Local man opens Rhododendron restaurant
by: garth guibord, Tim Chesnut mixes up one of his special Italian sodas at his new Rhododendron restaurant, Good Times.

Tim Chesnut got to know a number of regulars as the head cashier at Shorty's Corner. He didn't always quite catch their last names, but in the case of one customer, he figured it out in an unexpected way.

Chesnut wanted to start a restaurant of his own and noticed that Don Guido's Restaurant in Rhododendron had closed. When he inquired about taking it over, he learned that Shorty's customer 'Doug' was really Doug Kinne, the owner of Don Guido's.

On March 29, Chesnut officially opened his Good Times Restaurant, an endeavor that came as no surprise to Kinne.

'I saw a much more talented person (at Shorty's Corner),' Kinne said. 'He's a good people person.'

Chesnut noted that he has ties to the establishment other than knowing the previous owner. As a child, his family would eat there and paid a visit to celebrate his eighth grade graduation.

'I've always loved this building since I was a kid,' said Chesnut, 28, who graduated from Sandy High School in 1999. 'When you walk in, it's kind of got that old, rustic look in the logs.'

The restaurant serves family fare at affordable prices with a full dining room, a lounge area and unique offerings, such as homemade Italian sodas (made from club soda or soda water, syrups and cream). In the near future, Chesnut also hopes to add free wireless Internet for his customers.

Chesnut has not taken on the new endeavor by himself, however - his family has provided support, including his mother, who helped train kitchen staff, his father, who fixed restaurant equipment, and his godfather, who worked on restoring the building.

And the family help didn't stop there, as Chesnut will offer a number of recipes that have been handed down through his family, including one for 'Country Spaghetti' and another for a 'Portland Supreme Sandwich.'

While his former employers at Shorty's Corner haven't been able to sample Chesnut's food, they think he's got a recipe for success and plan to stop by in the future.

'I think he'll do great,' said Sharon Meiers, owner of Shorty's Corner. 'He's a good kid.'

Good Times Restaurant is located at 73330 Highway 26 in Rhododendron. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 503-622-1696.

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