Restaurant's owners plan to remodel and create friendly space
Sherry and Cam Andrus want their new Estacada establishment to have a vibe similar to Cheers, the fictional bar where everybody knows your name.
"Our tagline is 'your home away from home," Sherry said. "We want people to feel better when they (leave) than when they came in. I'm just excited about the opportunity to do that."
The mother and son team bought The Country Restaurant after longtime owners Linda and Glen Parsons put it up for sale earlier this year. Sherry has spent the last decade running assisted living facilities, and Cam previously worked at the Old Mill Saloon and as an assistant manager at McMenamins on Broadway in Portland. The pair took over operations at The Country earlier this month.
The establishment will operate as The Country for several more months. Then, after an extensive remodel in January, it will open under its new name — Mickey B's on Main.
The restaurant will be named for Sherry's grandmother.
"My grandmother passed during the process (of purchasing the restaurant). . .she was a great cook," Sherry recalled. "I decided the timing was just perfect. I know she's up there watching, going 'yes.'"
Through the remodel, Cam and Sherry hope to create a modern country barn atmosphere. The ceiling tiles will be removed to expose the rafters, the size of the bar will be doubled, an eating counter will be added, and electronics charging stations and wireless internet will be available.
The second phase of the remodel, which will likely be completed prior to next summer, will focus on the kitchen. At that time, a revamped menu will be introduced.
"We're going to touch more on the come, sit down, chill out with everyone vibe," Cam said, noting that the menu would include appetizers, sandwiches and stuffed burgers. "We're also still going to have breakfast all day."
Sherry added that customer feedback on the menu will be important.
"We're going to see what's really popular (from the original menu) and keep those things," she said.
One new element of the restaurant will be food challenges. The Giant Mickey sandwich will consist of 7 ounces of turkey, 7 ounces of roast beef, 7 ounces of ham, cheese and mayonnaise on french bread, with a side of fries. Those who finish this meal in a half hour or less will receive a free Mickey B's T-shirt that says "I Beat The Meat," along with their photo on the restaurant's wall of fame. Those who don't finish in time will receive a T-shirt that says "The Meat Beat Me."
Cam and Sherry also plan to offer a variety of drinks at the bar.
"We want to cater to the beer drinkers, the cider drinkers, the classic cocktail drinkers, the specialty cocktail drinkers," Cam said. "We want to try to cater to everyone as best as possible and have just a huge variety of everything."
Also, wine will be available at discounted prices on Wednesdays.
"There are some amazing pinot noirs in Oregon and Washington, and I want to bring that flavor to Estacada," Cam said.
To increase convenience for customers, there are also plans for online ordering, ordering via a cell phone app and delivery during the lunch and dinner rush times.
Both Sherry and Cam emphasized that customers will be a central element of the restaurant.
"I want my customers to feel like they actually have a say in everything, which is true," Cam said. "If one person says, 'Hey, you don't have this kind of whiskey,' next time they come in I'm going to have that type of whiskey."
Their own experiences have inspired this patron-centric mindset.
"I raised both my kids alone, and I didn't have a lot of money to go out to meals, but when I did I wanted it to be something special," Sherry said. "It's neat to be able to have people coming in for those special occasions and providing everything that they want to make it a nice outing."
Cam agreed, noting that they hope to create a laid-
back and friendly atmosphere.
"I want them to feel like it's their best friend's house. I want a customer named Norm," he said, alluding to "Cheers" once again.
"I'll go find you one," Sherry promised.