Three in a row: Silverton restaurateurs add bistro, receive service award

February 2022 Posted in Uncategorized

By Melissa Wagoner

It’s only been two years since Josh Echo-Hawk and his wife Paige opened their first restaurant, Graystone Lounge in Silverton, but a lot has happened since then. 

“We were doing the (purchase) closing and getting the keys, wondering if we were ever going to open,” Echo-Hawk said, recalling those initial weeks, in March 2020 when, with the pandemic at its most uncertain, he and Paige wondered if they had made a poor choice.

Josh and Paige Echo-Hawk

But those doubts were short-lived and, only one year later, the Echo-Hawks opened yet another eatery, coined The Irish Pub in the vacant space next door. 

“We were always going to have an Irish Pub,” Echo-Hawk said simply when asked the reason for the relatively speedy addition. “And it coincided with things reopening.” 

The owners of two bustling businesses for the past year, the Echo-Hawks weren’t necessarily looking to add anything else to their plates. But when Cyndi Hickman, owner of the Main St. Bistro next door, announced she was going to sell and that she wanted the couple to have the first chance at purchasing the business – they knew they had to say “yes.”

“Paige said it best when she said, ‘We don’t say ‘no’ to opportunities,’” Echo-Hawk said regarding the decision to take on yet another business. Because to him, the addition was nothing but positive. 

“We’ve been thankful to the Hickmans for this opportunity,” he added.

That is primarily because the space, which includes two stories of dining space and a full kitchen, has provided Echo-Hawk with the ability to realize yet another of his dreams – to open a small Italian restaurant. 

“Mulberry Street in New York was our inspiration,” Echo-Hawk said describing the small, authentic Italian restaurant vibe he had in mind when he created the newest addition to Main St. Bistro’s service, VentiSei – or “26” in Italian, which stands for the limited number of diners allowed to attend each prefix dinner service.

“It’s a five-course meal, so don’t come in a hurry,” Echo-Hawk said of the eatery’s selective menu. “And it’s a flat-price menu that comes with a glass of wine.”

Held each Friday and Saturday evening, with one seating between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., these “Italian Feast” dinners are what Echo-Hawk describes as both romantic and elegant. 

Introduced on Jan. 14 to 23 diners from the Silverton Senior Center’s Dine Out Club, VentiSei became an instant hit. 

“They were thrilled,” Echo-Hawk said, describing the menu, which included caprese salad, tortellini in pink sauce and cake parfaits. “We also put out charcuterie and tasted parmigiana Reggiano – it almost felt like a tasting.”

Devoted to running the business on a zero-waste premise, Echo-Hawk will rotate VentiSei’s menu on a monthly basis, while simultaneously continuing the breakfast and lunch services of Main St. Bistro and Pub. 

“We are pleased that breakfasts and lunches have gone so well,” Echo-Hawk said. Noting that, although there haven’t been extensive changes to the menu, there have been a few small tweaks. 

“I told my cooks, we’re going to love this town with cheese,” he laughed. 

And there’s another important service the Main St. Bistro has added as well, a catering space on the building’s second floor.

“Even more than a restaurant, Silverton needs a place for private events,” Echo-Hawk said, describing how he plans to utilize the space, which boasts a small stage, a private bar and space for up to 60 guests.

But it’s yet another opportunity, and one Echo-Hawk was happy to explore. 

“I’m super excited about all of it,” Echo-Hawk said simply. “Because we love Silverton.”

Distinguished Service Award recipients

The 2022 Silverton Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award is being presented to the Echo-Hawks for the service they’ve provided to the Silverton community during the past year. 

“Their dedication and commitment to Silverton goes well above and beyond,” Ken and Darby Hector wrote in their letter nominating the couple. “… In a relatively brief period of time, the Echo-Hawks have made a significant impact on Silverton through distinguished service.”

And that service is something the Echo-Hawks are determined to continue through their involvement in the First Citizens Banquet, the First Friday celebrations, the continued promotion of businesses downtown and the Silverton Christmas Tree Lighting – which the Echo-Hawks helped to pivot to a virtual format in 2020. It’s a skill they used again when it came to assisting SACA with its annual fundraiser.

“[T]hey were instrumental in facilitating the transition of the annual SACA Gala Fundraiser to an online event due to the pandemic constraints,” the Hectors said. “The resulting professional presentation no doubt was key to the enormous success SACA experienced.”

The Hectors’ nomination also mentioned the Echo-Hawks assistance during the 2021 ice storm, Strong Silverton’s New Years fireworks display and the production of the Neighborhood Night Out video as additional ways the couple have supported the community in the past year.

Despite all of these accomplishments, the Echo-Hawks were still amazed when officials from the chamber contacted them regarding the award.

“There are a lot of people in this little town that pull their weight, so having us singled out makes us wonder if we shouldn’t have done more,” Josh explained.

To which Paige added, “I don’t think we’re especially distinguished, we’re just trying to make Silverton vital. We truly believe this town is the best place in America.”

Graystone Lounge
203 E. Main St., Silverton
www.graystonelounge.com
A tiki bar and restaurant offering karaoke and trivia nights.

The Irish Pub at Graystone
Located next door but serving a menu, which includes bangers and mash, fish and chips and genuine Irish beers and whiskeys.

Main St. Bistro and Pub
201 E. Main St., Silverton
www.mainstreetbistropub.com Offering breakfast and lunch during the day and catering space for up to 60 guests on a private floor.

The Italian Feast “VentiSei”
A five-course “authentic” Italian meal for up to 26 guests held in the Main St. Bistro dining room beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations required.

First Citizen Awards
Saturday, Feb. 26
Doors open at 6 p.m. Program starts at 7 p.m. Returning to the J. Frank Schmidt Pavilion at the Oregon Garden.
Tickets: $25, dessert buffet served plus open/no-host bar. Reserve online at silvertonchamber.org or at Chamber office, 426 S. Water St., Silverton. Call 503-873-5615 to reserve a table.

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