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The Shack to reopen with upgrades and new ownership posted on 07/01/2020

Welches restaurant and sports bar, The Shack, known to its’ regulars as their “home on the mountain” will reopen following state-mandated closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic with new ownership.

The bar and grill, located at 67350 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches, will be taken over by longtime employee Erin Aikens, who tentatively plans to reopen the bar by early August, along with co-owners Richard Isabella and Will Allie.

“Frankly, we weren’t up for the necessary rebuild in light of what has happened to our operating environment,” The Shack’s previous owner Kim Perry wrote in a Facebook post regarding her decision to sell the business.

“One of our key employees has chosen to step up and take over. We couldn’t be happier! We now know that there will be continuity and all of you will be able to continue enjoying the hospitality the Shack has to offer,” Perry added.

Aikens has worked as a bartender at the Shack for five years and had right of first refusal to purchase the business. She is a native to the Mount Hood region who graduated from Sandy High School.

“I’ve always wanted to own a bar,” Aikens said. “It’s been part of my plan working as a bartender.”

Aikens is partnering with Richard Isabella and Will Allie to renovate and reopen the business. They plan to renovate the bar and grill before reopening for service to the public. Planned updates include installing new floors, deep cleaning and painting.

“It’s a good time to do renovations and spruce (the bar) up,” Aikens said. The new owners intend to delay reopening to complete the work to avoid having to reclose for renovations.

“I think it’s a good time to reinvent, so why not,” said Aikens. “I still want to keep it The Shack. It’s what people expect and love.”

Aikens intends to reopen by Saturday, Aug. 1 at the latest. The bar and grill will reopen with a shortened menu and with its' hours of operation reduced to noon to 10 p.m. daily while determining the impact the pandemic will have on the business.

“We’re rolling with the punches and doing our best,” Aikens said. “I’m really excited and really scared. I think I’d be apprehensive any time (opening a first business).”

Other planned changes to the bar include the addition of live music after reopening. The business had an unused stage that is being renovated and set-up to accommodate live bands.

“We look forward to having everyone back dancing and drinking and having a great time,” Aikens said.

More information, including updates about reopening, will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The.Shack.Welches/. The Shack can be contacted by phone at 503- 622-3876.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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