One morning about seven years ago, Dave Ayers walked into the Red Fir Inn for his usual meal after his graveyard shift as a millwright and the lady who owned the small restaurant/tavern in Yacolt asked him if he wanted to buy it.
“I thought she was kidding,” Ayers said. “But she wasn’t kidding.”
Ayers made a quick decision and now, seven years later, he is still the owner of the Red Fir Inn, located at 303 N. Amboy Ave., Yacolt. However, about six months ago, Ayers, 55, said he decided it was time for him to sell the tavern and retire.
“I would like to retire,” Ayers said. “I have a new grandbaby who I’d like to spend time with and I’ll be doing a lot of fishing.”
Ayers said there was quite a “learning curve” when he first purchased the Red Fir Inn, since he really had no idea how to run a tavern.
“I didn’t know a thing,” he said. “I stumbled a lot, but learned pretty quickly. It’s a good little business, it’s just time for me to retire.”
Michelle Millar of Coldwell Banker United Brokers in Battle Ground is the broker handling the sale of the Red Fir Inn. Built in 1962, the current list price for the business is $106,000.
“Locals and visitors alike enjoy stopping at the Red Fir Inn,” Millar said. “Play a game of pool, or put a quarter in the jukebox and just enjoy conversation and a great meal. Loyal coffee drinkers gather for breakfast every morning.”
Ayers said he does have a regular “coffee club” of people that come in every morning for breakfast and he also has some other regulars that come in just about everyday. Although Ayers said business went down sharply about two years ago when the economy was at its lowest, he said it is starting to pick up again.
“If someone was to buy it right now, I think they’d have a really good chance,” Ayers said.
Since purchasing the Red Fir Inn seven years ago, Ayers has made a couple of changes to the tavern, including putting in a pizza oven. He said he also has one side of the tavern that is family dining until about 7:30 p.m. Several pool leagues also play at the Red Fir Inn, Ayers said that last winter there were four pool leagues playing at the tavern.
Ayers has also been a big supporter of community events in Yacolt, including the Hot August Nights annual car cruise event, which Ayers said he helped start and the Red Fir Inn has been an active sponsor for every year, except this past year. Ayers also helped get another new event going in Yacolt, the Yacolt Folk Festival that was held for the first time this September. He said the town hopes to keep the car cruise and the folk festival event going every year.
“I will kind of miss it,” Ayers said about owning the restaurant. “I will miss the people.”
Ayers and his wife, Ellen, have two children and one grandchild. For information on purchasing the Red Fir Inn, contact Michelle Millar, Coldwell Banker United Brokers, at (360) 687-3183 or (253) 249-8506, or contact her by email at email@example.com.