Grumpy’s, a fixture in Longview’s bar scene for more than 40 years, has moved into a larger building and morphed into a full-service restaurant — while keeping the earthy attitude its regulars expect.
The business opened New Year’s Eve at its new location two blocks away at 3225 Ocean Beach Highway, the former site of Parker’s Steakhouse and Brewery. At 6,000 square feet, the two-story building is more than double the size of the old Grumpy’s, allowing owner Liz Duey to finally do everything she’s wanted with the business she bought in 2007.
“It was an amazing opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Duey said Friday.
She brought all of her staff to the new location, including nighttime bartenders Ty Thomas and Terry Beck, and she hired 10 additional employees.
Because it had been a restaurant, the space didn’t need much work. Duey tore out a wall that separated the wait staff area from the dining room and installed a large bar, which serves liquor, beer and wine. The upstairs room, which has a balcony overlooking the downstairs, is used for playing pool, live music (Saturday nights), karaoke (Wednesday and Friday nights) and private events.
Duey hasn’t finalized the restaurant menu yet, but “it’s not frozen bar food,” she emphasized.
She’s hired a chef from Portland, Troy Woods, and two cooks, Mitch Wellin and Mary Riscen, from Lower Columbia CAP’s restaurant service training program.
“We’re still kind of feeling the waters for what’s going to work for us,” said Duey, adding that she appreciates customers’ patience with slow service while employees work out the kinks in the new operation.
The current menu, which Duey hopes people will think of when ordering lunch to go, features a variety of hand-pressed burgers, hand-cut fries, sandwiches, salads, wraps, fried halibut, appetizers and weekly specials. And then there’s Grumpy’s infamous “porn dog” — a foot-long, 1-pound beef hot dog priced at $5.95. Add sauerkraut, grilled onions and mustard and it’s the “German porn dog.”
“We’ve had people come from all over who’ve heard about this hot dog,” Duey said.
Because the establishment is restricted to customers age 21 and older except for certain private events, employees must bring food outside to minors who call in takeout orders.
Duey’s plans for Grumpy’s include installing a bar upstairs, creating an outdoor beer garden/smoking area, and constructing an outdoor, second-floor balcony on the back of the building. An acoustic guitarist performs during Friday night dinners and Duey is trying to get blues and jazz acts lined up.
“Grumpy’s has been here a very long time and we’re just trying to improve on what they started,” she said.