New owner looks to Porter’s past

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New Porter’s Pub owner Dave Thomas and manager Nikki Palacios are rolling out a revamped menu. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Porter’s Pub is under new ownership, but longtime fans of the bar can taste some familiar recipes while checking out some novel menu additions.

Its grand reopening is Saturday, Aug. 11, with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. and an appearance from Crater, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes mascot, from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Dave Thomas, a native of the Mid-Valley, took over last month and has been experimenting with some new dishes while looking at the old recipes for standbys like fish and chips left behind by original owner Don Porter.

“We still have that recipe and we’re going back to it,” Thomas said. “The kitchen manager has been there for 17 years. She helped me bring back a lot of the good quality food, and some new items.”

And while breakfast has been a staple of the Porter’s menu, it hasn’t necessarily been available during traditional breakfast hours. The bar now opens at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Thomas is a warrant officer for the U.S. Army National Guard and has wanted to open a brewpub for several years. After a deployment to Afghanistan, he had some cash in hand and had already been brewing beer at home. But financing a new brewpub was difficult – the brew part more than the pub – and he was drawn to Porter’s due to its longevity in Keizer and that the owners had kept detailed records of how the restaurant and bar had been performing;

“Plus I’d been a patron of Porter’s back in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” he added.

A variety of made-from-scratch soups are included on the new menu, as are “all kinds of salads.” He’s also adding a vegetarian section to the menu, with hummus, stir frys and veggie plates.

The menu can be found on Facebook, and parking is available behind the building.

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