Lopez Island boys bringing italian food and cocktails to Bellingham

Jonathan Sutton, executive chef/owner, will be bringing along Arlen Coiley as the chef de cuisine and partner in the creation of a new restaurant and bar Storia Cucina, located in the heart of Bellingham on 109 Grand Ave.

Sutton and Coiley grew up on Lopez Island, each having their own intimate connection with Italy.

This new restaurant is making its home in the old renovated building that used to be Michael’s Bookstore, with its beautiful 18-foot tall ceilings, original brick wall and a giant skylight overlooking the kitchen.

“Our house-made fresh pasta, from locally milled Cairnspring flour, is the backbone of our menu,” says Sutton. “We will also be making naturally leavened slow rise pizzas and focaccia in our woodstone oven using the same local flour. All the other ingredients will be sourced from small local farmers and will change with the seasons to keep the menu authentic, simple and fresh.”

The restaurant will be opening its doors for dinner in February 2020 and offering lunch on weekdays, brunch on the weekends and a special happy hour featuring classic Italian aperitivo and street food.

Sutton has worked for acclaimed chefs across the Nation and received national recognition for his accomplishments at his slow food restaurant, Hillside Supper club in San Francisco. He is making his homecoming with the start of Storia Cucina and in mentoring Arlen who has been apprenticing with him in San Francisco.

Coiley has lived in Bellingham the last six years and graduated from Western Washington University. He has worked as the chef at Rifugio’s Country Italian Cuisine, founded the Handshake Coffee Popup and done his own pop-up dinner series.

Sutton will be bouncing back and forth from San Francisco to Bellingham while Coiley will run the day to day operations.