Making the Dollar: South Jetty Dining Room & Bar

<p class="p1">LeAnna Nicholson, Andy Nicholson, Ted Nicholson and K.T. Jurgensen at the South Jetty Dining Room & Bar in Hammond.</p>

Ted Nicholson, owner

K.T. Jurgensen, bar manager

South Jetty Dining Room & Bar

1015 Pacific Drive


503-861-3547 or

The South Jetty Dining Room & Bar, located in a former grange and dance hall, provides a meeting place with a bit of history, including the tables made of the hatches from local shipwrecks and the nearby Fort Stevens. The South Jetty, which is hiring for summer, opens at 11 a.m. daily and stays open past midnight during the week and to 2 a.m. on weekends.

What do you do?

Ted: “We provide a service to the community here, hopefully providing great meals, great entertainment, a fun place to gather, kind of a community gathering area.”

K.T.: “We have darts, pool, the karaoke (Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) – the local talent is really good. It’s just like listening to live music. We get a lot of people who will come in for dinner and stay the whole evening, like a nightclub.”

How did you get started doing this?

Ted: “I … took it over from my in-laws. They were looking to retire, so we worked out an agreement that was kind of advantageous for both of us, allowed them to retire and me to make a living. That was six years ago now.”

K.T.: “I owned a bar in Seaside. I live right here in Hammond. I had little kids at the time. I was noticing it was too far, too much travel, to be away from them all the time. So I came on here (in 1997).”

What are the volume and demographics of your business?

K.T.: “We’re subject to the summer-winter flux, just like every other business in the area. In summer, our out-of-town flux is at least 50 percent of the business. We do get a lot of locals during the winter. After all the bars are closed down, all the bartenders come here to have their relax time. We do get the military from Camp Rilea, when they have battalions down.”

Ted: “We do get a big influx of the fishers, especially in July and August. Being out here in Hammond, we get a lot of the campers and a lot of the fishing.”

What are some of the unique challenges of your business?

Ted: “Being able to find the appropriate staff is kind of a big challenge for us. Trying to find the right employees who have those great customer service skills, who can represent the South Jetty in the way we want it to be represented, in a friendly, nice atmosphere. And in the back of the house as well, in the cooking part of it, trying to find the chefs who have the great attention to detail and can turn out the meals in a timely, efficient manner that our customers expect.”

K.T.: “Also, I would say that two of the big challenges is the fact that we are so far from downtown, and the weather. We get that wind, and we get that sideways rain, and there are times when no matter how much people want to go out and have fun, if it’s really stormy, it makes them kind of want to stay in.”


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