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Whatcom County’s Salish Sea skirts along the western edge of Bellingham, creating a breathtaking tableau for businesses along the shores of Bellingham Bay. Among these gems nestled on the coast is the beloved Chrysalis Inn and Spa, home to popular eatery Keenan’s at the Pier. Keenan’s is no average seaside restaurant but a haven for any foodie looking to revel in the spoils of a fresh and thoughtfully curated menu — all while soaking up a spectacular view over the water. Keenan’s has long been a favorite in the community and this spring brings a handful of new updates for its guests to enjoy.

Food and Beverage Director Abby Skywalker dishes on what guests can expect at Keenan’s as the restaurant transitions into a new spring season. “We’re still playing around with a lot of different ideas,” she says. “We had this scallop rendition on the menu of one of our regional dinners that every guest thought was just absolutely fabulous, so I will push for that to become our next scallop dish come spring, summer.”

Keenan’s is an apt date night hotspot, with a welcoming and intimate atmosphere. Photo credit: Sarah Hardy Photography

Skywalker explains the overall theme of the new menu as Keenan’s finalizes the season’s plans. “The menu will be brightened up and more citrus forward,” Skywalker says. “We will be using more fresh ingredients.”

The spring update is a part of Keenan’s biannual menu change, but don’t expect all the same dishes recycled from last year. “There are definitely things that are a staple, like our fish tacos and our burgers,” says Skywalker. “There are things that stay on the menu and stay classic, but there are also items that we change to reflect the season, like the scallop dish. Come spring and summer, we also add a lot more seafood because we have such great access to local fisheries.”

A cocktail soaks up the sunset on the patio railing at Keenan’s at the Pier. Photo credit: Sarah Hardy Photography

As seafood takes center stage for the warmer months, Keenan’s continues to establish a legacy of quality seafood sourced locally, with the exception of overnighted mahi-mahi from Hawaii. “Our fish tacos are classic, everyone loves the fish tacos,” Skywalker says. “Our scallops are always a hit, and we always get big, gorgeous, beautiful scallops to serve. A local fishery, Sea to Shore, comes and delivers our salmon right to us and having that fresh seafood really makes a difference.”

Skywalker is excited to reestablish relationships with several local vendors while simultaneously creating new connections as Keenan’s completes its spring/summer menu. “We have really good relationships with local purveyors,” says Skywalker. “This area has so much bounty in the spring and summertime.”

Keenan’s serves mouthwatering cuisine sourced from local fisheries. Photo credit: Sarah Hardy Photography

One of the most anticipated additions to Keenan’s at the Pier this spring is the major refurbishment of the terrace. “We have had a patio area outside the restaurant heated and covered for years now, offering outdoor seating in a comfortable environment with a beautiful view,” Skywalker says. “It got the owner thinking about also heating and covering the happy hour terrace space outside the Living Room. We decided to extend the pergola where the wisteria grows and put a louvered cover on it so it can be opened or closed depending on the weather. We’re going to heat it so it will be another year-round space that guests can enjoy.”

The terrace will also have extended service, meaning guests can order off the same menu from the restaurant while relaxing al fresco — no reservations required. Skywalker hopes the improved terrace space will be an inviting refuge for people strolling down the boardwalk, coming off a day of shopping, or seeking a spontaneous date night.

Seafood is a main staple of Keenan’s spring and summer menu. Photo credit: Sarah Hardy Photography

As a whole, Keenan’s at the Pier is a restaurant with an allure for any event. “We have beautiful space for date night with dividers at most of the tables facing the water, creating a more intimate space,” Skywalker says. “We also have banquet space, people can rent the meeting room upstairs, and the living room and terrace with the extension on the pergola is available for bridal parties, weddings, baby showers, or even retirement parties.” The newly enhanced terrace is a perfect choice for any special gathering, demonstrating all of Keenan’s best qualities in one cozy spot.

Skywalker expresses her love for the natural beauty of the restaurant’s location in Bellingham, a vista that’s impossible to replicate and cannot be missed. “At sunset or even when it’s stormy, we have the best view for seeing all of it roll in,” Skywalker says. “We always take a minute during dinner service to appreciate the sunset.” Keenan’s at the Pier is a Whatcom County jewel, serving guests incredible atmosphere, impeccable service, and delectable cuisine.

Join Keenan’s last regional dinner event until October with a true celebration of Irish food and tradition on March 17. Find out more details here.

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