How to dodge high prices, meager portion

“Big portions and low prices,” is the motto of Chris Dodge, owner of Dodge’s Eatery on Washington Avenue.

He owns Dodge’s Eatery with his wife Yvette. Dodge managed Denny’s Restaurant on Kitsap Way until he decided to open his own restaurant in the old Emperor’s Palace building.

Dodge’s opened about 10 months ago, with a staff including Dodge, his wife, his mother and his mother-in-law.

Dodge and his wife are natives of Turner’s Falls, Mass. After high school, he graduated from a cooking program at a voc-ed school. He was a cook in the U.S. Navy’s submarine service for 13 years, before leaving the military in 1993 at Subase Bangor.

He worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Tacoma before coming to the Denny’s in Bremerton where he was manager for five years.

Dodge has contemplated opening his own restaurant for a long time, especially after he saw once how much money the Denny’s restaurant chain makes nationwide.

Although, according to Dodge, he doesn’t need the volume of customers or the high revenue that Denny’s makes to prosper, he would like to open another Dodge’s somewhere and begin a chain.

Dodge said his business was booming before the events of Sept. 11. He said since security has increased at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard he has had fewer customers.

He is definitely looking forward to the increase in business when the USS Carl Vinson and Sacramento return from deployment next week with nearly 3,600 crewmembers.

Dodge said he is planning to introduce a lunch buffet at the end of January to increase business. He said a buffet would be easier for his small staff to handle, and would allow customers to be served much faster.

He also delivers to local businesses within his area, except for the shipyard because of the security.

Dodge said one of the biggest problems with owning a business downtown is not enough parking for his customers. He said he knows his business would do a lot better if there were more parking.

“It’s tough, and being downtown makes it tougher,” Dodge said of being a restaurateur. “I didn’t count on it (no parking).”

According to Dodge the menu at the eatery includes half-pound hamburgers, six-egg omelets, sandwiches, crinkle-cut french fries, potato salad, breakfast and seafood. He emphasized repeatedly his meals have hefty portions and meager prices.

Dodge said the only items on the menu more than $5.99 are a few seafood and steak items.

“My fish is great,” said Dodge, referring to the hand-breaded cod. “People say it’s great.”

One of the sandwiches the eatery offers is the “Dodgey Dinger.”

It includes triple-high grilled sourdough bread, ham, turkey, bacon, three different cheeses and tomatoes.

The atmosphere at Dodge’s is a little different than most restaurants.

Instead of trendy paintings hanging on the walls, Dodge’s has historic photographs of Bremerton donated by the Bremerton Naval Museum.

Dodge’s is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekends.

Breakfast is served all day.

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