Florida couple takes up Chinook Fishtrap adventure

<I>NANCY BUTTERFIELD photo</I><BR>Ashley Myers and Todd Kerns have taken over operation of the historic Fishtrap tavern and restaurant in Chinook.

CHINOOK - Todd Kerns and Ashley Myers have traded the excitement and warm weather of South Beach, Fla., for the quiet of small-town life in the not-so-warm Pacific Northwest.

The couple came to Chinook in mid-June after they saw an ad on the Internet for the historic Fishtrap bar and restaurant. After two weeks of extensive cleaning and general sprucing up, they re-opened the establishment July 1 after it had been closed for eight months. "I oiled all the wooden surfaces and 'de-cluttered'," Myers said. She also pulled about 200 nails out of the walls.

"It's been our dream to have our own restaurant," Myers said. "We love travel and adventure. Both of us grew up on the East Coast and had never been to the Northwest." Both have extensive restaurant experience. Kerns has been cooking since he was a youngster and owned an Outback restaurant. Myers has been a bartender for many years.

"This is a great opportunity for us," Myers said. "We want people to come to the Fishtrap, meet friends, relax, have a good time and eat good food."

The Fishtrap menu will have the old favorites - hamburgers, fish and chips, grilled chicken and a selection of domestic beers and cocktails. New additions include Fuzzy's Famous Chili, named after Myers's father and a recipe that's been in her family for generations. "It's not too spicy and we use different spices from the usual chili recipes," she said. The salmon quesadillas have already been a big hit, Kerns said. The spring-roll-like lumpia "are fast becoming a Chinook favorite," he said. Also on the menu are a BLT and Sloppy Joes from another family recipe. They'll start serving oyster shooters soon.

Lumpia is a traditional dish from the Philippines that Kerns learned about when he was in the Navy in San Diego, which has a large population of Filipinos. "The wives would bring lunch to their husbands," he said. "They always included lumpia and they shared them with me. They were very small and I had always wanted to make bigger ones." The Fishtrap version is about six inches long and includes a spicy dipping sauce. One lumpia makes a great appetizer, three or four can make a dinner for one.

"Nothing on the menu is more than $10," Kerns said. "People can come to eat if they're flush or if they're not so flush. They can get a beer and a sandwich for less than $10. We want to keep prices reasonable."

And, the couple's working on getting pull tabs back and will be getting a dart board and other games.

A grand opening is scheduled for July 31 with a Margaritaville theme, including rum and tequila drinks and live music by the Salty Dogs.

Hours at the Fishtrap are Thursdays and Mondays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays from 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. They are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A different food special will be featured every day and happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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