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Clear Creek Grocery lives on

Patrons of Clear Creek Grocery may be wondering why their local store has suddenly closed.

Overgrown by weeds and looking very deserted, some suppose the store is closed for good — but if all goes as planned, the store will be rebuilt at the back of the lot, with gas pumps re-installed.

Located at 14367 Clear Creek Road N.W., about two miles north of the Clear Creek intersection on State Route 3, on the west side of the street, the store closed suddenly last month, leaving many wondering.

Though it has a Poulsbo address, the store serves Silverdale. The small, family-run store has filled a niche in the Clear Creek area between North Silverdale and South Poulsbo for years.

Recently, patrons have been greeted by a locked door and the sign:

“Thank you for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you. We will be closing Friday, July 26, and will be back in November. Hopefully we will see you then.”

The owner is listed as Yong Cha Yi, according to the tax assessor. He could not be reached. His sister, Sue Yi, said the store could reopen as soon as this October.

Jeff Smith, senior planner with the county’s Department of Community Development (DCD), gave some history.

“Back in the 1990s, when we (the county) were going through gyrations formulating a new Comprehensive Plan,” owners of Clear Creek Grocery got caught in the works and lost in the shuffle, he said.

Smith said owners had removed — on their own — underground gasoline tanks in compliance with the EPA. Owners then found they weren’t up to code to install new tanks to keep a gas pump there — the old tanks were grandfathered in.

Smith said they needed that gas pump to stay in business.

The county planner said red tape delayed things for a while, but eventually the grocery was granted special permission to go ahead and rebuild the structure and install new tanks and pumps.

“And that’s where we left them,” said Smith. “The ball’s in their court.”

Hank Mann-Sykes, a member of the Kitsap County Community Council (the appointed board standing in for an elected council in Silverdale) was critical of the county.

“He (the store owner) couldn’t survive without that pump. The county was harassing him (with delays),” Mann-Sykes said. “They should stop harassing local businesses.”

Nevertheless, Clear Creek Grocery did stay open several years without their gas pump. A neighbor shed light on the situation.

Mary Earl, owner of Grape Expectations in Silverdale, explained it was her understanding the rebuilding would begin Aug. 5.

“They’re going to build a brand new store,” she said, adding that delays had more to do with county disagreements over the gas tank than anything else.

J.B. Hur, the civil engineer in charge of the rebuild, said construction should begin Friday, Aug. 9.

The old building is about 1,200 square feet. The new building will be 1,800 square feet, he said. He estimated end of construction in November.

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