He has carried this passion through many different life journeys. I am truly blessed to have had this passed on to me. This restaurant is a tribute to my father and his love of the classics” -Peter Kuske


As for The Washingtonia crew boat, University of Washington Alumni and Bargreen-Ellingson owner Paul Ellingson hand-picked the boat from the UW boathouse to hang on loan from the restaurant’s ceiling indefinitely. The boat was used in the 1960 Olympics time trials in Rome, where the UW row-ing team went on to win gold that year. 

All of these classic design elements come together to create the perfect family atmosphere and reflection of nostalgic Americana. How might this be represented on the menu? You guessed it! Classic burgers, fish & chips, prime rib, and hearty American breakfast favorites are expertly prepared and served up to family and friends every day of the week.

While you might be misled by the plentiful selection of spirits and the presence of a fully operational still, Bob’s Classic encourages a family atmosphere. This evolving American philosophy on bar and restaurant ambiance closely resembles the old neighborhood pubs of Great Britain, where family, neighbors, and friends of all ages can gather to celebrate, dine, and be together.

Having experienced success with a previous project, Bob’s Classic Brass & Brew, across the river in Wenatchee, Peter Kuske came back to Bargreen from the very beginning of his planning for this project, seeking complete drawings and design services. He worked with designer Kira Schmelling and Project Manager Karl Sawyer to get Bob’s Classic Restaurant & Distillery off the ground. Pete trusted Kira’s eye for finishes, colors, and efficient use of space to make his initial idea of Bob’s fit the final look. Karl’s expertise in kitchen equipment lines, construction timelines, and sourcing from various vendors helped pull everything together into the finished project.

Both Kira and Karl emphasized that the existing trust and relationship between the Kuske family and Bargreen-Ellingson were integral to the success of this project. When the customer already knows the ability of the project design and build team, they can allow more creative freedom and trust that the project will reflect their ideas perfectly.



Karl Sawyer – Project Manager

Karl celebrated 18 years with Bargreen-Ellingson in November 2015 and has worked as a project manager for equipment and design-build projects since 2005.  He jokingly says that he became a project manager by showing up last to a meeting about Bargreen’s growth as a leader in design projects.  

In reality, Karl’s expertise in this field comes from a life-long career in the service industry. Since the age of 16, he worked in restaurants until he found his way to hotel management at Hyatt properties. When he started working for Bargreen-Ellingson, Karl began with warehouse operations, gaining knowledge along the way about kitchen equipment, eventually becoming a branch manager for Bargreen in 2002.  

Karl credits his success to two ideas: Do more. Be different. In the competitive service industryenvironment, you can’t end your day until you’ve done more and found some way to be different than the next guy.  Karl’s zany sense of humor also helps him create lasting partnerships among co-workers and customers alike. People laugh and work hard with Karl! When Karl isn’t making people smile and doing more to be different, he spends time on the water boating with his family and Golden Retriever, Chance.  He also enjoys golf and beer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.