Hunger Stop on Chetco Avenue just north of Fifth Street, with its new name, is inviting those who are hungry to stop, with a promise that they will leave satisfied.
The restaurant was originally named Boogie Board Bagels when Keffe and Theresa Dillon purchased the business from Shane and Laura Alcorn in 2006.
The name was appropriate at the time when the Dillons purchased the business because bagels were the major draw.However, their lives changed dramatically when their son Travis fell 75 feet from a sea cliff on the hillside above Macklyn Cove in June 2009. Keffe, the bagel maker, became the full-time attendant for Travis while he was recovering from five broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a collapsed lung, plus 11 fractured vertebrae.
That meant that Theresa, who was not a bagel baker, became the head chef at the restaurant, while Keffe accompanied Travis to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, and became his 24-hour attendant during his recovery and long-term therapy at home. “I was needed around the clock,” Keffe said.
Theresa had to make a lot of changes. “She had to come up with additional items because nobody was here to make bagels,” Keffe explained.
Theresa started serving gyros; meatball sandwiches, breakfast skillet scrambles, French toast, burritos, and all kinds of burgers, plus other specialties, with help from their daughter Josie.
When Keffe did start making bagels again, it was a tough schedule. “I had to get up at 1:30 in the morning to bake bagels,” he said.
Although they missed being able to pick up a batch of bagels at any time, faithful customers appreciated the new menu, and business continued to grow.
As the menu changed, the Dillons began to think about a name change. They explained that the name sounded perfect when they purchased the business, but it no longer seemed appropriate for the new and expanded menu.
Although Boogie Board Bagels was their first joint venture into the restaurant business, Theresa grew up in the business. “My grandparents had a restaurant called the Hunger Stop,” she said. The new name with its history also serves to invite diners to come in to stop the hunger in a delicious way.
Apparently there is some secret to making bagels because Keffe, who said he learned the art from the Alcorns, refused to say just how bagels are made. He explained that he will no longer bake bagels for pickup at any time. He now makes bagels for the bagel sandwiches served at the Hunger Stop, but he currently only produces large numbers of carryout bagels for special orders.
The members of the Dillon family in Brookings, parents and their Brookings-Harbor High School children, senior Josie and sophomore Travis, appear to be enjoying keeping the Hunger Stop open to food appreciated by their clients. Their oldest son, 22-year-old Jeff, is a bit too far away in Albany, but would help if he could.
Keffe said that they truly appreciate the support and staunch loyalty of their customers. “For three years we’ve been voted the Readers’ Choice favorite for lunch,” he said.
The Hunger Stop is a very popular place with young folks in Brookings. “We have lots of kids,” Theresa said. “We sponsor kids, we have their autographed photos on the walls and we support the basketball and golf programs at the school.”
The Hunger Stop, 925 Chetco Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. To order bagels, call 541-412-9050.