The little town of Langley—population 1,100—is in danger of becoming an honest-to-goodness beer-drinker’s destination.
Amid the rolling green hills and tall pines of Whidbey Island, Langley—home to the recently opened Double Bluff Brewing—now has a new star attraction: Spyhop Public House (317 Second Street, Langley, 360-221-4494), a homey bar and restaurant brought to you by the owners of Seattle’s popular neighborhood spot, Teddy’s Tavern.
Formerly Mo’s Pub, Spyhop, which opened on August 1, has been remodeled by Dan and Susan Morgan, who are themselves in the midst of a transition. The businesses at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 65th Street, where Teddy’s has lived for decades—and the location that Dan and Susan have called their professional home—have all but completely shut down; indeed, Teddy’s is the last remaining.
On the corner of 65th and 11th looms a giant construction site for one of the city’s newest light-rail stations, set to be completed in 2021. And with the new hub comes the promise of new commuters and, therefore, increased storefront rents. Property owners and developers are eager to jettison the businesses of old—and have already—to bring in new shops that will generate bigger dollars.
“I’m kind of glad it’s happening this way,” says Dan, wistfully. “I don’t think I could ever sell Teddy’s. In a weird way I’m glad it’s going to get torn down.”
But out of the ashes of Teddy’s Tavern, which Dan says may be closed as soon as two years from now, comes Spyhop, the couple’s new home, which boasts a full bar (complete with Teddy’s signature fresh-fruit juicer) and nine taps ranging from Elysian’s Space Dust IPA to Farmstrong’s Lager. “It’s been overwhelming,” says Dan of the first month of business. “We’ve been really busy.”
Spyhop—the term for a whale breaching the ocean surface to take in air—marks Dan and Susan’s first transition from bar owners to restaurateurs. And their bar fare is spot-on; it tastes like home cooking, the standout being the Sandy Point burger, served on a brioche bun with thick, sweet cuts of bacon and avocado slices. Other must-tries include the crispy chicken wings, served with three dipping sauces, and the housemade chili cheese fries.
What will soon be Seattle’s loss is already Langley’s gain. Spyhop has the same jovial, familial attitude that the Morgans, who have lived and raised their children on Whidbey for a number of years now, bring to any space. Indeed, theirs is an air of welcome. “I just want the place to be a spot where visitors can come to feel at home and where neighborhood folks can have a meal and hang out for a while,” says Dan before popping up to seat a table of two for dinner. “I’m really enjoying everything we’re doing here already.”