Coleman's 9N Shady Rest. Photo: Chas Hundley
Coronavirus resources: CDC on the coronavirus, Oregon Health Authority resources, Washington County resources, Oregonian reporting on the coronavirus, OPB glossary of coronavirus terms, NYTimes free reporting on the coronavirus.
GALES CREEK - Coleman’s 9N Shady Rest, known simply as Coleman’s by most, will close permanently.
In a statement made on their Facebook page, the roadside diner along the Wilson River Highway said that their temporary closure, first announced on March 18, would be forever.
“We thank you all so much for the support over the last 14 years. We were so blessed to have made so many lasting friendships. We hope you are all healthy and stay safe. Bob, Brenda and Coleman,” the statement read.
In a phone call to the Gales Creek Journal, Brenda Tinjum, one of the co-owners of the restaurant, echoed the statement made on their Facebook page.
[We rely on subscribers to keep our newspaper open at the Gales Creek Journal. Support us with a digital subscription: Click here to start]
"We have been so blessed. It's been 14 long years, but 14 good years," she said.
Eight people were employed by Coleman's, not including Brenda and her family.
Her son, Coleman, was 1.5 years old when the restaurant — named partially for him — opened. He's now 15.
"He was a little sad," Tinjum said.
The decision to close up shop and sell had been discussed before the order to close all dine-in service came as a result of Governor Kate Brown's executive order 20-07, Tinjum said, but the order essentially finalized the decision for the family.
Tinjum says her family — who also own and operate Portland-based Columbia Empire Meat Co. — plans to put the restaurant on the market in the coming months, along with the house on the property, with hopes that someone will purchase it and continue their tradition.
The diner relied on a mix of local customers and those traveling to and from the Oregon coast to keep the lights on.
In recent years, open hours and days had been reduced at the restaurant.
Known for their food, milkshakes made with Tillamook ice cream, and the vintage tractor that held a prominent place in the entrance to the diner, it served customers —and employed local residents — for 14 years as Coleman’s 9N Shady Rest at the location just west of the Highway 6 and 8 junction in Gales Creek.
Prior to that, it was known as Bonanza.
With the closure of Coleman’s, the only remaining area restaurant is the OutAzaBlue restaurant, located west of Gales Creek in the Glenwood community on Highway 6. The restaurant has been experimenting with take-out and delivery for local residents in a 5 mile radius.
It is open 4pm - 8pm Thursday through Sunday for take-out; check with the restaurant for delivery options.
This article has been updated with more information after a phone interview with Brenda Tinjum.