I never know where my curiosity and Google are going to take me. If I hadn't been looking for information about Burgerville, I wouldn't have found out about Beaches Restaurant. Evidently, The Holland, Inc., parent company of Burgerville, had hoped to take their concept restaurant on to a multiple location enterprise, but changed their mind when it became clear they were losing focus where Burgerville was concerned. So the president/CEO sold his interest in Beaches to his friend and business partner, Mark Matthias (click here for more). After reading the story, I was curious about what a more upscale restaurant created by the people who gave us Burgerville would look like.
An opportunity to check out Beaches arose when I found a break in my sister's busy house building schedule. We were able to work out a plan to meet halfway (or there abouts) on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver, WA. I entered the address into Reggie-the-GPS. Hmmm, Columbia River Drive? In the area around the Interstate Bridge? Sounds familiar. . . But no, it wasn't one of the two restaurants in view from the bridge as you drive north. It's in a newer development with condos, shops, restaurants (a McMenamin's was next to Beaches) and a busy boardwalk with a beautiful view of the river. I paused to ponder what kind of changes are in store for Salem as we put more focus on the Willamette River.
Our group of six opted to sit outside--oh and did I mention this area is also close to the airport? The entertaining sailboat race in the Columbia made up for the loud airliners passing regularly overhead. I didn't feel like we received the full effect of this restaurant, since we dined at an off time, but there were hints everywhere that this is a place locals like to visit when they're celebrating a special event. The restaurant has one of those black boards, you can use colorful markers on, hanging over the front area as you walk in. It was covered with fun notes about birthdays and anniversaries--I'm assuming for the reservations made for Sunday evening.
I didn't get much detail about the food (we were too busy visiting), other than the two burgers at our table were said to be BIG (even the bacon), the crab melts looked very appetizing and my grilled shrimp were tasty. The service was just right and the decor was fun with plenty of detail to sit and enjoy.
I don't know if we'll ever return, but my curiosity has been put to rest. It makes me wonder if we'll end up with some riverside dining when the Boise Cascade dust has settled?
1919 SE Columbia River Drive,
Vancouver WA 98661,
1 mile east of the I-5 Bridge on the Columbia River.
Phone- 360-699-1592 or 503-222-9947