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by: ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Michael and Berenice Thomas, the new owners of what has been Mickey Finns on Woodstock Boulevard - soon to reopen as a family restaurant, under the name Fenders Moto Café & Brew Pub.When Mickey Finn’s Restaurant opened in 1999 on Woodstock Boulevard at S.E. 44th Avenue, it was a family-friendly restaurant and sports bar that flourished for a while. In subsequent years it declined in various ways, disappointing those who had great hopes for a good restaurant in that prominent neighborhood location.

Now the site is being readied for a new restaurant and, according to the new owners, it’s gaining new life.

The business has been purchased by Michael and Berenice Thomas, who have ambitious plans for the restaurant that they will call “Fender Moto Café and Brew Pub”, based on the theme of vintage motorcycles.

Thomas recently attended several neighborhood meetings to describe their new restaurant, and to reassure neighbors that it would not turn into a “biker bar”.

“It will be a family-friendly restaurant with great food. We plan to make this a ‘destination restaurant’,” assured Thomas at the September Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) meeting. The restaurant will offer what he described as “American food”, with specialty meals – such as steak and chicken specials on Friday and Saturday nights. They will also have their own specialty ale, which will be brewed off-site. There is a plan for vintage movie nights in the back room, and a few arcade games to keep the kids occupied. Nearby Woodstock property owner Angie Even, who attended an initial meeting with the new owners, pointed out that other restaurants also have a few arcade games for children.

Berenice graduated from the Art Institute of Portland with a Bachelor of Science in interior design. Since the restaurant’s theme centers on vintage motorcycles, the new Fenders Moto Café & Brew Pub will be getting a complete makeover. The sports televisions will be retained, but with more aesthetic placement; video poker games will be walled off; and the live music will lean toward bands that play oldies and an assortment of other music styles, but no hard rock.

Describing the planned exterior, Thomas said there will a tasteful new neon sign, potted trees and plants, and a renovated curb and front door area on the west side to make it ADA-accessible. In the public meetings he attended, Thomas described the connection to the neighborhood that made him want to locate into Woodstock.

“My grandparents lived here for a few years. I grew up in Seaside, and was a forester most of my life – and then I converted and restored a grocery and deli in Beaver Creek into a restaurant and deli with historical-registry status.

“We love Woodstock, and have been thinking about this site for quite a while.”

Michael and Berenice, who have a two-year-old child, have nonetheless pledged to be on-site a good deal of the time, with the help of their large extended Thomas family. Thomas said they have a wide circle of friends with experience and expertise in the restaurant business, and they will call on them for advice and support, as well as drawing on their own business experience to make this restaurant a neighborhood success. They plan to have the new restaurant open before the end of October.

Contract Publishing

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