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Food service highlights outlet mall

PHOENIX ' The wait didn't match Olive Garden's recent debut, but there were some familiar faces in line Friday when David Linderman opened the newest Country Cottage Caf? and Bakery in the Pacific Northwest Marketplace and Outlet Mall.

The latest Country Cottage is the third for Linderman, his wife Dianne and partners Catherine Duran and Pam Lawrence. Their Jacksonville operation remains open. They closed one in Grants Pass about 4&

189; years ago when the Lindermans took a break from business.

Repeat customers from the other locations are expected to help the new site.

We haven't really advertised, said Linderman. We want to get our staff and kind of break them in slowly. We have a pretty good customer base, and we want to pull them in from that.

Michael's Courtyard Caf? was the former tenant in the space before it closed about a year ago. There's seating for 45 inside. Outdoor options in front of the caf? and in an adjacent courtyard will add 50 seats during good weather. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days per week. Dinner hours will be added in summer.

Lunch fare includes pastas, soups, salads, sandwiches, specials and quiches. Pastries and desserts are available. A tea service will be added later.

The chain's bakery operations have moved to the new location from the Jacksonville caf?. The bakery supplies Mellelo's, Dutch Bros. in Grants Pass and other coffee shops in the area.

Duran and Lawrence worked with the Lindermans when they started the 40th Day Caf? in Cave Junction in the early 1990s. They also worked in the Grants Pass caf?. The two women became partners with the couple in the Jacksonville operation, which opened three years ago.

Linderman has bigger concerns than just the caf?. He's also manager of the outlet mall.

My intention is to upgrade food services, says Linderman. He's brought in a coffee shop and will have a Dutch Bros. drive-up kiosk in the future.

We like to think competition is good, said Linderman. It keeps people sharp, and then you get choices.

Zoey's coffee shop offers baked items, a light lunch menu and a full-service espresso bar. Owners Zoe and Ryan Lehmann opened the shop on Feb. 1. It seats 19 and will offer outdoor seating later. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week.

Zoe Lehmann is a trained culinary chef. She makes her own calzone at the restaurant. She previously ran a personal chef service and managed two establishments in Ashland.

We want people to see there's an alternative to McDonald's, she said, referring to the fast food chain outlet near the mall's entrance.

County Cottage Caf? and Bakery franchises may appear in the future, says Linderman. He's working to establish one outside the Rogue Valley in Oregon.

Reach Ashland bureau reporter Tony Boom at 482-4651, or e-mail