After being closed for about two-and-a-half months, the Nye Beach Café in Newport has reopened.
The café, owned by Judy Buchko, had closed on April 12 after being found in violation of city code due to the lack of a hood system over the cooking area, to properly vent cooking vapors.
The issue surfaced after the café had already been operating for a number of years, and Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy told the News-Times, “I think her menu had changed. At what point it changed, I’m not sure.
“It’s really too bad,” added Murphy. “We were not looking to see her closed by any means, but there were code violations and safety issues that we saw. The code is very clear on the requirements for a commercial kitchen on what has to be in place. It’s just unfortunate.”
Buchko said she tried to find a new location for her business but wasn’t having any luck, so she decided to try to make it work at the same location. “I was going to put a hood system in, and it was very expensive. It was going to be around $38,000, and I was going to do that,” she said. “We had it all planned out.”
But first, Buchko had to get approval from the homeowners association (HOA) where her café is located — there are retail spaces on the lower level of the building and residential units on the second level. She said the majority of votes from the HOA supported what she wanted to do, but there was some dissension and the threat of an injunction to stop her from installing the necessary equipment.
Buchko didn’t want to spend that kind of money for nothing, so she went with an alternate plan. She worked with the Newport building official, Joseph Lease, to find out what she could and couldn’t do on site, and then she modified her menu to meet the parameters of preparing food without the addition of the hood system.
Buchko reopened for business on June 28. “It’s been good. We’ve got the locals coming back, and people are really happy,” she said. “I’m just going to try to mind my Ps and Qs. A lot of people are disappointed because I can’t do my really awesome breakfasts, but I am doing some breakfast stuff.”
Some of Buchko’s previous employees are also back with her, so people who dined there in the past will likely see some familiar faces.
The café, located at 526 NW Coast St. in Newport’s Nye Beach district, is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Buchko said she is thinking about going back to the original hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
People who want more information about the Nye Beach Café can reach the business at a new phone number — 541-265-2532.