Pub for the people
Jon Field wants his new Lake Oswego pub to be more than a restaurant — he's hoping it will become the neighborhood's clubhouse.
Westlake Public House and Grille, which opened March 1 at 14559 Westlake Drive, offers a family-friendly pub environment tailored to local tastes.
"Everything in this restaurant is built around the community, the city of Lake Oswego and the community of Westlake," the chef and owner says. "This pub is staffed by its community and run for its community."
A native Oregonian, Field studied at Western Culinary Institute and trained under Robin Flower and Horst and Suzeanne Mager at Der Rheinlander German Restaurant in Portland and Gustav's Pub and Grill in Tigard in the '90s and early 2000s. He was part of the original board of directors for The Oregon Public House (OPH), which opened in 2013 and calls itself the world's first nonprofit pub.
While Westlake Public House isn't a nonprofit, Field says his work with OPH inspired him to create a community-minded pub that supports local schools and humanitarian efforts.
Field plans to offer regular benefit nights, encouraging local causes and organizations to host fundraisers and also receive a portion of the evening's profits.
The pub is largely staffed by local high school students and recent graduates, and Field says part of his community mission involves teaching young workers how to show up on time, wear a uniform and earn their first paychecks.
"We really love the opportunity to show young kids how to have their first job," he says. "They take a lot of pride in it. They keep things really clean and really organized — and most importantly, they really believe in what they're doing here."
To support his employees, he's added a 3 percent health and wellness charge to each check to provide his staff with quality health insurance — and he's lowered menu prices to offset the cost for customers.
Field says he envisions the pub as a place where local school teams can celebrate wins or commiserate over losses, and where gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan diners can enjoy a meal alongside traditional burger lovers.
Diners can enjoy local specialties such as the Westlake Classic Burger, Mr. Kruse Reuben, Oak Creek Cubano and Lake Grove French Dip — all served along mouth-watering parmesan herb fries drizzled with just the right touch of vinegar — as well as a variety of appetizers, salads and other entrees.
The pub's house-made garden burger is packed with mushroom, chia, flax, quinoa, basil, sunflower and pepita seeds and bursting with sophisticated, melt-in-your mouth flavor.
Westlake Public House is partnering with Johan's Brewing to develop its own line of craft beers. Like many of the menu items, Field says the beer names will reflect local people, places and landmarks, adding to the pub's "community clubhouse" atmosphere.
"We're divided by more things than we're united by right now," he says. "We're hoping this is a step back in the right direction — bringing people together."
Westlake Public House is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information, visit westlakepublichouse.com.