Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, September 30, 2016, Page 7A, Image 7

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    September 30, 2016 • Seaside Signal • • 7A
An ‘evolving vision’ leads to a classy roadside eatery
Ruby’s from Page 1A
“We kind of took an exist-
ing building, and this is what
we ended up with,” Candace
Remer said. “And I think it
ended up a lot better than we
thought it could.”
For Quackenbush, the proj-
ect presented the unprecedent-
ed opportunity to contribute
to the design of a commercial
building, whereas in the past,
he has worked off a set of plans
from an architect. During the
design phase, Quackenbush
said, his main focus was col-
laborating with the Remers
and “listening to what they
wanted for the lavor of the
building and doing the best to
meet their expectations.”
An evolving vision
The Remers, who live in
Seattle, purchased the prop-
erty about a year and a half
ago. Their original vision for
the location was smaller and
more subtle: to remove the
gas station entirely and build
a hotdog stand named Dog
Bites, David Remer said. As
they began the process, how-
ever, “we realized there was
more we could do than our
initial plan,” he said.
In the beginning, it was easi-
er for the team — which includ-
ed restaurant manager/operator
Mark Newsome to identify
what characteristics they didn’t
want: corporate, franchise, pre-
made and formulaic.
Rather, they wanted the
restaurant design to inspire
an atmosphere that was hon-
est, open and welcoming, and
their choices during the ive-
month construction phase re-
lected that. The walls were
kept in their original place.
Duct work and electrical con-
duits are still visible. Roll-up
doors – remnants of the build-
ing’s past life as a gas station
— now open to patio seating
and a sweeping view of Sea-
side’s Mill Ponds and the
eastern mountain range. Two
of the walls and counter are
constructed from refurbished
wood from a 1940s barn. A
large ire pit invites guests
outdoors, regardless of weath-
er. Inside seating is primarily
comprised of picnic tables.
The synthesis of the
restaurant’s physical layout,
ambience and menu places it
in the category of fast casual
dining, with “better food sold
informally like this,” David
Remer said.
The old 76 gas station has been transformed into a new
restaurant, Ruby’s Roadside Grill, serving American fare in a
fast-casual environment.
It’s a place a person could
be accompanied by their dog.
Which is itting, as the restau-
rant’s namesake, CEO and
chairman, according to the
Remers, is their black Labra-
dor retriever, Ruby.
“We’re so infatuated with
dogs,” David Remer said.
They also love the beach —
hence why they acquired a
second home in Seaside nine
years ago – and “the beach is
all about a dog.”
“This has all fallen togeth-
er like an obvious puzzle,” he
The Remers were working
with Quackenbush on a differ-
ent project when they started
planning for their restaurant.
They asked him to come on
board, a valuable contribution
to the team.
“He didn’t just build it,”
David Remer said. “He helped
us create it.”
The Remers also were
looking for a general manag-
er when they were referred to
Newsome by a mutual friend.
Using his extensive history in
the restaurant industry, New-
some crafted a menu around
David Remer’s original vision,
hot dogs, in addition to ham-
burgers, fries, shakes and some
specialty items, like sautéed
Brussel sprouts, chowder, ish
tacos and breakfast burritos.
“I started playing with
different recipes at home to
make it a varied menu,” New-
some said.
Another valuable player
for the restaurant is associate
manager Timmy Matthews,
former owner of Guido and
Vitto’s. Because of her ex-
pertise and relationship with
many community members,
“she’s been a real asset,”
Newsome said.
Cleaning up the
‘welcome mat’
The Remers and Quacken-
bush feel the location of Ru-
by’s is beneicial for both the
restaurant and the city.
For starters, the decrepit
gas station “was such an eye-
sore as you roll into Seaside,”
Candace Remer said. The
Remers wanted to change that
as a way of investing in the
From a business perspec-
tive, they feel the strategic lo-
cation makes them accessible
to those coming or going from
“We get an early crack at
them,” David Remer added.
Quackenbush had the idea
to further take advantage of the
location by removing the swath
of invasive species to the east,
which opened up a view of the
Mill Ponds. They even added a
gravel pathway leading to the
park’s trail, and the Remers
made an agreement with Clat-
sop County to keep the inva-
sive species cleared.
