New location, same Italian flair

When talking about his new venture, chef Bill Patterson uses words like synergy, simpatico and serendipity.

When talking about his new venture, chef Bill Patterson uses words like synergy, simpatico and serendipity.

The restaurateur, who has run Chimayo and Sazio di Notte for the past five years, is now the manager of the Random Howse building in Eastsound. He is offering Italian cuisine and continuing with the entertainment offerings that owners Clyde and April Duke launched more than a year ago.

“Having the opportunity to be in this building is incredible,” Patterson said. “If we are doing our job right, it will be a restaurant four nights a week, and the other nights will be filled with events.”

The new incarnation is called Casa Casuale, which means “Random House” in Italian.

The Dukes bought the facility on North Beach Road in 2013, and after a minor facelift, it became a popular spot for dances, fundraisers, theatre events and live music. The space, built in 2004, also has a kitchen and full bar.

Clyde says demand for the venue became so high that it was clear it could no longer be a part-time enterprise. When a mutual friend suggested Patterson, who was in need of a new location for his business, everything just clicked into place.

“Bill has a huge following,” Clyde said. “We are excited to see the building utilized in a really good way.”

They say the challenge lies in coordinating all the moving parts. A piece of the puzzle is Chimayo, a beloved institution that offers affordable Mexican lunch cuisine. By the spring, it will be located in the Orcas Athletics building on A Street.

“The island owns Chimayo – I’m just the steward,” said Patterson, who purchased the business from Karen Campbell in 2009. “I can’t imagine Eastsound without it.”

In the meantime, Casa Casuale will offer what Patterson is known for: rustic, authentic Italian cuisine. He makes his own pasta with flour imported from Naples. He buys from small olive oil producers. He raises his own goats with the help of Eric and Amy Lum. He cures pancetta and makes his own sausage.

“Much of what we do is how an Italian grandmother would do it,” he said.

Casa Casuale’s grand opening is on Jan. 18 during a “Sunday Supper,” which Patterson is hosting with Ann Marie Schultz. Long-time islanders will remember the suppers as five-course decadent meals presented by the two friends. They were discontinued for some time and Patterson and Schultz are thrilled to be offering it once a month. To reserve a spot for the meal, call 376-1111. After Jan. 18, the restaurant will be open Thursday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

“We have a lot of ground to cover, so we’re taking it really methodically,” Patterson said.