Photo courtesy Dustin Knox

Bonanza. Coleman’s. Soon, Chicken and Guns Smokehouse. The building on the Wilson River Highway just west of the junction of Highways 6 and 8 has long served Gales Creek residents and visitors looking for a spot to eat.  

But for the last 18 months, what was Coleman’s 9N Shady Rest sat empty, an early casualty of the pandemic’s effect on restaurants. 

No more. 

With an opening planned for late spring in 2022, it will be “a meeting place and quick stop for woodsman, locals, and adventure seekers alike,” said restaurateur Dustin Knox, who now owns the building and is expanding his popular Portland-based food cart, Chicken and Guns, to Gales Creek. 

Knox said that the restaurant will expand on the existing Chicken and Guns menu at their Cartopia location (12th Avenue and Hawthorne Blvd, Portland). There, a variety of Latin-style chicken is served, along with the titular guns—crispy potatoes—as a side. 

An example of the food served at Chicken and Guns. Photo courtesy Dustin Knox

The food cart was listed at spot number seven on Eater’s list of “10 Chicken-and-Jojo Champs in Portland” in April 2021. 

Gales Creek residents will have an opportunity to get a taste of Chicken and Guns this November event at Gales Creek's Highland Fields, an event space near Rippling Waters on Gales Creek Road.

Held Sunday, November 14 from 12 to 4 p.m., the Highland Fields Holiday Market will feature a number of vendors, including Chicken and Guns' food cart.

"It will be this community's first taste of Chicken and Guns," Knox said in an email to the Gales Creek Journal. "I’m excited!"

Knox said that he also plans to offer coffee, soft-serve and milkshakes, with breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings. A bar will round out the experience with beer, wine, and cocktails. 

With the new restaurant comes new job opportunities, Knox said, noting he will be hiring locally for a variety of positions. 

Previously, Coleman’s employed at least eight people when it closed for the last time in March 2020. 

Knox said that updates would be posted to the company’s social media pages (Instagram - Facebook) as plans are finalized.

Chicken and Guns Smokehouse is located at 55660 NW Wilson River Hwy, Gales Creek, OR 97117.