Kennewick's Sandstone Cafe moving to Columbia Drive

Tri-City HeraldMay 15, 2013 

— A popular downtown Kennewick eatery for more than a decade is on the move.

Owner James Ortega will be hanging his Sandstone Cafe sign up June 1 at 334 W. Columbia Drive in Kennewick.

He opened his restaurant on May 5, 2000, at Washington Street and Kennewick Avenue. Not long afterward he moved to First Avenue and Auburn Street.

“I’ve been eyeing that location for years,” Ortega said of the Columbia Drive location.

The building also has housed Magill’s, Francisco’s, Hickory Rib Pit, Big Mama’s, Between the Bridges and Willingham’s Grill.

When the downtown Kennewick building Ortega is leasing was sold, and the new owners asked him to move, “that was my motivation to pack up and go” he said.

The move is pretty much a turnkey operation, he said.

The only large appliances that need to be moved are one of the grills and two reach-in coolers.

“Other than that, we just need to move our small kitchen items, tableware and silverware, menus and food,” he said.

Plans are to close early May 31 at First Avenue — likely around 3 p.m. — and open at 6 a.m. June 1 on Columbia Drive.

Ortega plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, which means adding another cook and some wait staff.

Customers, he said, won’t see much of a change except physically. The new location has fewer windows, but it has more seating.

“There are exactly 17 more seats. I counted them,” Ortega said.

The menu will stay very much the same.

Ortega will keep the family-friendly atmosphere of the Sandstone Cafe by taking out the bar at the new location and putting a small ice cream parlor in its place.

The restaurant’s number will remain the same, 586-5555. Hours will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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