Romances typically don’t start at the Whole Foods Market seafood counter. In the warm Santa Fe summer in 2000, that is exactly how it all came to be. Lisa would stop for lunch at the seafood counter ordering Seaweed salad from Gordon, and sparks flew. Gordon Clement (originally from Philadelphia and Lisa Tarabochia (a native Astorian) married in 2003 and moved to Astoria in 2004.
Being restaurant owners weren’t in the original plan, but this powerhouse couple has taken the town by storm and things just keep getting better. Lisa’s brother Johnny Ray and his wife Sue, owned a small seafood market in downtown Astoria called the Fish Landing. Upon returning to Astoria, both Gordon and Lisa would help out in the market, until they were offered the opportunity to buy the business. The rest is history.
2007 was a year of transition. Gordon and Lisa were outgrowing the small restaurant/seafood market. So they moved into the corner of 12th and commercial into an upscale restaurant, simply called Clemente’s. The successful restaurant served tourists and locals for 7 years. They served their final meal on New Years’ Eve of 2014.
When an opportunity came to lease a waterfront location at the Old Ferry Landing on 14th street the Gordon and Lisa had some brand new ideas. Now, after several months of transforming a historic waterfront building into a trendy restaurant, low and behold, Clemente’s Café and Public House is born.
Clemente’s Café and Public House has a comfortable feel. The photos on the walls encompass Lisa’s 4 generations of fishing family. The high wooden ceilings give off a nautical look, and the wooden bar serves up Astoria’s finest brews. Starting in June, they will open the deck for outdoor dining.
Keeping with their morals and beliefs of serving local Seafood, Meat, Poultry and Veggies and, as they did at the original Clemente’s, Gordon and Lisa are changing it up a bit. The menu offers an elegant, but casual fare. They also proudly serve the seaweed salad that made them a couple. Meals can be reduced in size to accommodate the younger diners.
Gordon and Lisa have two beautiful children. Isabella (12) and John (10) are the light of their lives. Both kids are involved in activities with Isabella as a ballerina and track star, and John being a hotshot on the soccer field.
When we asked them “Why Ocean Beauty”? They answered, “We have a personal relationship with Ocean Beauty. We know the employees. They are local. They know exactly what we want. We know when ordering fresh product, it comes from our local fisherman. That’s important to us. They also supply us with the seaweed salad that started it all.”
Good Luck Gordon and Lisa on your new business venture, and congratulations on being Ocean Beauty’s customer of the month.