Customers shocked as another closure hits Jantzen Beach

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 6:27 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - More bad news for folks in the Jantzen Beach area as another restaurant in the community is calling it quits.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse In Jantzen Beach has decided to close its doors in just a few weeks, shocking customers with the news.

“We were kind of bummed, so we wanted to reach out and have a couple of meals before they close… we’ll probably come back again maybe next week,” says Jaime.

“Kind of sad honestly we love ordering from here. We come here probably once or twice a month so now it’s kind of like, ‘Where we going to go now?’” says Madeline Vinson, who frequents the brewhouse for work meals.

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BJ’s released this statement: After 26 years in Jantzen Beach, we have made the decision to close our Jantzen Beach location on February 21, 2023. The decision to close this restaurant was by no means an easy one. This has been a great BJ’s Restaurant location for over two decades, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our community, as well as the dedication of our team over the years. We are working to relocate our team members to our other BJ’s locations in the Northern Oregon area. We have truly enjoyed being part of the Jantzen Beach community and encourage our guests to visit nearby locations.

Though, the statement does not give an explanation for the closure. Leaving customers to wonder why.

“The guy inside did mention that their lease is coming up so maybe they just didn’t want to renew it. It’s an old building they mentioned, so maybe it needed some stuff done to it that they just didn’t feel was economical,” says Jaime.

BJ’s is the third restaurant along North Center Avenue to close in 7 months. The Cracker Barrell and Stanford’s Restaurant & Bar across the road, both closed last summer because of safety and security reasons.

“I think just cause the population surrounding over here is kind of getting worse and the homeless people are kind of scattering out a little bit more and I think that’s probably why,” says Vinson.

Vinson says she loves the food at BJ’s but is hesitant to dine in.

“The only part that kind of draws me back from coming out here would be the homeless population and worrying about my car getting broken into,” says Vinson.

The closure of BJ’s is making it frustrating for employees. Across the freeway is Jay Bee’s Chicken Palace and General Manager, Patrick Bryan, says he has an employee who also works at BJ’s.

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“It was a convenience for him because both of his jobs are right here on the island. He worked for me during the day and worked for BJ’s at night,” says Bryan. “Their locations are pretty far away so that would involve a lot of commuting.”

As for the Palace, Bryan says crime in the area won’t drive them away. In fact, they’ve implemented policies to keep customers feel comfortable and safe. For example, they’re hired security seven days a week. he also says business is great and expects an uptick now that BJ’s is closing

“It’s limiting places to dine in on the island that’s not quick service so we’re anticipating to have some more business and some more foot traffic coming in,” says Bryan.

BJ’s last day will be Feb. 21. With the closure, only two BJ’s locations remain in the state, one in Eugene and one in Hillsboro.