Purple Fig anxious to grow into a real restaurant

The Purple Fig is about to undergo a bit of a facelift.

After getting a taste of the restaurant business through her brief association with the Baja Outpost, Lina Buschke is in the process of turning her Port Orchard catering business into a full-fledged, four-star dining experience.

Buschke was to be the Baja Outpost’s manager and chef but ended up parting ways with the new Port Orchard eatery just weeks before it opened this fall. She and her husband Mike are now turning their full attention back to the Purple Fig and the process of growing it into a restaurant.

“We want people to know that Port Orchard is going to have a really cool restaurant,” Mike Buschke said. “It’s going to be something they can be really proud of.”

The Buschkes have been running the catering business for more than two years out of the basement of the old chapel at 322 Cline Street.

The operation shared space with Storybook Wedding Chapel but is now going through the process of buying the entire facility.

“I fell in love with this building the first time I came in here,” Lina Buschke said. “The (stained-glass) windows, the structure, the view – it’s really just a great place to be.”

Her plans are to turn both the basement and the main floor into dining areas, especially the upper level with its stunning view of Sinclair Inlet and the Olympic Mountains.

That may mean more windows to open it up and possibly adding an outdoor deck for spring and summer dining. There is also talk of turning the balcony into an enclosed smoking room that will house some top-of-the-line cigars and Northwest microbrews.

“This place has a great ambience about it,” Lina Buschke said. “At night, this place just lights up beautifully with the windows and the candlelight.”

Candles will be a big part of the new look, as Buschke wants to go for what she called “casual fine dining.” It will be upscale in look and feel but not in cost.

Based on her existing catering menu, Buschke said her style would be Northwest cuisine with an international twist to it.

Many Port Orchard businesses already know what to expect from her food since the Purple Fig caters to businesses throughout the Port Orchard area and will continue to do so after the restaurant is up and running, which should be after the first of the year, Mike Buschke said.

Lina caters each wine- and beer-tasting event at the Puget Sound Wine Cellar and also does parties and luncheons throughout the Port Orchard area. They have already opened up the chapel for a few private parties and business meetings, giving a select few a taste of what’s to come.

And while Mike works with the architect on redesigned the building, Lina has been busy re-shaping her kitchen while keeping people happy with her boxed lunches and well-know sandwiches and wraps.

The Purple Fig is available for corporate lunches, all-purpose catering and banquet hall seating up to 150 people for now.

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