A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City posts proposed plan for site on Santiam

Written January 31st, 2020 by Hasso Hering

The site of the future “Rancho La Hacienda Real” at Santiam Highway and Bain Street.

Since 2018 people have been asking what’s happening with the unfinished remodel of the former Albany restaurant, most recently called San Blas, at 2845 Santiam Highway. Now the public can look at a plan.

On Jan. 29 the city planning division posted a public notice for “site plan review” for a new restaurant at the address, at the corner of Santiam Highway and Bain Street.

Architect Erik Bjork, whose office is in Vancouver, Wash., filed the site plan on behalf of the property owner, Albany restaurateur Chung Ping Lee. The planning division notified owners within 300 feet of the site. The deadline for written comments is Feb. 12. The full application for the site plan review is available at City Hall.

The public notice was accompanied by copies of line drawings of what the proposed building would look like from all four sides. Another drawing shows the overall site including the parking lot.

One of the renderings shows the restaurant’s name: Rancho La Hacienda Real.

The Bain Street frontage would look like this, according to the site plan submitted.

Once the city planning staff has reviewed and approved the site plan, the building division can issue the building permit, which has already been applied for. When all that is accomplished, construction at the site can presumably resume. (hh)

10 responses to “City posts proposed plan for site on Santiam”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    They should have named it The Ranch House.

  2. Jim Engel says:

    As for a name, what is Spanish for “Another Mexican Restaurant”. Now that would be different. Same old refried beans & warmed up rice. Same old dried out tortilla’s shells filled with a torn up pork like meat covered with some yellow cheese & canned sauce. Same-o, same-o. We’ve tried them all in Albany…the cooks must have came from the same hacienda. How about a flat lot with a food cart location? Works in Portland.

    • NancyM says:

      That’s a new twist…Asian owner opening a Mexican “same old ” eatery.
      Why doesn’t City try to procure an Outback or Cheesecake Factory? Most of
      Albany’s eat out diners never even rate 100 by the Health Dept. in case any
      one ever checks besides me.

      • My Real Name John Hartman says:

        So, we should have no Asian or Mexican ownership of a restaurant that is not a reflection of what YOU think is their nationality?

        Or, somehow the owners of ethnic” restaurants, and their chef/cooking skills must be above reproach less they be “just another Mexican” restaurant. One could easily apply that pejorative to nearly all of Albany’s diners which APPEAR to be owned and operated by non-ethnic, read Caucasian. (an aside) Only in Albany would folks think Caucasian isn’t an ethnicity?

        It’s not like Novak’s is a 3 Michellen eaterie…or nearly all the mundane dinettes along Hwy. 20.

        Everybody in this group is always clamoring for “freedom.”. Let the marketplace decide.

      • Jasper says:

        The City doesn’t go out to try to bring businesses into the City. That would be extremely bias, and they need to remain unbiased. The City relies on the public and landowners to go out to certain chains and businesses.

        If you want an Outback or Cheesecake Factory, call their corporate office and let them know. You might want to get a big enough group of people to join you as well, because 1 person won’t be able to convince them to open shop. You could even offer up your lot as a potential location!

  3. Gene Small says:

    Us older folks remember when Chinese restaurants were the craze. Now it’s Mexican. Maybe the next craze will be Islamic food. Want to try a really good Mexican restaurant ? Try the one in Jefferson.
    Food courts are great for day trips. No place to take your wife or girlfriend to for a nice quiet dinner
    The one thing Albany really lacks is a good dinner house. Great food, great service, manageable prices, and large portions. Wouldn’t that be a nice change ?

  4. Jim Engel says:

    As to food carts, I should have added that in close to our N. Albany area next to South Paws ( off Hickory St) is a covered, open food cart venue (more open in Spring). There is a large indoor eating area with specialty beers & ample seating. Ya gotta giv’em credit to make a stake for a food venue is a monumental challenge.

  5. CHEZZ says:

    Yes, there are some great restaurants…. out of town.
    Let’s see, Breakfast – Lebanon
    Oh yes! Lunch – Harrisburg
    Yeah — Dinner – Lebanon
    How come these smaller cities are turning out great and consistent food, even with atmosphere and service?

  6. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I’m sure the many good restaurants & food establishments in Albany that are open for many years (and have been) are quite satisfied with their fare- as are their customers, else they wouldn’t have any…

  7. Anon says:

    I miss the Bamboo Terrace.


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