By Carolyn Tamler
The recently opened Spyhop Public House in Langley fits the definition of a “Public House,” or pub: a place for people to relax and socialize. The new owners, Susan and Dan Morgan, hope their new pub will become an iconic place for locals and tourists to visit.
The Morgans bought the business from Maureen Cooke in January 2016, and after some remodeling and designing the new menu, Spyhop Public House was opened in August 2016.
Dan has had extensive experience with bar ownership. He has owned “Teddy’s” on 65th and Roosevelt for 32 years; Susan worked at Teddy’ After attending the University of Washington, he went to Alaska for a while, came back to Seattle and bought a bar in Greenwood, then purchased Teddy’s.
Susan worked with Dan at Teddy’s for 20 years. They were married 16 years ago.
She became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of their first child. Like so many who have come to Whidbey, the Morgans were looking for a different kind of environment in which to work and live after spending most of their lives in Seattle. They wanted to raise their two children, who are now nine and 13, in a rural environment. They made the move to Whidbey 12 years ago, and recently began exploring ways to create a business on the island.
After looking for the right fit, they discovered that Maureen was selling her pub. They bought the building and began looking for ways to make the new space unique and inviting. They reasoned, “Every town needs a friendly pub, and we felt this was a great opportunity for us.” The name for the pub matches Langley’s association with whales. Spyhop dennotes a whale rising vertically out of the water as it looks around.
Their vision was to have their pub be “A comfortable place, away from home, where people can gather and have fun.” They worked at creating a menu of the comfort foods that people enjoy the most:: homemade chowder, chili, lots of salads and burgers, traditional fish and chips and BBQ pulled pork sandwich.
The Morgans brought together a kitchen staff that is contributing to the vision for Spyhop. Kristian Bensen and Jeff Whitteker lead the kitchen team. The menu was developed as a group project, keeping the goal in mind of having a traditional pub menu, but of the highest quality.
Dan and Susan are truly enjoying their new venture, and they say the most important factors that has have contributed to their enthusiasm about opening Spyhop is the friendly and welcoming Langley community.
Spyhop Public House is located at 317 Second Street. Current hours are Monday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for bar and kitchen services, and till 10:30 p.m, and till midnight on Saturday, for bar service. To see the full menu and learn what is currently happening at Spyhop, visit their website: spyhoppub.com