JJ’s now Amy’s on the Bay

The vacancy created in the Port Orchard restaurant scene when J.J.’s on the Bay closed earlier this year didn’t last long.

J.J.’s is now Amy’s on the Bay, and co-owners Grant Matsuno and Amy Igloi promise that more than just the name will also change.

After years of working for someone else and doing things certain ways, Matsuno and Igloi, who are engaged to be married, began shopping around for a spot to open their own business venture. And when a realtor turned them on to the vacant property at 833 Bay Street in downtown Port Orchard, they jumped at the chance.

“It was a realitively quick process,” Matsuno said. “We thought the location was great. This is something that Amy and I have wanted to do for quite a while, so when the opportunity presented itself, we made the leap.”

Amy’s quietly opened on April 28 and will hold a grand opening later this summer.

And this venture will be a true partnership.

Matsuno will handle the food aspect of Amy’s, while Igloi will take care of the corporate side, although neither wants anyone to see it as a corporation-run business.

“I want to run it like the exact opposite of a corporation,” Igloi said. “I’ve worked in places where the headquarters is somewhere else and the decisionmakers are someplace else, and a lot of times you’re managed by people that are focused on their bonus checks. That’s not going to happen here.”

Igloi said she likes being on-site and getting all of the employees involved in making decisions. She hopes that, in turn, she can give her employees everything they need to not only do their jobs well but enjoy themselves while at work.

Matsuno said he wants to get the restaurant’s reputation away from the fish and chips and burgers mentality and give it a more upscale seafood and steak feel.

That will include a rotating menu that highlights seasonal favorites, notably the kinds of fresh salmon that become available throughout the year.

“We want to introduce a little bit more quality,” Matsuno said. “We want Amy’s to be known for its quality steak and seafood.”

Both Igloi and Matsuno have extensive backgrounds in the restaurant business.

Both spent time working for Anthony’s in Seattle but don’t expect Amy’s to be an Anthony’s clone.

Matsuno said he will bring his own flair into the restaurant and he’s already started that process by redesigning the interior and reshaping the kitchen to fit his needs.

Amy’s has also formed a partnership with the One Ten Lounge, located across the hall. The One Ten, known for its specialty drinks, including a wide selection of martinis, can serve as a waiting area during peak business hours if needed, and Matsuno said patrons of the lounge will be free to order anything off his menu and be served at the their seats in the lounge.

“We’ve spoken with Cindy and Lew (Miller, owners of the lounge), and we want a good working relationship with them,” Matsuno said. “We definitely want and will encourage a working partnership with them. If we’re open, they can get food over there.”

Matsuno said with the lounge next door, he will focus on serving fine wines and carry the basics when it comes to beer and alcohol.

Amy’s on the Bay is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sundays for lunch only, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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