By Veronica Sandate Craker
Regular customers of TC Prime in Kennewick are probably the only people in the Tri-Cities to notice a change in the restaurant as it made the switch to 3C Prime, at 1408 N. Louisiana St. Ste. 100.
But a seamless transition was exactly what the new restaurant owners Heather Pillarelli and Marisa Pangelinan had hoped for.
The two worked as servers for the original TC Prime for two years before partnering to buy the restaurants assets and start their own business.
“We were able to purchase the assets from the person who owned them and signed a new lease with the building management company,” Pangelinan said. “We decided to keep a similar name with a similar menu and the same chef and expand the hours to open for lunch.”
Being open for lunch may have been the biggest change the restaurant has seen.
Since buying the business and opening for lunch on Feb. 15, the partners say they have already seen a growing number of customers taking advantage of the new hours.
Pillarelli touts the restaurant’s prices and freshly-cooked food for keeping patrons coming back.
“Our sandwiches are under $13 and they come with homemade fries, potato chips or potato salad and a free cookie,” she said. “And everything is made in house.”
Joshua Young continues as the restaurant’s chef — the same position he held at TC Prime for two years.
Pillarelli and Pangelinan have also kept most of the same staff while adding new employees. They said making the transition from employee to boss hasn’t been easy.
“I worked in the restaurant business my whole entire life and I did not know that there was so much you had to know,” Pillarelli said. “Whether it’s obtaining a business license or a liquor license or having employees you have to pay and keep track of … it was overwhelming.”
Fortunately the two said they received help from their vendors, local wineries and employees.
“They have been very helpful with their knowledge and letting us know what we need to do to get started and how to do it,” Pangelinan said. “In fact, Food Services of America have been the most helpful in getting us started.”
Now that the initial opening has come and gone the two said they are soon planning to open for Sunday brunch. They only hope customers will give their new business a shot.
“We are not a large corporation or a large chain, but you can always find something local and tasty here,” Pangelinan said.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and features 10 tables and five seats at the bar. Reservations are not required, but are recommended during peak hours on weekend nights.