Stephanie and John Bass came to the Tri-Cities from Ocean Shores this summer looking for sun, warmth, good schools, friendly people and a place to open a restaurant.
They found it all in Kennewick and opened the doors to their small restaurant, called Omeletz, which features "comfort food with a flair" this week. It's on Kennewick Avenue across the street from the Tri-City County Club.
"We are serving the typical breakfast that everyone loves, but we are stepping outside the box and kicking it up a notch, as Emeril might say," Stephanie Bass said.
John Bass cooks up all the scrumptious food that currently includes just a breakfast menu featuring a dozen different omelets, ranging in price from $6.75 to $10.75, biscuits and gravy smothered in spicy sausage gravy instead of white gravy, breakfast burritos, quiche and giant pancakes served with warm butter and a crushed pecan syrup.
"Right now we're just serving breakfast, but our menu will eventually include lunch as well," Stephanie Bass said. The lunch menu will include a variety of freshly made salads and sandwiches as well as veggie wraps.
"We have lots of plans to make Omeletz a special place for our customers," she said. "Customer service is lacking whenever you go these days, and we want to make sure our customers stay happy."
Omeletz is open from from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The couple said those hours are temporary, as they plan to stay open on the weekends once they get established and are able to hire more people.
Bill and Judy Leahy of Kennewick were the first customers in the door Thursday, and both had high praise for the food.
"It's so much better than what you get at all those cookie-cutter breakfast places," Bill Leahy said.
In all, there were 14 customers through the door on the restaurant's first day.
"We right on a busy street, so we hope people will drop in and try us out," John Bass said.
He was a dietary manager at a nursing home in Ocean Shores, and his wife was the food services director for the school district before the family moved to the Tri-Cities on Aug. 5. They have two children, ages 9 and 12.
"We had a restaurant when we lived in Colorado and found we really missed it when we decided to move up here," Stephanie Bass said. "We did a lot of research before we decided the Tri-Cities is where we wanted to be. This was the only place we found in the state where the economy was stable and even growing, the schools were good and sunshine was plentiful."
The Basses also plan to add some outdoor seating and will provide catering service as well. For more information, call 491-1121.