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New nacho bar and tavern-style pizza restaurants opening in downtown Bellingham

Watch out Bellingham foodies, two unique new restaurants, owned by the team behind Admiralty Lounge, are set to open this month.

Business partners Jabriel Donohue and Daniel Pagard, who also own two restaurants together in Seattle, are opening Bella Ciao Pizza Tavern and Nacho Problems in downtown Bellingham.

Bella Ciao Pizza Tavern

Opening on March 12 is Bella Ciao, a tavern-style pizza restaurant and bar. The restaurant will have the environment of classic Midwest and eastern pizzerias, with TVs playing cartoons, old movies and sports, Donohue wrote in an email to The Bellingham Herald.

“Bella Ciao will serve tavern-style pizza, a thin-crust, square-cut style of pizza also known as ‘Chicago thin-crust.’ Tavern-style pizza originated in Chicago as a bar snack, both delicious and a great pairing with beer and refreshing cocktails. What makes tavern-style pizza unique is the crunchy, cracker-like crust that takes several days to prepare,” Donohue wrote.

Bella Ciao, 1427 Railroad Ave., will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight daily, but for 21 and older only from 9 p.m. until close.

“Pizza is one of the great loves of my life and I have always loved creating gathering spaces where people from all walks of life can pile around a bar or a table, watch sports or old movies, or just catch up on life,” Donohue wrote.

Nacho Problems

The second restaurant, Nacho Problems, is planned to open March 15.

The name says it all, as the restaurant will serve only nachos, with a host of variations on the beloved bar food.

“We will offer styles ranging from classic low-moisture cheese melted with ingredients all the way through as well as our take on ‘gas station nachos,’ which come smothered in a rich and liquid nacho cheese. The environment of Nacho Problems is built around bar games and hanging out with friends with what we’re calling a ‘90s Trapper-Keeper Psychedelic aesthetic,” Donohue wrote.

Nacho Problems is open to those 21 and older.

“Nachos felt like an obvious extension of that and the opportunity to create an exciting environment based around them for Bellingham’s unique and diverse communities to gather in a safe space that maximizes irreverent fun,” Donohue wrote.

The nacho bar will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday-Tuesday and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday at 1425 Railroad Ave., next to Bella Ciao.