By Laurelle Walsh
The 3 Bears Cafe and Quilts, in the new carriage house-style building at the foot of the trestle bridge in Winthrop, officially opened its doors on Friday (Sept. 12).
Passers-by have watched with curiosity over the past two years as owners Jerry and Cyndy Oliver developed the landmark property formerly known as “Emy’s place” that greets visitors approaching downtown from the south.
As the name suggests, there’s a quilt store and coffee shop on the ground floor; upstairs is a conference room for classes, meetings and special events. The Olivers designed the building themselves, keeping in mind their business goals, and inspired by three carriage house doors that help give the place its historic feel.
“It’s hard to believe we’re finally open,” said Cyndy. “We’ve been talking about it for at least 10 years.”
“You wouldn’t believe how good it felt to go out there and hang up the open sign,” chimed in Jerry.
The cafe kitchen is open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2p.m., under the direction of chef Jessy Ohlsen. The current menu emphasizes breakfast and brunch items like skillet hash, crepes and breakfast wraps. Soup is served daily, and more lunch items will be added in the next few weeks, Cyndy said.
Fresh baked goods — scones, muffins, cookies and sweet and savory tarts — are prepared each day by bakers Courtney Palm and Chelsea McFetridge. Blue Star coffee is served at the espresso bar by barista Michelle Larsen.
Everything on the 3 Bears Cafe menu is made to order, and features local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, Cyndy said. Mazama Store baguettes, Thomson’s meats, Bluebird grains and Sunny Pine cheeses are some of their current local favorites.
Packaged specialty foods and gift items are also for sale in the cafe, along with original art by “Lightning Bill” Austen of Goat Peak Lookout fame.
Adjoining the cafe is the quilt shop, which sells traditional cotton fabrics along with less common wool and velvet material. The store specializes in embellishments such as ribbons and vintage buttons, Cyndy said. Quilt-of-the-month kits, applique kits, books and other supplies for quilters line the shelves. And 3 Bears Quilts will host classes throughout the year in special quilting techniques led by Cyndy and guest designers.
Upstairs, the conference room is equipped to host meetings, classes, receptions and special events for up to 47 people, complete with WiFi and PowerPoint projector. A dumbwaiter allows fully catered meals prepared in the commercial kitchen to be served upstairs.
The Olivers say they’re still putting the finishing touches on the facility and expect to have the landscaping completed later this fall. While they leave open the possibility of someday building an inn across the lawn from the carriage house, “we have no definite plans at this time,” Jerry said.
Business hours are 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
For more information, call the 3 Bears Cafe and Quilts at 996-8013. The business is on Facebook at 3 Bears Inn.