From its name to its employees, BlueJay's aims for positive local impact

An ill-fitting cooler slowed down the timeline for BlueJay’s Family Restaurant & Lounge — a new restaurant in Manning near Banks — to stage its grand opening.

Owner Jacob Echeverria, who will soon move to Banks from the Bethany area of Beaverton, said Friday he’d run into several issues that delayed the opening from its original July 5 date to Saturday, July 25.

“Our main walk-in cooler didn’t fit in the space we had planned for it, so we had to order a new one,” said Echeverria, who also operates Chen’s Dynasty in Bethany and Chen’s Dynasty II at Portland’s Lloyd Center mall.

His partner in the local venture is Hortencia Zepeda, who lives in Banks. Their business is called J and H Enterprises.

Echeverria said that when the restaurant opens, it will offer a “fusion dining” menu including American, Mexican and Asian food. It will fill 1,900 square feet of space formerly occupied by Ye Olde Dingheiser Pub & Restaurant at 14100 N.W. Sunset Highway.

“People are going to be amazed by all the things we’re doing to make the restaurant feel comfortable and look beautiful,” said Echeverria. “It’s a total renovation of the place.”

BlueJay’s staff of 12 will be “mostly local,” said Echeverria, who wants to “have an impact with the community jobs-wise.”

Once the doors are open, he and Zepeda plan to offer a wide-ranging menu and seating indoors and outdoors.

Echeverria’s son Alfonso, 17, will work at the eatery when he isn’t practicing or playing on the Banks High School football team.

The restaurant’s name came to Echeverria after a bit of Internet searching, he said. “I found out that Banks has a lot of bluejay birds,” he said. “I tried to come up with something local.”

BlueJay’s will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

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