Sorci’s in Sumner makes major impact on community

Sumner Downtown AssociationMay 14, 2014 

A crowd of people enjoy the warm weather outside Sorci’s Italian Cafe.

LAURIE MILLER/COURTESY PHOTO

“It’s a God thing,” David Barnes shared when explaining how he and his wife, Nichole, came to own Sorci’s Italian Café in downtown Sumner in November 2012.

“My associate pastor and I paid a visit to Sorci’s one afternoon and dined out on their patio,” explained Barnes. “I thought the establishment was unique but seemed to have a personality conflict of sorts. It was difficult to determine if Sorci’s was a deli, a restaurant, a cafe or wine bar.”

Barnes had just sold his 13 Verizon Wireless stores and was in the process of looking for his next business venture. With his three children (Kali, 15, Sydney,13, and Josie, 7) all attending school in Sumner, Barnes wanted to find a business that would keep him active and involved in his children’s education.

Originally opened in 2005 under the ownership of Jeremy Annillo and his father George, Sorci’s offered both Italian and European cuisine. Annillo decided to sell the business and placed an ad on BizBuySell.com.

As Barnes contemplated his next career move, he came across the ad placed by Annillo and within seven days, he was the new owner.

Barnes knew he could breathe new life into Sorci’s and felt he could give it a defined personality.

“I wanted our patrons to know it as a quaint, comfortable wine bar and restaurant that could fit a variety of individuals; from construction workers to a couple out on a date night,” Barnes said.

Immediately, Barnes removed the deli cases and created the new, larger wine bar.

Next, he added three flat screens and music to give Sorci’s a more cafe feeling during the day and a cool, relaxing place at night.

Barnes found the outside seating a bit too small, reflecting a less than favorable view of the street and passing cars. This prompted him to reach out to a neighboring business, Van Lierop Garden Market, to establish an unusual partnership.

“Van Lierop Gardens provided such a serene view of flowers and overall peace,” Barnes said. “I envisioned a nice patio on the back side of Sorci’s with views to this wonderful space next door.”

So, Barnes and Van Lierop Garden Market combined efforts, finances and time to create a lovely outdoor patio space. This summer, Barnes plans to do a one-day outdoor concert series not only to entertain his patrons, but to bring the community in to experience dining at Sorci’s.

Other wonderful additions to Sorci’s includes: Happy Hour All Day Monday; Pizza, Beer and Wine Night on Tuesday; Ladies Night on Wednesday; Wine Tasting on Thursday; and live acoustic music each Saturday evening.

Deeply involved in his faith and as a member of Calvary Community Church, Barnes feels blessed to be a part of something where he feels he can contribute back to his community.

Barnes has been active in Sumner and is generous to a fault. Last year, he provided a spaghetti dinner not only to one, but to two sports teams celebrating their championships. He has donated dinners to those in need, and served as Sumner’s grand marshal for the Santa Parade.

The Sumner Downtown Association acknowledged his contributions by awarding both him and his wife Adult First Citizens of 2013.

“We must be doing something right,” Barnes explained. “We went from the 93rd best wine location in Washington state to No. 3. Sorci’s has a vision and while I’ve listened to the input of others, I’ve not been swayed to stray from that vision”

For more information about Sorci’s Italian Café, please visit their website at sorcisitaliancafe.com.

Laurie Miller is the executive director of the Sumner Downtown Association. She can be reached at 253-720-9846 or by email at sda@sumnerdowntown.com.

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