Norman Myrick (left), Suzy Littlewood (middle) and Larry Myrick (right) smile for a picture in front of their newly opened restaurant last week.
ROYAL CITY - Never ones to let an opportunity slip past them, brothers Norman and Larry Myrick took a chance to expand some of their business and create new possibilities when they decided to purchase the building that used to be home to Judy's Place just outside of Royal City on Highway 26. The Myricks also own the Frenchman Hills Winery and were looking to increase their company's visibility to travelers passing by. "We wanted that highway exposure so a little over 90 days ago, we purchased the location," Norman said. Suzy Littlewood was also looking for more attention for her small business and eventually, the Myricks convinced her to relocate the Deli-sh Café from the heart of Royal City to their new building as a partner. The restaurant has been open since June and features plenty of Littlewood's homemade meals and desserts along with featuring some of the Myricks' best wines from their vineyard. Altogether, the new business is known as Bistro 26, Norman said. Upon walking into the café, diners can see Littlewood's restaurant side of the building to their right and to the left, behind a glass door, is a side room that Norman said would be used to host wine tastings and other events. At this stage of the business, it doesn't quite look like what the Myricks want it to, but they said they have plans to renovate the area soon. "We have some remodeling plans and upgrade plans," Larry said. "Now, it's time for me to modify some of the existing stuff and bring it into this century, if you will." The brothers would also like to add some big screen TVs and other amenities to make their business into a popular pit stop for travelers reaching the approximate halfway point between Pullman and Seattle. The Myricks are definitely looking forward to serving people on their way to Washington State University and the Cougar Gold Bacon Burger is one of the most popular items on the menu. "We have a huge Cougar following here and it's really helped in identifying what our market base is," Norman said. "There's just a ton of people who come back and forth through here and we're at that halfway point where people like to stop and stretch their legs." In addition to that, Littlewood's menu features daily specials and includes plenty of produce acquired from local farmers. She said she hasn't been a chef for very long but is happy with where it's taken her so far. In 2010, she qualified as one of the top 100 finalists in the Pillsbury Bake-Off and said this accomplishment made her focus on becoming a better cook. After the new restaurant location opened, she said within one hour, every seat was full and she's had some solid business since then. "The biggest change is that I get a lot more road traffic but still pull all of my local, Royal City (customers) that I had worked so hard to gain," she said. "It's easy to cook well when you're using fresh ingredients." Bistro 26 is located at 8961 Highway 26 W. Frenchman Hills Winery will also host their third annual barbeque Sunday, Sept. 7. Tickets cost $25 and include a glass of wine, food and live music.