With a one page menu that contains only 12 items, ordering a meal at Brookings’ newest pub seems to be ridiculously simple – until you factor in the 25 different items offered as “add-ons” to the 1/3 pound burger that is prominently displayed at the top of the menu.
Vista Pub, located on Highway 101 across from Subway, is billed as a pub and a meeting place by owner Raymond Ross.
“We want this to be a healthy part of people’s life,” he said. “A place where a family can come for lunch or dinner, or where a group of friends can get together to have a beer and mingle.”
After growing up in Brookings and graduating from Brookings-Harbor High School in 2000, Ross put himself through college by working at a pub in McCall, Idaho.
“I worked everything from the kitchen to the front,” Ross said. “It’s where I got the experience to open and run my own pub.”
The interior of the pub hass a modern industrial look, with shop-style lights hung from the ceiling by their cords and corrugated roofing supporting the hand-milled and finished bar top.
Vista Pub is a continuation of the Island Vista, a restaurant Ross’ grandmother, Katie Ross, operated in Orcas Island, Wash., and is where the idea for the simple yet complex burger came from.
“I grew up knowing the Vista Burger,” Ross said. “And I just wanted to continue that tradition of quality and simplicity.”
While the menu is simple, it doesn’t mean the kitchen staff is simply sharpening their knives while waiting for the next order; they are constantly innovating and adding to the seasonal specials that are offered.
Chefs Noah Evans and Travis Chadwick are constantly creating appetizers, sauces and éntrees that add variety to the menu.
“We get a lot of ideas from trade magazines and the Internet,” Ross said. “But anyone in the kitchen can come up with an idea and try it out.”
The pub features six taps to rotate beer depending on the season and what is available. They also have a large selection of bottled microbrews from Oregon and the Northwest.
While many are hesitant to open a new business as the country recovers from an economic recession, Ross welcomes the challenge.
“I saw an opportunity with the Brookings growth to offer a place where people could get a good burger and beer,” he said.
Vista Pub uses local buns, baked by Bakery by the Sea, buys local produce when in season, and purchases their grass-fed beef from Hastings Natural Beef in Harbor, all in order to provide a truly local experience.
Other items on the menu include fresh cut fries, hand-dipped, beer-battered onion rings, salads and sandwiches.
According to Ross the response in the four months he’s been open has been outstanding.
“It’s been unbelievable,” he said. “I get a lot of people who feel that they have to tell everyone they know about how great it is.”
According to Ross the food outsells the alcohol at the pub and he attributes that trend to the quality of his burger.
“I don’t want to claim that I have the best burger in town,” he said. “I just want to serve a burger I can stand behind.”
The Vista Pub is located at 1009 Chetco Ave. in Brookings and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday; closed on Monday. Orders can be phoned in at 541-813-1638.