Located just down the road from St. Edward State Park is a Kenmore restaurant that was opened this November.
The Guest House, which is just north of Kirkland’s Finn Hill neighborhood, is the creation of Amanda and Kevin Kearney and their staff of roughly two dozen employees who serve up all three meals, brunch and offer a full bar in the southwest corner of Kenmore’s Moorlands neighborhood. The couple opened the restaurant hoping to offer locals a convenient place to swing in for a bite or a drink.
“We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel, the neighborhood doesn’t have a wheel,” Kevin Kearney said sitting at one of the restaurant’s wooden tables.
The Kearneys decided to open the restaurant after seven years living in the Pacific Northwest. They’re originally from the East Coast but Amanda Kearney lived in Seattle in her 20s. Amanda Kearney handles most of the administrative work while Kevin Kearney, with 20 years of restaurant experience, handles the day-to-day operations.
The menu was designed by Kevin Kearney and offers a wide variety of foods, ranging from sandwiches to pancakes to homemade ricotta and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. For the concert series at St. Edward State Park, the restaurant will be serving up pre-boxed meals. Happy hour runs daily from 3:30-5 p.m. with its own unique menu.
The couple said they source a lot of their vegetables from two local farms, one in Redmond and the other on Whidbey Island. For Kevin Kearney, the restaurant was a way to get out of the grind of working for someone else.
“You work really hard and it’s a really tough industry,” Amanda Kearney said.
As the residential areas surrounding the Guest House continues to get more dense, the Kearneys hope it becomes a neighborhood location, especially with a relative lack of eateries in the area. Other than a QFC and a couple other restaurants down the road to the south, the only other places to grab some food in the area are in Kenmore or Kirkland. With traffic increasing along Juanita Drive Northeast, the Kearneys also hope to offer a quick and easy option for commuters.
Amanda Kearney said they decided on the location after considering storefronts in Kirkland and Redmond but decided to set up in their current location at 6810 NE 153rd Place since it’s only a mile from their home. The building has sat vacant for nearly a decade, they said, and required extensive remodeling for it to accommodate a restaurant after its previous use as a martial arts studio.
The first year of running a restaurant is a learning experience but the couple is figuring it out as they go.
“Now things are starting to settle into a steady state,” Amanda Kearney said.
The Guest House is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 3:30-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with shortened Sunday hours and a day off on Monday.