The ‘Shack’ is back

The Salishak Tavern reopened June 1 with refreshing upgrades, a new kitchen and new operators, including owner Doug Schuyley (left) and general manager Steven West. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

New ownership respects history of ‘iconic’ tavern

Famous as the last bastion of free shuffleboard, the historic Salishack Tavern has reopened to the kind of makeover befitting an 80-something icon.

But there’s nothing for longtime fans of this off-highway roadhouse on the Gleneden Beach Loop to fret over. Under new owners who revere its history and know its place in a tight-knit neighborhood of post-war cottages, beachfront mansions, trailers and modern resorts, the ‘Shack’ has been refreshed but retains its friendly, watering-hole touch.

“We ‘classied’ it up but kept the tavern feel, doing our best to keep it cozy,” said Steve West, 40, a Portland Realtor who teamed-up with his fast friend, Beaverton businessman Doug Schuyley, to acquire the Salishack Tavern from previous owners Pat and Bruce Henderson in October, 2018. “We want people to be able to come in and get good food at a good price, in a good atmosphere.”

Schuyley, who grew up helping his parents remodel old houses, spent eight months upgrading the Shack.

“I hated doing that when I was a kid, but it gave me the experience to see an old building’s potential,” said Schuyley, 38, who operates Master’s Touch Automotive in Beaverton. “This place certainly had that potential, and with nothing else close by, the location was perfect.”

Gone are the ’70s-style carpets, replaced by newly-leveled wood laminate floors, and the panel-board interior, swapped with new walls in refreshing colors. The tiny bathrooms were expanded, as was the outside deck and beer garden.

Determined to produce “great tavern food,” the kitchen was completely remodeled with a new fryer, flat-top grill, stove, refrigeration and dishwasher.

“It’s a full-on kitchen,” said West, whose specialty is smoked pulled-pork that fills a hard-shell taco. “Our goal is to have consistent and quality tavern fare: great burgers, Philly cheese steaks and sandwiches.”

The business reopened June 1 to rave reviews from longtime customers and visitors who sometimes drive hundreds of miles to rekindle fond memories of summer nights at the iconic tavern.

“People who were here in the 1960s still come in today,” remarked West, who said the regulars run the gamut from retirees and tourists to business moguls and movie stars. “There has been an outpouring of nothing but good things when people walk in and see the remodel. The community is here to support us, and they’re happy we’ve reopened.”

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of hard drinks to the bar, though you wouldn’t know it if you were just passing by.

“We know the name suggests it’s just beer and wine, but we wanted to keep it all the same for history,” said Schuyley.

Open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily, the Salishack Tavern is located at 6275 Gleneden Beach Loop. For more information, call 541-764-2434.

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