WASHOUGAL — For Alex Yost and Kevin Credelle, it started with a text.
“What about Washougal?” Credelle, 31, wrote to Yost, 29.
The Portland couple were looking for a new place to live and open a restaurant. They searched Portland and other nearby cities in Oregon, but spaces were too small or too expensive.
Then Credelle saw a posting for space in Washougal that mentioned a cafe and bookstore nearby. He looked up the city, and the first item that popped up was news of Amnesia Brewing moving its operations from Portland to Washougal. He thought a microbrewery would be a good neighbor to have, and it made him think moving to Washougal could actually work. He sent the text.
“We drove out here and everybody was super nice,” he said. “We drove up Washougal River Road, and it’s like, ‘There’s a horse eating flowers on the hillside in the sunshine. That’s great.’ ”
Even better, they noticed there wasn’t really a brunch restaurant in the downtown area. “Everybody is opening restaurants in (Portland),” Credelle said. “It’s going to continue to happen, but 25 minutes away, there’s a beautiful town that has potential and a need.”
Their restaurant, OurBar, opened three-plus years ago, and is now a popular breakfast and lunch spot. It’s also emblematic of a downtown that is rapidly changing, growing in size and trending younger. Washougal may be on its way to becoming the youthful, hip hub of Clark County, thanks to young entrepreneurs like Yost and Credelle.