Interview with Gearhart Crossing (formally the Gearhart Grocery Store) General Manager Patti Ann
How long have you worked at Gearhart Crossing?
“I started in May. I’ve been general manager since October.”
What are some of your responsibilities?
“Everything (ha-ha). I oversee the pub and deli, the selection of beers and wines, contribute to the menu and daily specials, work hand-in hand with the kitchen, handle the ordering for the grocery store, the lottery and ATM.
Did you have formal training or was it primarily hands-on?
“All of the training has been hands-on and from previous experience.”
What was your previous work experience?
“I came from Mount Hood where I worked at a resort.”
And you live in the area now?
“I do. I’m a Gearhart resident.”
The business has undergone some recent renovations, what has that entailed?
“It is all brand new. The pub and restaurant weren’t here — it was strictly a corner market. We still retained all the convenience items in the grocery store and deli, but we added on the pub and restaurant and then lottery.”
And there was some resistance to having video lottery machines?
“It had been a concern. The city wants to be sure that we’re being good neighbors and not drawing negativity. Downtown Gearhart has never had an establishment with video lottery, nor do they have anyone who serves hard alcohol. It’s beer and wine only.”
And how long have you had video lottery now?
“About six weeks.”
How has it gone so far?
“It’s getting recognized that we have it so it’s starting to pick up a little.”
What’s been the biggest payout so far?
“I think our largest payout has been in the $500 range.”
Who are your customers?
“We’re very lucky to have local support. We have some tourism, but not nearly the percentage you’ll see in other establishments in Seaside or Astoria.”
Among the grocery store, deli and restaurant, where does the majority of the business come from?
“It’s all pretty equal where the income comes from. We do the majority from the restaurant and then the deli and catering is hand-in-hand with that.”
What are some short-term and long-term goals for the business?
“The owners really just want to be a good contributor and neighbor to the community. I know there was quite a bit of concern when the change from the grocery store to this was happening, that the community was going to lose the store entirely. That was definitely not the case. It was important for owners Molly and Terry to retain that short and long term.”
When did the pub officially open?
What is the pub is known for?
“We’re very well known for our burgers and our Reuben. We use house-fermented purple cabbage, so it’s a little different from most sauerkraut. We’re definitely an American pub theme. Because we have a 16-tap system (and 14 are beer) it was very important for us to feature coastal and local flavors. The majority of our draught beer are from either Oregon or the Washington coast and our wine selection is all Northwest.
Do you have daily specials?
“We do daily lunch and soup specials, happy hour is every day 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Monday our locals from Clatsop County get 10 percent off. We do a Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We have a good selection in the grab-and-go deli if you don’t have time to eat here. We will be expanding our menu in early January.”
What will the menu expansion include?
“We will be adding more dinner items, some steaks and things like that.”
What do you love most about your job?
“I love dealing with people, that’s why I choose to be in the service industry. It’s fun to hear the stories from the locals and those traveling through.”
What’s the most challenging part?
“Just making sure everything is handled the way it needs to be and nothing is slipping through the cracks. I think because there’s so many different aspects to the business, it’s very unique.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from experience?
“Delegation (ha-ha). I can’t do it all. It’s a lesson for the owners as well — the restaurant was new. It’s been a learning experience for all of us between balancing everything, finding the right menu and finding the right staff.”