When family-run businesses close, owners often want to take a break or try another career. Not the owners of the Compleat Cook in Bellevue. Lisa Dobbin and Debra Bruskland enjoyed...

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When family-run businesses close, owners often want to take a break or try another career. Not the owners of the Compleat Cook in Bellevue.

Lisa Dobbin and Debra Bruskland enjoyed selling kitchen gadgets and teaching Eastsiders how to cook, and they had planned to keep their kitchenware shop in the family for years to come. The sisters changed their minds this winter when their father, Mike Zetin, was diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s been the hardest decision of our lives, but we can’t go on without him,” said Lisa Dobbin, who owns Compleat Cook with her sister and father. “We would give our right arm to stay open.”

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The sisters have struggled to keep the Compleat Cook profitable while department stores, kitchenware shops and large chains, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, started selling low-priced kitchen goods. They figured their customer service would endear them to shoppers, but they’ve found it wasn’t enough.

“What we sell isn’t specialty; it’s now sold everywhere,” Bruskland said. “People want to get the best price they think they can.”

Zetin opened the store in 1990 to give his two daughters a place to work while they raised their three children. A former kitchenware distributor, he saw there was a market for a specialty kitchen store with reasonable prices. Amateur cooks could find kitchen tools only at department stores and a few expensive kitchen stores, he said.

The three worked together until seven years ago, when Zetin stepped back from the business and let his daughters run Compleat Cook on their own. They continued to use their father as a sounding board for new products and classes.

After running the store for so long, Dobbin can’t imagine life without the Compleat Cook. Her husband and daughter took cooking classes at the store and often would whip up dinner for her at home. She says she’ll miss the cooking classes the most.

The family is selling everything in the store at a 25 percent discount. After it closes in mid-January, the sisters don’t know what they will do.

“Right now we’re focusing on just getting through this,” Dobbin said.

More information can be found online at www.compleatcook.com or by calling 425-746-9201.

Project update

The Mercer, a $33 million mixed-use development — one of seven new projects in downtown Mercer Island — is undergoing changes.

Dollar Development, the project’s developer, is reducing the residential units by 5 percent to 222 and cutting more than 110 parking stalls from the previously projected 517 spots. Retail space is expanding 20 percent to more than 18,000 square feet.

Formerly known as Gateway Commons, The Mercer is located at 7650 S.E. 27th St.

New restaurant

John Howie, the owner and chef at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar in Bellevue, is opening a sports-themed restaurant in Seattle next month.

A Mariners and Sonics season-ticket holder, Howie is launching Sport with a lineup of athletes and sports figures, such as Jamal Crawford of the New York Knicks; Nate McMillan, head coach of the SuperSonics; former Seattle Mariners pitcher Jeff Nelson; and Todd McCullough, a former University of Washington and professional basketball player.

Sport will feature 50 large-screen and high-definition television sets throughout the restaurant and in booths, and a “500 Club” case of baseballs autographed by baseball players who have hit 500 or more home runs.

Sport will serve thin-crust pizza, prime steaks, large salads and Kobe-beef burgers.

Howie is throwing a fund-raiser Jan. 17 to celebrate Sport’s grand opening and raise money for foundations started by sports stars. They include the Moyer Foundation, which donates money to charities that help critically ill children; Shaun Alexander Foundation, which mentors young men; and the Jamal Crawford Foundation, which gives money to children’s charities.

The dinner will be from 8 to 11:30 p.m. and will include auctions of sports memorabilia and events with athletic stars. Tickets cost $200 and can be ordered by calling the Moyer Foundation at 206-298-1217.

Located in the Fisher Plaza building at 140 Fourth Ave. N. in Seattle, Sport will open to the public the following day.

Give back

Athena Partners is at it again.

The Kirkland water bottler is selling pink wristbands to raise more money for breast-cancer research, but this time it will work with Cascade Bank and Briazz.

This month, Athena’s wristbands will be sold for $1 each at Briazz Cafes and Cascade Banks in Snohomish and King counties.

The bottler, founded by breast-cancer survivor Trish May, donates all its profits to breast-cancer research and education. In November, Athena and Tully’s donated $60,000 from wristband sales in October to local cancer-research centers and groups.

For more information, go to www.athenapartners.org online.

Kristina Shevory: 206-464-2039 or kshevory@seattletimes.com