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Owning Trout Pub fulfills family dream

by: Jim Hart Trout Pub owner Tom Dunn stands near some of the tap handles for microbrews that he often has on tap among the 19 kegs he taps. Dunn and his family have taken over ownership of the long-standing Sandy business.

There's a bond between a father and son that lingers throughout life. In the Dunn family, father Bob and son Tom have been talking about that bond for years.

'This has been a family dream, between me and my father to own a restaurant,' Tom Dunn said. 'Every time he and I get together, we talk about what we would do if we owned a restaurant or what we would put on the menu.'

The time finally arrived, and the opportunity, Tom believes, came because he had trained and cooked for Jim and Kim Simonek, former owners of the Trout Pub, and they trusted that Tom and Bob would continue the good reputation the restaurant has earned in the past.

Adding to the Simoneks' confidence in transferring ownership was the fact the two men's spouses (Robyn and Kathy) would be a part of the business and daughter Penny Simonek would continue as lead cook.

The Trout Pub continues to offer the same high-quality food, with the only changes being a couple of new recipes that Tom and Bob are adding to the fare.

Needless to say, Tom learned to cook at home under the tutelage of his father. Everything he learned in his early life was fine-tuned when he went to work at the Trout Pub more than a decade ago.

Tom Dunn describes the Trout Pub as a family restaurant with a good selection of microbrews.

He prides himself on being able to make what he calls 'a 10-napkin burger.' Dunn says his goal is for everyone who has a Trout Pub burger to leave the restaurant saying, 'That's the best hamburger I've ever had.'

Everything possible - such as soups, dressings and dips - is made from scratch, Penny Simonek said, and the food is as fresh as it can possibly be.

'I don't want to open any cans,' Dunn said.

Speaking of soup, Bob's clam chowder has been the talk of the town (at least his neighborhood) for years. Son Tom says his father has been encouraged to enter it in world competition for clam chowder.

Among top choices on the menu is the halibut fish and chips, which is rated four stars.

Everything, Dunn said, is cooked to order. That means nothing is precooked and set aside waiting for someone to order it. And that's what makes it possible to serve the freshest food. Even the fries are freshly cut and cooked.

The Trout Pub has 19 microbrews on tap at any time, but some of the less popular are replaced occasionally. Usually, about 15 of them are from the Pacific Northwest.

Dunn also is increasing the choices on his wine list, and he has just begun filling and selling growlers.

Call ahead to order food to go or eat in and bring a computer to connect with the restaurant's free Wi-Fi. Dunn also is offering 10 percent off the bill for skiers on their way home who show him their lift ticket for that day.

The Trout Pub, with off-street parking, is at 39333 Proctor Blvd., a short distance west of the Arco fuel station.

For more information or to place an order to go, call 503-668-0900 or visit 'Trout Pub' on Facebook.