New bar livens up Main Street

Dry Town Tap Station now serving food, drinks and entertainment

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor 

The Dry Town Tap Station is now open to serve the not so dry town of Monmouth. What used to be a gas station has transformed into a destination for good drinks and great company in the IndyMo area.

Co-owners and sisters Ashley Dornhecker and Abigayle Tilby held a soft opening on April 30. Even without publicly advertising the event, Dornhecker described the night as more successful than they thought it would be.

“Everybody just wanted to be there,” Dornhecker said. “We were turning people away because we were at capacity.”

Their soft opening was accompanied by local band, Way Walkers, on Dry Town’s very own stage; Dornhecker said they knew how to draw a crowd. Already, Dry Town has hosted two other artists — David Brinker and Nathan Myers as well as Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys — and the restaurant is looking to continue working with more local artists. Upcoming performers include Zach Abee and Jessie Leigh; more information about these shows can be found on their Facebook page, @Dry Town Tap Station.

Not only does Dry Town know how to entertain, they also know how to serve up a good meal. Chef Aaron Henderson serves a rotating menu of delicious entrees from their food truck.

“He’s creating an amazing menu,” Dornhecker said. “Street food from around the world I guess is a way to put it.”

My friends and I can personally recommend their fish and chips, birria tacos and Wellington burger. Be on the lookout for two new food carts that will also be coming to the lot soon to serve the community an even greater variety of dishes.

Of course, who could forget about their alcohol menu? With 20 taps that serve a wide array of local ciders and beers, patrons will be sure to find something to love. Not to mention, their mixed drinks ⏤ like the Ruby Hound and 76 Lemonade ⏤ are also splendid. Belly up to the bar indoors, or take the refreshing drink to the outdoor seating area.

The Dry Town owners know how to serve up a mean drink. One of the sisters’ other businesses, Craft Bar West, has been making and perfecting drinks since 2019. They expanded their restaurant reaches when what was once a 76 gas station became available for leasing.

“I’ve always loved the building where Dry Town is,” said Dornhecker. “When the opportunity came up to do something with it, we jumped on it.”

Though COVID-19 caused some delays in opening, Dornhecker was grateful for the opportunity the extra time presented. They were able to make the venue that much more refined, focusing on details such as wood work, refurbishing the entire floor and creating murals. On top of that, Dornhecker enjoyed having a more laid back process and getting to spend more time with family throughout.

In the upcoming months and years, Dry Town hopes to be a place to host festivals and more year-round performances. The Monmouth community can also look forward to themed nights, such as a college night and an industry night for late night workers.

“Our goal with Dry Town Tap Station is to make Monmouth, Oregon a destination,” Dornhecker said. “There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be taking a detour down here to visit all the local shops in Monmouth and Independence. It’s just too cool of an area not to share with others.”

Anyone and everyone can enjoy Dry Town Tap Station at 180 Main St. E in Monmouth. Their current hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 to 10 p.m. and Sundays 12 to 9 p.m. Keep up to date by following their social media: on Facebook @Dry Town Tap Station and on Instagram @drytowntapstation.

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