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Skyway set to celebrate the departure of the Hornors posted on 12/01/2022

Skyway Bar and Grill owners Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker had one big question for chef Jason Hornor when they approached him to manage the Mountain restaurant's kitchen when it reopened in 2007.

“They said, ‘Can you make BBQ?’ I said, ‘I’m from Texas,’” Hornor recalled about his initial role creating the menu and helming the kitchen.

Jason’s mission to “up the game,” of food on the Mountain with unique and different takes on classics often highlighted a fun and playful sense of humor, such as serving rabbit on Easter.

Over the past 15 years Jason and his wife, Ally, who has worked as front-of-house manager since 2010, have helped the Skyway establish itself as a mountain institution for distinctly Northwest BBQ with great hospitality.

“Jason will always come up with something a little different but awesome,” Ally said.

But as all good things must end, Jason and Ally will leave the Mountain establishment to pursue new goals in the new year after assuring the Skyway is in good hands with new management. A send-off celebration for the couple will be held on New Year’s Eve.

The Hornors met through the Skyway and have been instrumental to making the restaurant a much-loved local destination with a reputation that extends far from Mount Hood.

“The Skyway has really been central to our lives for years. We’ve celebrated every big moment there, from our wedding reception to our baby showers,” Ally said. “It’s not just a job. It’s a family for us.”

The couple’s decision has been bittersweet for the community and Skyway’s current owners, Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker, who credit the couple with being the face and the backbone of the restaurant for years.

“They’ve helped us in so many ways build this place up. The Hornors are fair, honest, straightforward and really fun,” Anderson said. “They’re very well liked in the community and will be missed.”

Regulars of the Skyway will be relieved to learn that the Hornor’s are planning to remain in the region.

“We’re calling it our retirement from the restaurant industry,” Ally said. “With both kids in school it was obvious how little time we have together as a family.”

The Hornors live in Rhododendron with their two school-aged children: daughter Maizie is eight-years old and is in third grade and their son, Jadon, is five and just began kindergarten this school year.

“Weekends, evenings and holidays are what you work in the food service industry,” Anderson said, adding the schedule can be difficult to balance with family-life and school-aged children.

Anderson noted the couple went above and beyond assuring the Skyway would continue its reputation for excellence at their departure. The Hornor’s announced their intention to leave in May and have been working to assure a smooth transition.

Current Skyway bartender Ben Deacon will take on the role of restaurant manager. Sous Chef Joey Parisie will take over the day-to-day operation of the kitchen.

“We are leaving it in good hands,” Jason said. The couple stated they wanted to feel good with where the Skyway was heading when they left and had prioritized helping get the business through the pandemic.

“Their heart is here too. They want to see us succeed,” said Anderson.

The Hornor’s last night will be on New Year’s Eve when the Skyway will celebrate their time and contribution to the restaurant.

 A big New Year’s Eve party is planned with a live band and Jason’s family is flying in from Texas to join in the celebration. Community members are invited to come share their memories and wish the Hornor’s well.

“It’s been a great chapter in the book,” Ally said.

Skyway Bar and Grill is located at 71545 Hwy. 26 in Zigzag. More information, including menus, is available online at https://skywaybarandgrill.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT

 

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