A vision that was a decade in the making finally came to fruition this June, opening its doors to the Gig Harbor community as a place for family, friends and colleagues to gather, connect and share experiences.
The brainchild of Troy Alstead, former COO of Starbucks, Ocean5 and accompanying restaurant Table 47 both were inspired by the idea of community. “Community is the starting point behind the other part of our purpose, inspiring connections,” says Alstead. “’Community’ refers to the community that is our team (creating a great place for them to work and learn and grow) as well as the larger community of our guests and neighbors around us.”
Born and raised in the South Sound, Alstead is a longtime resident of Gig Harbor, having raised his four children here. “The South Sound area, and Gig Harbor in particular, are not only beautiful but also are growing and vibrant parts of the region,” he says. “This is home. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring Ocean5 and Table 47 here.”
The name Ocean5 was inspired by the idea that all five oceans in the world are connected and with the purpose to save the oceans. “I’m excited to have created a business that is recognized within the community as a great place to connect with friends and family and is a platform to drive awareness and action to help the oceans,” says Alstead.
According to Alstead, Ocean5 and Table 47 have provided him the opportunity to do two things he loves: “One, invest in the community by creating a great place for people to work, and a great place for guests to socialize and have fun; and two, demonstrate that a small business can be profitably built and operated with great care for the environment, driving awareness for sustainability and the actions that we all can take to improve the health of the oceans and seas.”
The building was designed with environmental sustainability in mind. Year-round heating and cooling of the building, including walk-in food and beverage coolers, is provided by 3.6 miles of geothermal wells under the parking lot. Large windows and solar tubes provide natural, harvested daylight and LED lights throughout the building both serve to reduce electrical consumption. In addition, the alder wood used inside the building was locally sourced within 100 miles, and they have utilized reclaimed wood throughout the building including most of the tables in the restaurant. The carpet in the activity and event spaces is made from abandoned commercial fishing nets, reducing harm to marine life and beach and reef damage. From the low-flow toilets and solar-powered soap dispensers to water bottle filling stations and receptacles for glass, paper and plastic recycling, everything is environmentally conscious.
Alstead and his team are developing programs, including beach cleanups and other volunteer opportunities, where people can get involved, connect and work together toward a bigger purpose.
The hanging art piece in the lobby was made with recycled scrap metal from the artist’s previous project, which otherwise would have gone to the landfill and custom art by Gig Harbor resident and firefighter Craig Wellbrock can be found in the coffee lounge, restaurant and activity space. “We hope to identify other areas in the building to feature rotating artists in the future.”
Social experiences at Ocean5 include 22 lanes of bowling, a two-story, state-of-the-art laser challenge area, huge arcade game room with dozens of interactive games ranging from the nostalgic classics to modern-graphic action games, and they have a redemption store that offers a mix of traditional and environmentally friendly prizes.
At Table 47 restaurant, the team works directly with their sources, creating personal connections with both the farmers and purveyors. Menus are created to reflect the season, allowing for a true understanding of how the food is grown and raised. “It’s important that the farms we partner with operate responsibly, in ways that are sustainable and gentle to the planet—ultimately impacting our oceans and seas,” states Alstead.
Table 47 has partnered with local farms including Rusty Wheel Farm and Adam’s Mushrooms in Gig Harbor. They get much of their vegetables and berries from Four Elements Organic Farm in Puyallup, where they have a spot for their very own Chef’s Garden. In addition to meat and seafood selections, the menu offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
The elevated craft food and drink is a differentiating factor at Ocean5 compared to similar entertainment spaces, as Table 47 prepares all the food throughout Ocean5, so guests can order from anywhere in the building and enjoy great food and drink whether they’re playing games, relaxing by the fire or socializing with friends.
Gig Harbor residents agree that they were missing a gathering spot of this magnitude, and with the growing community they truly needed someone like Alstead to make this a reality. He has succeeded in his mission, going above and beyond all expectations. A beautiful building built with sustainability in mind and something that Gig Harbor residents can be proud of, Ocean5 provides something for everyone. Kids and parents, grandparents and young single people (teens and adults over 21) have a space to hang out, meet friends, play laser tag, go bowling, have parties and enjoy family time together. Where else can you enjoy all this in one place?
Alstead is incredibly pleased—even a bit overwhelmed—by the wonderful response from their guests during these early weeks since opening their doors to the public. “Guests are enjoying the beautiful building, outstanding service and delicious food, and they are intrigued and excited by our messages and commitment to the oceans.”
Supporting local, as well as supporting our local oceans and environment, has never felt so good—or been so much fun! Thank you, Troy Alstead, for choosing Gig Harbor as the home for Ocean5 and Table 47.