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Business roundup: One last toast for 5 T’s Restaurant & Lounge

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5 T’s Restaurant & Lounge closed Aug. 24 after nearly 70 years in business.

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East Wenatchee

One last toast for 5 T’s Restaurant & Lounge

Here’s one more “t” for 5 T’s Restaurant & Lounge — a sad toodle-loo.

The food-and-drink fixture in East Wenatchee’s old downtown (859 Valley Mall Parkway) closed its doors Aug. 24 after nearly seven decades in business, a victim of the unstable economy and rising liquor and food prices.

Margie Nash worked there for nearly 24 years as bartender, waitress and — for the past eight years — owner and chief bottle washer. She said the closing night party drew loyal customers from around the region, even from the Seattle area. “It was packed,” she said. “It was the biggest night I’ve seen in my 24 years here. A wonderful send-off from a bunch of wonderful folks.”

Details of the restaurant’s origins are sketchy, but Nash said it opened as the Sundown Room sometime in the 1940s. Around 1970 or ’71, the restaurant was bought by John Tontz, who ran it with his wife and three kids — thus the name “5 T’s” was born.

Affectionately called “T’s” by regulars, early-risers loved the place for its 6 a.m. breakfasts. Night owls loved it for its 2 a.m. weekend closing times and, said one online reviewer, for the “stiffest damn drinks you’ve ever seen.” In recent years, 5 T’s became a karaoke hotspot for amateur crooners.

Nash isn’t sure what the future of the place will be. It’s likely that the owner of the building will put it up for sale. “As for me?” she said. “I’ll look for a job and see where things go from there.”

Wistful, Nash added, “I’m going to miss our loyal customers, miss them all like family. We had a lot of good times here over the years.”



Home sales robust through August

Wenatchee-market home sales stayed strong through summer, even though prices rose and inventory fell.

Pacific Appraisal Associates, a local appraisal and consulting firm, keeps track of market stats on a monthly basis. Here are some key numbers through August:

Dollar volume for homes sold in the Wenatchee market (Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Malaga, Orondo and Rock Island) was up 26 percent over the first eight months of 2012 to hit $134.7 million.

Numbers of homes sold was up 21 percent to 557 from 462 in the first eight months of last year.

Manufactured home receipts were up 73 percent to hit $9.4 million on sales of 82 units, up 61 percent over last year.

The average home price has risen 4 percent to $241,929 from $231,707 last year. The median price has also risen 4 percent to $214,950 from $205,950.

Dollar volume of listings rose 14 percent to $256.5 million over last year with 917 homes listed.

Homes on the market in August fell 11 percent to 358 from 404 in August 2012.

Building permits for single-family homes have jumped 40 percent to hit 127 from 91 last year.

See Pacific Appraisal’s full report at


InDemand ranks again as fast-growing company

Wenatchee’s InDemand Interpreting, is still growing at a phenomenal rate, according to Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the 5000 fastest-growing privately-owned companies in the nation.

The company, which provides medical interpreting in 180 languages, has about $4 million in annual sales and has grown about 550 percent in the last three years. That’s down from 1,200 percent growth in the three years prior to 2012, but the health company is still kicking some serious gluteus maximus.

On the 2013 Inc. 5000 list, here’s how InDemand’s numbers translate among fast-growing companies: No. 821 on the list of 5,000 nationwide, No. 63 on the list of health companies nationwide, No. 22 on the list of all companies statewide, No. 3 on the list of health companies statewide.

We continue to develop innovative language services focused on the healthcare industry,” said Daniel Pirestani, InDemand’s founder. The company has specialized in helping non-English speaking clients and deaf and hard-of-hearing patients.


Skin care company helps save black cats

No, you don’t use Coconut Lime Face Scrub on cats, but buying some will help a few of the little furballs. Black cats, to be specific.

Jess Piestrup and Whitney Acheson, owners of Moody Sisters Organic Skincare in Cashmere, say they’ll donate 30 percent of the profits from the sale of that product to help finance a cage for a black cat at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.

They’re just as fun and totally loving as any cat can be but they’re not adopted as much as other cats,” said Acheson. She thinks some of it may be superstition but “they’re also not as colorful so people don’t pick them out in a group.”

Humane Society officials have said that’s true. “They stay the longest,” said shelter worker Karen Headlee in a 2011 interview. “It’s the same with dogs — anything black tends to stay in shelters longer. They’re not as flashy so they don’t get noticed.”

Piestrup and Acheson chose a black cat as part of their business logo so it seemed only natural to do something to help the less popular-colored cats, they said.

For details, visit the Black Cat Project website at