A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What’s up with ex-restaurant? Let’s see

Written February 27th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The Original Breakfast on Santiam Highway near I-5 has been closed for three years.

Now and then, people in Albany wonder what’s going on with the former restaurant at 3225 Santiam Hwy. S.E., especially now that access to the parking lot is barred by a chain link fence.

The restaurant has been closed since January 2020, according to its Facebook page. The last entry on the page, dated Jan. 17, 2020, says: “Explanations will soon follow.”

After thanking the staff and patrons, the post adds, “I will be making a statement within 30 days.” If that happened, Facebook doesn’t show it.

The restaurant was operated by Ed Wright, and the property was owned by Russ and Barbara Tripp of Albany.

Linn County records show that last April the Tripps sold the 1.5-acre property to a Springfield-based limited liability company that invests in real estate. The records do not disclose the price.

Assuming that the buyer might have something in mind for this prime site near the Highway 20 freeway interchange, I checked with the Albany’s community development department.

“There are no formal applications at the moment,” the department’s director, Matthew Ruettgers, told me last last week. “There have been a few different pre-applications over the years, but nothing has moved forward as of yet.”

The department’s website refers to a “pre-application” for the address that was filed on July 28, 2022. It says:

“Proposal for a new Chick-Fil-A at 3225 Santiam Hwy. SE Albany 97322. This location will have interior seating for 98 and a dual lane drive through to serve customers.”

Also last year, however, Chic-fil-A, a chain based in Georgia, was planning a restaurant in Corvallis and then went ahead there.

That project, converting the former McGrath’s Fish House on Circle Boulevard, passed the Corvallis city planning review in September, according to the Gazette-Times. I haven’t looked to see if it’s being built.

In Albany meanwhile, a huge sign still tries to lure drivers from the freeway to a place that promises beakfasts “better than grandma’s” but has been closed for three years. (hh)

A chain link fence keeps the curious off the parking lot of the closed restaurant.

30 responses to “What’s up with ex-restaurant? Let’s see”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    McGrath fish house in Corvallis is a les schwabs tire store now.

  2. Hartman says:

    The citizenry of Albany, being who they are, might well be excited by Chik-fil-A’s public support for anti-LGBTQ persons as described by Chik-fil-A’s COO, Dave Cathy. He recently noted, the company is supportive of “the biblical definition of the family unit,” and, “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

    Because they are a privately held business, they are free to hold and promote their antediluvian beliefs. We can only hope against hope that if Chik-fil-A darkens Albany’s I-5 Corridor, free-thinking people of this community will boycott the reactionary chicken shack’s subversive plot to remake the Fast Food Experience into some absurd religious test. Just say NO to Chik-Fil-A.

    • Cynthia Hilliard says:

      Your comment is disgusting but we all can express our beliefs… I would overwhelmingly support it if the company decided to build in Albany on this site.. why I could even walk there… more ppl than this leftist idiot would overwhelmingly support Chick-fil-A in Albany…

      • Barb says:

        I would absolutely support the new business there. It’s food people, not a radical political place of worship. Geez, get a grip.

    • DENNIS says:

      I SAY YES…..

    • T M says:

      Go choke on a rock.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      Unlike you, eating is not a political act to me.

      I love Chick-fil-A, especially their waffle fries.

      And I love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, especially Cherry Garcia.

      I’m non-affiliated when it comes to my palate. The best tasting products win my dollars.

    • Just Stop says:

      Because people aren’t allowed to feel the way they want? Why do you believe everyone should agree with LGTBQ+++ when the L & G don’t even agrre with the T?! If you don’t like the fact that they hold their beliefs strongly, feel free to not eat there. It is supposed to be a free country, right?

    • Al Nyman says:

      Just say NO to Hartman.

      • Patrick Henry says:

        Al, me thinks you have captured the prevailing sentiment of Albany, we need less of Hartmans hate.

    • t154 says:

      Who needs ChiK-Fila when we have hobby lobby?!

    • Gae lae says:

      I’m with you hartman. I’m saddened that this terrible company taking up shop in our community.

    • Rich Kellum says:

      I say NO chick-fil-a……………….in Corvallis, build it here on the corner of Santiam and Goldfish Farm Rd, Just so Hartman has to pass it every time he leaves his house.

  3. James Engel says:

    Back some time ago when it was open we went there for breakfast. Lousy food & lousy service! We’ll stick with Rodgers or Elmers.

  4. Anony Mouse says:

    Here is the rumor I heard – CARA-boo Cafe

    Owned & operated by the City of Albany. It will feature city employed singers belting out tributes to current councilors and an ex-Mayor.

    It’s not a place you will go for food. The noodles are bland and the bread soggy. But the entertainment is top-notch as they belt out songs praising city government using glow sticks.

    No photos, please. But bring plenty of money. It will help the cash-strapped city pay for splash pads and tree pots downtown.

    Clapping & singing along are mandatory. No booing, unless the song mentions Linn County or Corvallis.

    If you resist a CARA tax will be added to your bill.

    • Cap B. says:

      Love ‘ya, Anony Mouse. Keep writing to Hasso’s blog. Believe me, we Albanyites are already paying plenty of dough (the greenback kind) for CARA’s plunders and blunders.

  5. THH says:

    I thought Chik Fil A was targeting the old Jack in the Box in Corvallis. From what I observed and heard about the old McGrath’s — the roof leaks like a sieve!

  6. Lance Dunn says:

    The LGBT community can’t force everyone to abide, and agree with them. That’s called fascism. And that’s wrong. Not everything needs their stamp of approval. I would suggest growing up. Put a Chik Fil A wherever they want. Put several up in Corvallis, Albany, and even Lebanon.

  7. Terrie says:

    It is only my opinion that any entity open to the public would welcome every person, regardless of their race, religion, gander, age, preferences with relationships, and/or the color of their skin.
    Sometimes society does try to influence individuals to conform to standards that were established by a specific group(s) idea.(s). However we do not have to conform to those standards established and/or supported by some of our communities.
    It kind of brings to the surface a challenging question: Did segregation get reinvented? Is that not what some people are trying to encourage, through banning, or not serving, or not allowing certain patrons to participate in their establishment?
    Lastly, it is a little disheartening to read these responses of how people in our communities are not supportive of all individuals. In my opinion, those unsupportive people are creating hate crimes,

    • Drew S says:

      Are you also referring to the Albany Democrat Herald letters to the editor section. That paper is full of hate and propaganda.

      • Barb says:

        The ADH became a leftest rag many years ago. A shame we have only the one local paper. Papers from Eugene and Portland are even worse.

  8. sonamata says:

    Kind of funny they passed over Albany to open in a far less accessible location & enrich the tax base of a more liberal town. Do they know their enthusiastic supporters will come no matter what? Is Albany just bad at business development? Maybe both?

  9. Bob Zybach says:

    I think it might be and excellent place to go, if for no other reason than to avoid the Hartmans of the community. I hope he/she/they really do boycott the place and convince all of their like-minded friends to follow their example. That would probably be good for business, as well as for customers. In my opinion.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany schools Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments ARA Benton County bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA climate change COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village Ellsworth Street bridge Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 land use Linn County Millersburg Monteith Riverpark North Albany ODOT Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Waterfront Project Waverly Lake Willamette River

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering