Three years after a fire swept the Ocean Crest Resort’s main building, the top-rated destination restaurant reopened Friday July 11 to a patiently waiting audience. Located on a scenic bluff above Sunset Beach on SR 109 in Moclips, the Ocean Crest Resort received rave reviews and national accolades over the years for the restaurant’s hospitality, fine dining and exceptional wine selection.
The Ocean Crest restaurant originally debuted in 1963 — a decade after the Curtright family opened several resort cabins in Moclips for tourists. Family members have operated the resort since. Matriarch Barbara Curtright Topete, began her family’s culinary legacy as she simmered large pots of her award-winning clam chowder for weekend guests and local fans more than sixty years ago.
“It was thrilling to see Mrs. Curtright Topete handle the first shovel of dirt at last year’s groundbreaking. Now, we are anticipating the return of one of the most celebrated restaurants on the Washington coast,” said Mike Bruner, director of Grays Harbor Tourism. “All of us in the tourism industry wish the Curtrights the very best in the reopening of the restaurant that features Pacific Northwest cuisine.
It’s a star in Grays Harbor county.”
“We are delighted to finally re-build one of the best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest,” said third-generation family member Jess Owen who is returning to the restaurant as assistant general manager. “My grandmother, aunt, uncles and mother have all worked at the resort over the years. I joined the staff as a youngster and my wife and two boys have helped behind the scenes as well. They make up another generation of Curtrights at the Ocean Crest. Lately, we’ve been working 18-hour days to get the facility ready for our next generation of guests.”
Chef Coty McDonald presides over the Ocean Crest kitchen staff with a dedication for locally sourced and foraged ingredients that result in an eclectic, yet delightful menu. Fresh selections range from elk to wild salmon. He formerly worked at the Shilo Inn in Ocean Shores but his background includes a range of chef duties at famous restaurants in New Orleans, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon such as Aquariva. McDonald, 30, is married and lives in nearby Ocean Shores.
The multi-million dollar restaurant project was designed by Al Gozart of Harbor Architects in Aberdeen who has assisted with previous expansions at Ocean Crest. The 4,800 sq. ft. restaurant features a dramatic one-level design seating 48 guests in the dining room plus 24 on the patio and accommodating an additional 22 patrons in the scenic-view lounge. A bright and airy gift and art gallery returns to the lobby entrance.
The interiors showcase the restaurant’s spectacular ocean views framed by refined Pacific Northwest décor. Much of the wood surfaces that cover the walls and ceiling was harvested on-site. In addition to efficient LED lighting, geothermic HVAC system and heat-capturing kitchen equipment will keep energy costs low.
General contractor is Nor-Cat Inc. of Cosmopolis and Anchor Bank provides financing. The restaurant employs a staff of 16.
About Ocean Crest
The Ocean Crest Resort has offered year-round lodging to visitors of the North Coast of Washington for more than a half century. Located on 100 acres of forested property overlooking the Pacific Ocean on SR 109, 18 miles north of Ocean Shores, the AAA-rated Ocean Crest has 45 units, an indoor pool, and an onsite spa. Call 800-684-8439 or visit their web site at www.oceancrestresort.com for reservations. Address: P.O. Box 7, Moclips, WA 98562.