My wife and I just spent an anniversary weekend over on the Oregon Coast, in the southern town of Bandon. I think I’ve written before about how I really like this town; we’ve been three times previous but the last time was some nine years ago, which is too long.
Bandon is small (about 3300 people) and relatively touristy; it has a mix of the cutesy tourist shops (used books, candy stores, ocean art, antiques and gifts), a small but decent selection of restaurants, and mostly-nice lodging combined with the working-class presence of an Oregon coast fishing town. Add in several good state parks and fantastic beaches, and very decent weather (by Oregon Coast standards), and I do think it’s one of the coast’s gems.
Without going into full travelogue mode, I will say both Edgewaters and The Loft (both right downtown in the Old Town Bandon area) are fantastic restaurants, and the two candy stores of Cranberry Sweets and Coastal Mist are must-visits.
One thing I do notice however, is a distinct lack of beer. Not to say there’s no beer there—there is—but ironically the best selection of craft beers that we found on this trip was at the Mill Casino up north in Coos Bay/North Bend. In fact the entire southern stretch of coast below Florence is completely devoid of breweries, probably making it the most under-served area of Oregon in that regard.
To that end I have to say I think Bandon would be a natural location for someone to open up a brewpub; I suspect it’s got the tourist traffic that would support at least a small one, plus you have a population of at least 25,000 some 20 miles to the north from “Oregon’s Bay Area” (which, no joke, we saw on a sign entering Coos Bay). So naturally, I’ve already started formulating beer ideas in my head and wondering how the numbers might pencil. (You’d ideally need to be located in Old Town Bandon, I think, where you’d get the majority of foot traffic and tourists.)
So, who’d want to go in on such a venture…?