Trapalas to open Hubbard location
After six years and two restaurants, the Trapala family is expanding once again.
But unlike their downtown Woodburn eateries, which do business just a block away from each other, the next Trapala restaurant will be popping up down the road a few miles to Hubbard in September.
"Probably 90 percent of the population here in Hubbard doesn't know Trapala's, because Trapala's is basically just a little hole in downtown," said Severo Trapala, one of four brothers who opened their first Trapala's Restaurant on First Street in Woodburn in 2013.
Since then, the Trapala family has been hard at work dishing up authentic, Hidalgo-style Mexican fare while expanding Woodburn's downtown dining options to Trapala Brewpub & Rotisseria across the city's plaza on Garfield Street.
For their third act, the Trapala's are looking to bring the same cuisine to downtown Hubbard, right down to the restaurant's signature burnt orange color splashed on the two Woodburn locations.
"The only thing that's going to be different is just the address, everything else is going to stay the same," Trapala said. "The same thing we do over here, the same plates we serve over here is the same plates we're going to serve over there."
The family is working hard at renovating their new Hubbard location in time for a planned opening in September. Dubbed 'Trapala Restaurant 2' on the business's Facebook page, the new location will be located at 3519 3rd St., which previously hosted Topaz Bistro roughly five years ago.
The building has been vacant for several years, forcing the family to invest in maintenance and renovation to get it ready for the grand opening. The location and history of the building is part of what attracted the Trapala's in the first place.
"It was perfect, right downtown," Trapala said. "It's a historic building. It's well-known to the community."
Although he's unfamiliar with exactly how old the building is, Trapala points to a pair of bricks in the location's north-facing fireplace stamped with "Thompson 1894" as an example of its long history. Besides Topaz Bistro before them, the building has long hosted various restaurants over the years.
"Basically, this building has always been a restaurant at some point," Trapala said. "One of our customers said her grandma used to work here as a waitress when she was young. "The customer was probably in her 40s. I was like, 'Wow.'"
Aside from history and it's setting, Trapala felt that Hubbard was lacking in the particular sit-down dining experience he wants to offer to the community. While Hubbard has several places to eat, Trapala stated that true, sit-down family dining experiences are lacking in the community, forcing people to commute to Woodburn, Canby or beyond.
"They have no restaurants," Trapala said. "Not a single restaurant where you can say, I can take my family, spend time in there. In the meantime, I can gamble, I can have a drink and still my kids can actually be having lunch. They can be dining."
The building is significantly larger than either of the family's two Woodburn locations. In addition to several dining rooms and a centralized bar, the Hubbard restaurant will feature something that the first Trapala's does not — a banquet room.
The room can fit upwards of 100 to 140 people, allowing the restaurant to accommodate parties, meetings and festive gatherings in addition to serving its usual clientele. Although he has received several inquiries about booking the banquet room, Trapala states he wants folks to wait until the restaurant opens next month, so they can see for themselves what to expect from the offering.
Trapala's will serve lunch and dinner options. While the first restaurant originally had breakfast, they decided it was too much of a commitment to be open for those hours.
"One thing I learned is do not serve breakfast," Trapala said. "You're not going to serve breakfast hours, because you'll be killing yourself."
As if one project wasn't enough, the Trapala's are also working on an expansion of its downtown Woodburn location, located at 430 N. First St.
Slated to begin after the opening of the Hubbard restaurant, the renovation will convert its outside brick seating area on the corner of First Street and Hayes Street into an indoor dining area.
Although the fenced in courtyard allows customers to eat and drink under the sun, Trapala stated that the poor seasonal weather for most of the year renders the area inhospitable for long stretches.
"We only have good weather on the year how many months? Two months?" Trapala said. "I know it's nice for the customers to be sitting outside, but you're not going to put money into something you're not going to get back 10 months out of the year."
The renovation will expand Trapala's seating area by another 50 percent and maintain a similar brick facade as the original building, though with an updated look.
"The brick facade is a little hard to keep updated," he said. "This is an old building – 1930-something. It's hard to get the same type of material that we had here."
The restaurant will be open throughout much of the renovation, but will close for a few weeks for the bathrooms to be renovated.
Trapala is excited to invest in the Woodburn establishment at the same time that downtown is seeing the First Street Improvement Project get closer to completion this year, including a pair of nearby parking lots.
"We were struggling with parking," Trapala said. "So, we have two parking lots, plus all the work they're doing on First Street."
But before that can begin, Trapala wants to make sure the Hubbard restaurant is up and running. That way, anyone wanting to eat at Trapala's during the Woodburn renovation can simply visit Hubbard just up the road.
"We want to get (the Hubbard location) up and running, that way if customers want to have something to eat and they want to choose Trapala's, they can always come to this location," he said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.