The goal is to beautify
the area, which “is the wel-
come mat to Seaside from the
south,” Quackenbush said.
The original plan was to
open the restaurant in July,
but the weather and other is-
sues postponed the opening.
Even after taking customers
starting in early September,
the Remers consider this a soft
opening and an opportunity to
test facets of the operation,
such as the pay point, order
point, service and delivery,
and seek out any problems.
“Because of the abundance
of customers, we’re inding
them quickly,” David Remer
said. “We’re being punished
with our own good fortune.”
The next tsunami: Two authors contemplate ‘when,’ not ‘if’
By Susan Romersa
For Seaside Signal
Living on the North Coast,
we are always aware of the
dire prediction of “the big one”
hitting us — followed by a
huge tsunami which will wipe
out our area. We are told, as we
go about our daily lives, that it
is not a case of “if” but “when”
such a disaster will occur.
Two authors have written
books on the subject, one ic-
tion and one noniction. This
drew a standing-room-only
crowd at Beach Books in Sea-
side on Saturday, Sept. 12. A
conversation ensued about this
inevitable event and our fasci-
nation with the subject.
Acclaimed novelist and
former 13-year meteorologist
at the Weather Channel H.W.
“Buzz” Bernard discussed his
latest book “Cascadia,” a ic-
tional novel which imagines
an earthquake and tsunami
in a ictionalized Manzanita.
His newest book follows on
the heels of his 2012 disaster
thriller “Eyewall.”
Bernard was born in Eu-
gene and raised in Portland. In
his work, he makes a point of
meticulous fact-checking and
Buzz Bernard and Bonnie
Henderson had a packed
house as they discussed
their books about earth-
quakes, tsunamis, and the
Cascadia Fault.
describes his writing niche as
“weather-related thrillers.”“-
Cascadia” is his ifth novel.
“I don’t focus on the di-
saster, “he said. “What drives
a book is its characters which
are set against the main plot
and subplots — in this case
— a massive earthquake and
In “Cascadia,” a respected
geologist visiting his broth-
er inds he must make two
gut-wrenching decisions, each
with life or death consequenc-
es. The book is set in the ic-
tional community of Cascadia
on the Paciic Northwest coast
over 300 years ago, on the
present site of Seaside.
“I’m not entirely certain
there was an Indian village
there in 1700, the date of the
scene, but I do know there
were several small Clatsop
settlements in that area in 1805
when members of the Lewis
and Clark Expedition arrived,”
Bernard said.
Even though Paciic North-
west residents are completely
familiar with the subduction
zone risk, Bernard said, when
he has spoken elsewhere, read-
ers are largely unaware of our
region’s seismic threats.
Henderson, author of “The
Next Tsunami: Living on a
Restless Coast,” told the Beach
Books audience she tries to in-
corporate a sense of story and
consciousness in her work.
In writing “The Next Tsu-
nami,” the Seaside native per-
formed copious research and
consulted with experts like Or-
egon State University’s Chris
Goldinger and Seaside geolo-
gist Tom Horning.
Henderson told the audi-
ence she works on character
development as well in her
creative noniction, and Horn-
ing proved the model for a
wonderful character.
Horning experienced the
1964 tsunami caused by an
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Alaskan earthquake. He was
10 at the time the distant quake
was felt in Seaside, where
despite its distance, carefully
maintained lawns were trans-
formed into sawlogs, sand and
dead ish.
Geologists know the last
local tsunami occurred on Jan.
26, 1700, and a major Casca-
dia subduction zone event is
overdue. That event took place
300 feet from Broadway, Hen-
derson said.
We are constantly remind-
ed about it by weather radios,
drills, sirens, and emergency
preparations to have on hand.
Our schools are located in
vulnerable and unsafe areas
and voters will decide in the
next election whether or not to
move them to higher ground
— a plan that will come with
a cost to taxpayers. It is in no
small measure that through
works like those of Bernard
and Henderson that awareness
of the tsunami threat has risen.
Their books are available at
Beach Books, 616 Broadway,
in Seaside.
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