Staff photo/Hayley Day Back row, from left to right: Sean Anderson, Steve Anderson, Natalie Aylward. Front row, from left to right: Ashley Draffkorn, Libby Howard, Oliver Oswald, Tim Aylward, Sean Aylward.

Around Town | San Juan Island business openings and closings

Several new businesses opened on the island, but some old favorites are gone. To include businesses in the Journal contact


Bud Hut

Bud Hut opened last spring, as the first marijuana dispensary on San Juan Island in the business park off Guard Street. This is one of six locations in western Washington. The store features marijuana, pre-rolled samples, concentrates, edibles, and topical products. Prices range from $7 to $80, depending on the size and variety. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays through Saturdays. Contact the store at 317-1417.

San Juan Island Brewing Co.

After two years of planning, San Juan Island Brewing Co. will open from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Those will be the hours until Monday, July 31, when it will open from 1 to 9 p.m., daily. Managers and Co-owners Sean and Tim Aylward will offer six homemade lagers and ales on tap, made in-house and located off A Street, behind Backdoor Kitchen. Each brew has an island-inspired name, like Outer Island IPA, with melon and apricot flavors. The other owners are Libbey Howard and Ashley Draffkorn.

The Aylward brothers grew up on the island but were too young to enjoy its last commercial brewery on Spring Street, which Sean said closed about a decade ago. They wanted to create a restaurant and brewery that islanders could enjoy, at reasonable prices. Their step-dad Verne Howard pitched in as part owner.

“We’ve been to a lot of breweries and love the community feel,” said Sean.

The brewery holds large communal tables, a patio and even a kids area with toys. Sandwiches and pizzas range from $12 to $15 and draft pints are about $5. The beer menu and hours are expected to expand, said Sean.

For information, visit

Tina’s Tacos

You didn’t read the sign wrong — Tia’s Tacos, off Blair Avenue, is now Tina’s Tacos. Tina Keane took over the roughly 8-year-old business on May 1 and officially opened two months later. Keane is keeping the same menu of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more.

“We kept true to her recipes; same homemade sauces and meats,” said Keane.

Keane was referring to her friend Gail Ochoa, who opened the business in about 2011. When Ochoa wanted to sell, she asked Keane. Keane and her husband ran the Lime Kiln Cafe at Roche Harbor for about seven years.

The restaurant has expanded hours, serving from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Keane hopes to expand the menu and offer lunch specials in the fall. Items range from $2.50 to about $11.75 and dogs are welcomed in the back yard, but not the restaurant.

“It’s a nice quiet little place in the middle of Friday Harbor to come have lunch or dinner,” said Keane.

Contact Tina’s Tacos at 842-3228.


Liquor store

The liquor store next to Paradise Lanes, off Spring Street, closed just before Fourth of July with a going-out-of-business sale. The store was operated by the state until 2012, when Washington voters passed an initiative to allow private citizens to own liquor stores. The owner could not be reached for comment.

Schmidt’s Shoe Repair

Possibly the only shoe repair business on San Juan closed when Blaine Schmidt shut his Surina Business Park shop in July. Schmidt purchased the business from a previous island cobbler, Sam Defilipps, and opened last October. After he and his fiance adopted a baby, the new business didn’t make enough to support the growing family. So they are headed to southern California, after being on the island for a couple years.

“I wish we could make it here,” said Schmidt. “It’s hard to find permanent, affordable housing for a family.”


Staff photo/Hayley Day The owners of San Juan Island Brewering Co. celebrate its July 27 opening with a ribbon cutting, two days before.

Staff photo/Hayley Day San Juan Island Brewering Co. opens Thursday, July 27, after two years of planning.