197 Second Street
Braeburn, Giraffe Project (Restaurants / Artist Coop / McGregor Rare Books)
1990: Building under construction
1990. Building under construction (Courtesy Langley City Hall).
This was the first of three buildings designed by architect Ross Chapin for developer Paul Schell constructed in the vacant lot next to the Fire Station.
According to Pam Schell, "the Second Street buildings were built to the street to intentionally give Second Street a presence! Paul reacted to the plan of Bill Massey who was going to build a building at the back of the vacant lot with parking off Second and therefore Paul decided to buy the lot and build to the street."
1991: Raven Restaurant, Artist Gallery, and Giraffe Project
1993. Raven Restaurant and Artist Coop, and Giraffe Project (Courtesy Ross Chapin).
When completed in 1991, the Giraffe Project occupied the second floor and an office on the west side of the ground floor.
2004. Giraffe head emerging from the second floor (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
A Giraffe's head carved by Pat McVay, and "giraffe hoof prints" in the sidewalk in front of the building, were added to highlight the Giraffe Project that honored those who "stuck their neck out."
The east side of the first floor initially housed the office of Marty Behr's Mosquito Fleet boat company and Fleet Café. According to Marty Behr, the Fleet Cafe was a "sandwich, salad, coffee and beer & wine bar with music on Friday and Saturday evenings. We were there about two years, then the Raven restaurant replaced us."
1993. Raven and Art Co-Op (Courtesy Ross Chapin).
One of the three women who started the Raven was Sarah Eskenazi. According to Sarah, "I leased the space from Paul and Pam Schell. The mosquito fleet was in the building. We did a little remodeling and opened the Raven Cafć. We then founded the South Whidbey Art Cooperative! My business plan included the thought that if you could please all 5 senses simultaneously you would have a successful experience. The gallery was on the street side with the cafe in the back. We added live and local acoustic music on the weekends. My mother even joined the Co-op!"
According to Christie Schafer, the Art Co-Op "started with a meeting of interested artists who showed their work at the Raven Café on Memorial weekend 1992. Then a group decided to form a gallery starting in the back and moving to the front. The gallery remained here three years. Then we went to the Jones Department Store on First street, which is now Music for the Eyes."
After the Artist Co-Op moved to First Street, the Raven Restaurant expanded to fill the entire east side. The Sapori Restaurant briefly replaced the Raven.
2001: Braeburn Restaurant
2004. Braeburn Restaurant, Gregor Rare Books (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
In 2001, The Braeburn Restaurant operated by Exec. Chef Jim Matheny and Co-Exec. Chef Constance Ross replaced Sapori's.
The Giraffe Project vacated the office the first floor in 2004, and it was replaced by Gregor Rare Books. The Giraffe Project retained an office on the second floor.
2004. Gregor Rare Books (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
In addition to the Giraffe Project office, several other offices and businesses occupied the second floor including Russell Sparkman's Fusuinspark Media.
2018. Braeburn being remodeled (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Lisa Morrill purchased the Braeburn in 2010. After 13 years on Second Street, David Gregor's Rare Books moved to 220 First Street in 2018. The ground floor was extensively remodeled and the Braeburn Restaurant expanded to occupy the entire space.
2018. Remodel complete (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Due to restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, an outdoor seating area was established in 2020.
2020. Outdoor seating area (Courtesy Joe Wierzbowski).