Upscale Vancouver restaurant Lapellah and its sister restaurant, Three Sixty Kitchen & Bar, are permanently closing, the company’s ownership announced Wednesday.
The two restaurants add to the growing list of restaurants in Clark County permanently closed due to the state’s shutdown from the pandemic. The list includes 808 Sunrise Deli, Joe’s Crab Shack, Sweet Tomatoes in east Vancouver and Low Bar in downtown Vancouver.
“In the months leading up to COVID, significant investment in the restaurant and its operations had been made to best position it for growth amidst increasing offerings throughout Clark County,” co-owner Lance Killian wrote in a statement. “Now faced with a level of unprecedented uncertainty both in the short and long term for the restaurant industry, the difficult decision was made that the costs, risks and challenges associated with re-starting the restaurant are too great.”
About 100 employees worked at the two locations, said co-owner Bob Lewis.
“Sad time for many reasons,” Lewis wrote in an email to The Columbian. “Having to close two of the community places is not taken lightly and was a solid searching decision. They survived the Great Recession and other challenges, but this was too much to overcome.”
Lapellah, at 2520 Columbia House Blvd., opened in 2008. Three Sixty, at 3425 S.E. 192nd Ave., opened in 2006. Both opened under an ownership group including George and Elaine Killian, Lance Killian, Bob Lewis and his wife, Sharon Lewis.
Lapellah advanced Vancouver’s upscale restaurant scene with its open kitchen format and wood-fired oven, and it drew praise from critics around the Portland metro area.
Restaurateur Brad Root had a minority share in Three Sixty, but he was “never really involved in Lapellah,” Bob Lewis said.
The difficulties in the restaurant industry were advancing even before the pandemic, most notably the Jan. 1 minimum-wage increase of $1.50 per hour. Lapellah closed temporarily in March and planned to reopen in April. Three Sixty switched to takeout and delivery in March but shut down its operations temporarily in April until guests could dine in, according to its Facebook page.
“I think there are going to be a lot more Lapellah stories,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the ownership group “loved being in the community,” but it’s unlikely that they will try for another restaurant.