After more than 25 years of managing other people’s restaurants and bars, Taz Davis said he feels fortunate to have a place to call his own.
He and business partner Julian Villanueva recently opened Table 360 Bakery & Bistro inside the former Curious Caterpillar children’s store. A lounge and global dining room is slated to open upstairs in the spring. Greeting passers-by in the display windows and on the main floor is a wide assortment of breads, cakes and other pastries baked by Davis each morning.
“We’re French countryside meets Astoria waterfront,” he said of the bakery’s style.
A native of Southern California, Davis moved to the North Coast several years ago from Portland, laying roots, buying a house and managing the Sand Trap Pub in McMenamins Gearhart Hotel. He took over as general manager of the Port of Call Bistro & Bar last year when owner Marvin James Sawyer was taking on the operation of the Astoria Event Center.
Port of Call was forced out of its location at Ninth and Commercial streets last year after falling behind on rent. But a private catering operation Davis started in 2016 and took to Astoria Sunday Market was growing in reputation, he said, and he yearned to get back to his roots in cooking and baking.
He and Villanueva, a massage therapist in Northern California, met at Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse in Cannon Beach, where they hatched the idea of Table 360 on a napkin.
“The Table 360 is representative of what we think, that food should be food, fun and family,” Davis said. “And then our tagline is ‘Gather, Toast, Nosh, Repeat.’”
Table 360 will hold a grand opening during Second Saturday Art Walk, featuring the oil paintings of truck driver-turned-artist Terry Freeman. The show will also serve as a precursor to the globe-trotting bistro they want to open in the spring.
“The landing is going to be a lounge-like area,” Davis said of the mezzanine overlooking the bakery. “What started out as a wine bar idea has now turned into more of a lounge of a few classic cocktails, and of course wine pairings with cheese and charcuterie plates. And then the back dining room, which is the bistro side of it, will actually be tapas and small plates, appetizer kind of things.”
The bistro’s menu will rotate every couple of months, visiting new continents and cuisines.
“We may take you to Africa for eight weeks,” Davis said. “We may take you to Spain for eight weeks.”