Collector’s Choice celebrating 30 years in Snohomish SNOHOMISH - Collector’s Choice owner John Hager has seen three decades come and go at his restaurant and will be celebrating its 30th year giving some riches away.
Hager, who has a background in education as a former teacher and principal, will be giving away 10 percent of the gross restaurant sales (not including alcohol or sales tax) to nine Snohomish elementary schools this October.
Starting Monday, Oct. 15, each school will be given one day in October; the proceeds will go to that school’s parent-teacher organization.
“That gives them the flexibility to apply the money quickly to wherever they see fit,” Hager said.
The elementary schools involved are Riverview (Oct. 15), Little Cedars (Oct. 16), Seattle Hill (Oct. 17), Cathcart (Oct. 18), Cascade View (Oct. 19), Machias (Oct. 22), Dutch Hill (Oct. 23), Emerson (Oct. 24) and Parent Partnership (Oct. 25).
The Collector’s Choice Restaurant now sits atop the Pilchuck River and can seat over 300 guests in their main dining room, lounge and outdoor deck, but the classic Snohomish eatery had humble beginnings.
Hager said the restaurant was born by accident.
“My wife had an affinity for antique glassware and opened up a shop in the antique mall. Then she opened up a soup and salad bar, added breakfast the next year, then dinner after that, and away we went,” Hager said.
Collector’s Choice has expanded five times over the years and went from a having three employees to a crew of 42.
Although looking back, Hager said it was crazy to move the restaurant during a recession. The business moved two years ago to its current location at 215 Cypress Ave. (behind Rite Aid) and grew from 4,000 square feet to 7,000.
Hager said the menu is completely “customer-driven,” and each one of the hundreds of breakfast, lunch and dinner items are popular enough to keep the menu just the way it is: huge.
Hager’s favorite is the seafood fettuccini.
Collector’s Choice hosts a Halloween party every year and, this year it will feature a “sock hop” theme.
The ’50s and ’60s-themed costume party will feature music by band The Harmatones and a costume contest with prizes up to a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant. Hager said he expects 150 people to show up to party with the crew of Collector’s Choice.