CORRECTION: The cafe’s open hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The print edition of the Sounder incorrectly stated the open hours as 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It’s a quiet weekday morning at the Island Skillet. A smattering of diners leisurely indulge in the eatery’s “all-American” fare: shrimp and avocado omelets, eggs benedict, breakfast burritos.
Recognizing the Sounder, an islander calls over: “The huevos rancheros are to die for.”
Word of mouth is quickly spreading about the new restaurant that opened its doors last week in the Eastsound space behind Teezer’s a spot last occupied by the Italian Luna’s.
It’s a joint venture between two island families: Matt and Sabrina Carpenter, and Dave and Ioulia Yerly.
“This has been something me and Dave have been talking about for years, just waiting for the right spot to open up in town,” Matt told the Sounder. “I’m still working out at the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant.”
Matt has been cooking at the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant alongside his brother and co-owner Ryan for the past 14 years, and the siblings bought the restaurant from their parents Craig and Pam Carpenter in 2007.
As the Deer Harbor restaurant is open just on weekends through the winter, Matt and Sabrina say they are ready to take on a new off-season challenge.
“It’s kind of a really hard time to open up a restaurant, but we’re really doing it to try to get the word out to the locals,” Matt said. “Our goal is to offer a really affordable breakfast for locals, since it’s hard to eat out with the prices on the island.”
At 11 a.m. the skillet starts serving up lunch items like soup, salad, sandwiches and “comfort food” like vegetarian chili, grilled cheese and potato salad, along with a selection of small side dishes.
Dave and Ioulia together have 27 years of food service behind them. Ioulia will serve while Dave manages the floor and helps out as a server.
“I’m in the kitchen. Where I belong,” he laughs.
The Yerlys have a three-year-old daughter, Emma. Matt and Sabrina together have two children: Kaiden, three and Kirin, nine months. While Sabrina often looks after the children while the other adults work the restaurant, “You might see her with the baby strapped on the back working in the kitchen,” Matt says.
Matt will be working double shifts on weekends as he continues to cook at the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant in the evenings.
“We wanted to have a place that’s always open for the locals, that’s always there,” he said. Dave added, “We’re happy to be serving the islanders.”
The Island Skillet is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving breakfast all day. All entries are under $10.
For more information, call 376-3984.