by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Glen and Linda Parsons are getting ready to celebrate Country Restaurant and Lounges 34 years of business with a week of festivities.When Linda Parsons first opened the restaurant across the street from the junior high school Sunday, Aug. 5, 1979, things were a little different than they are today.

Then called the Timber Town Café, the restaurant had only a few kitchen tables and chairs.

The booths, lounge, patio and gift shop weren’t yet there. Neither were the sidewalks.

A lot can change over 34 years.

Before taking over the café, Parsons had enjoyed being a waitress.

She studied restaurant management for “one whole semester” before she came across an ad for a “restaurant for sale in Estacada.”

The rest was history.

She came to work for free with the café’s previous owners for a few weeks to get a feel for the business.

She kept the Timber Town Café name for a few years but changed it to Country Restaurant & Lounge in 2000.

In the meantime, she’d married Glen Parsons.

He had been a logger in the Estacada area for 25 years.

The two shared a love for country style. For the couple, “country style” implies a warm, friendly feel.

So does the food.

The menu has more than 180 options.

Linda Parsons personally makes meatloaf, chili, spaghetti and other specialty items.

“Made like my mom made them,” she said.

The menu boasts a variety of vegetarian options and a “light eaters” section. This used to be the kids section, but it’s for anyone who would like “smaller portions and smaller prices.”

Also, diners can choose from 27 omelets (or build their own). They also have a choice of 21 burgers.

“That’s why we have the large variety on our menu,” Linda Parsons said. “We try to reach as many people as possible.”

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day.

“If it’s on our menu, you can have it,” the couple wrote.

The site also has a gift shop stocked with unique items.

Linda Parsons said it can save diners a trip downtown. And the restaurant gift wraps for free.

The Parsons’ children grew up helping out at the restaurant.

“They say it taught them a very good work ethic and kept them busy and out of trouble,” Linda Parsons said.

She laughed before saying that none of the kids wound up in the restaurant business.

“It does take all your time. It’s very hard to get away from,” she said.

It sounds like Parsons’ employees were in no rush to get away, though.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Former employees Betty Strode and Deloris Bethea enjoy an afternoon sundae. Strode worked for the restaurant for 17 years, Bethea worked there 12 years.As Linda Parsons gave a tour of the restaurant she passed by two women enjoying afternoon ice cream sundaes in a booth.

Betty Strode worked for the restaurant for 17 years; Deloris Bethea worked there for 12 years.

“We loved to work for (Linda Parsons). She’s a great person to work for,” Strode said.

“One of the best,” Bethea added.

As of Aug. 5, the restaurant will have been in business under Parsons’ ownership for 34 years.

In honor of the occasion, the restaurant will host a week of festivities Aug. 2-10.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

When there’s entertainment, the lounge stays open until 11 or later on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Country Restaurant & Lounge is at 341 N.E. Main St.

A weeklong celebration

In honor of 34 years of business, the Country Restaurant & Lounge will host a week of festivities.

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 2-3

“Dan the One Man Band” Richardson will play rock and country music in the lounge from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Enjoy a prime rib or salmon dinner special.

Sunday, Aug. 4

Pay prices from the year 2000, with a half B&G and two eggs for $5.40 from 7-11 a.m.

Monday, Aug. 5

Diners will be served a free piece of cake in honor of the restaurant’s opening on Aug. 5, 1979.

Tuesday, Aug. 6

Burgers and Fries are $3.50 just like in 1979 from 2-5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 7

Brian will perform magic at your table from 6-9 p.m. Spaghetti will be the dinner special.

Thursday, Aug. 8

All day, diners can enjoy coffee and soda at 1980 prices. Coffee is $1.10; soda is $1.80.

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 9-10

Jeffrey & Iliea will play modern rock and country dance music.

The dinner specials will be 8-ounce top sirloin with the option to add fantasy shrimp.

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