Longtime Yelm resident Bobby Mcgill, a 50-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran, has dreamt of owning a restaurant since he was 21.
Now his dream is coming true. With his wife, Pepsy’s support, the Mcgills are now the owners of Gather Gastropub in Yelm.
“Back in the Marine Corps, I had a friend named Chris, and we always talked about opening a restaurant. I’ve been telling my wife, ever since she met me, that I wanted to open a restaurant. She’s letting me chase my dream,” Bobby Mcgill said. “It took 30 years to achieve a dream, but if you keep saying it and keep pushing for it, it will happen. Don’t give up.”
Bobby and Pepsy each said they want Gather Gastropub to provide a welcoming, family-friendly environment where people can enjoy a meal and company.
“We want a place where you can come and eat and enjoy yourself while eating. We go to a lot of restaurants, all up and down the West Coast. We’ve done that for years,” Bobby said. “There’s places like Uptown Lounge where you’re getting high-quality food and everyone is having a great time. There’s no silence and everyone is kind of moving around. That’s the atmosphere we want to create.”
During the transition to new owners, the restaurant remained open while the Mcgills were trained how to operate the business by former owners Bryce Hughes and Katie Stann. Bobby trained with Hughes and chef Chris Lascik for the past nine months, while Pepsy spent the past five weeks training how to manage and maintain the front and visible portion of the restaurant.
“It kind of just fell in our lap,” Pepsy said. “I did Katie’s hair, and they knew this was something Bobby has been interested in. Now, here we are.”
The new owners had a successful first night on Thursday, Jan. 4, despite some minor setbacks. Pepsy said the first night was consistently busy, but customers were patient, happy and showed lots of love and support to her and her husband.
“I think the back of the house did a lot better than the front of the house last night, but it was a good night overall. We want to create a fun family atmosphere,” Pepsy said. “We had some hiccups with the computer system.”
Bobby continued, “At the end of the day, if you’re going to have problems, you want them in the front of the house. The food came out fantastic, thankfully. If you have to wait for it, it better be good.”
Lascik, chef at Gather Gastropub, has been a cook for 22 years, with 15 years of chef experience. He’s been with the restaurant for a year and a half, and previously in 2020.
“One of my dreams has always been to open up my own place later down the road,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to open up a farm. I have a couple acres here in Yelm. I want to do the farmers market, sell to restaurants, but the ultimate dream would be to have a small place to incorporate that farm and that restaurant. My experiences have helped me learn about everything that goes into opening a place.”
In his time as a chef, Lascik has managed and worked at several restaurants, including Well 80 Brewhouse in Olympia. He also helped a Guatemalan restaurant owner launch a pizzeria in Central America. Lascik’s experiences as a chef and at his home farm in Yelm has helped him get an understanding of what a kitchen needs to be successful.
Lascik added the restaurant offers a variety of proteins, including an assortment of chicken dishes such as chicken confit.
“We break down the chicken from whole. We use the breast for our lemon chicken, and those are nice, fat 10-ounce breasts. The confit is the legs of the chicken, and they’re really big, nice-looking legs,” Lascik said. “Meat always seems to sell well here at Gather. This weekend, we did a surf and turf, which includes a 10-ounce sirloin with prawns.”
Bobby added the restaurant sold 19 10-ounce steaks on Jan. 4.
“The people ate it last night, and most of everyone that ate it last night told my wife that it was the best steak they’ve ever had,” he said.
Pepsy continued, “not just in Yelm, they described it as the best steak they’ve ever had.”
Additional menu items include house-made pasta, chicken Marsala, Gorgonzola pork, short ribs, fresh produce and much more.
Bobby said Gather Gastropub offers brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It includes house-made brunch items such as eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, pork schnitzel, biscuits and gravy, wild shrimp tostadas, five-egg scrambles and lemon ricotta pancakes — which Pepsy said are “to die for.” The restaurant is also working on expanding its children’s menu.
“I feel like this place has a lot of untapped potential,” Lascik said. “I feel like a lot of people just might not know about the restaurant. In my opinion, and I’ve been in the industry for a while, this is some of the best food that I’ve seen around. We try to buy fresh and organic and make from scratch, which is nice. We’re not making all of this pre-made stuff.”
Pepsy said the restaurant might expand its hours in the future, but they need some time to get settled into their new roles.
Pepsy plans to continue her hairdressing business.
Visit the Gather Gastropub’s self-titled Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.
Gather Gastropub, 9144 Burnett Road SE in the Burnett Center in Yelm, is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.