That old proverb about teaching a man to fish had it all wrong.
Beaches Restaurant and Bar is offering a dinner for 20 to anyone who can get down the Columbia River and retrieve its Beaches Float Thru sign, which was whisked away sometime Wednesday.
The sign had been sticking out of the water near the riverside restaurant since it first opened over two decades ago, according to owner Mark Matthias. He said he’s hoping to see it back, safe and sound.
“We put a little contest out there to see who could find it and bring it back,” he said. “That sucker’s been out there 22 years.”
The sign is built on four pilings hooked together, also known as a dolphin. It was an advertisement first, but has become a playful calling card for the restaurant. Over the years they’ve tacked on a joke phone booth, a toy lifeguard and a miniature basketball hoop.
Matthias, who also owns WareHouse ’23, said he suspected the sign was on its last legs after heavy rains in the winter caused the river to rise to levels not seen since the mid-90s.
“When the river gets high like that, it’s moving pretty good and it puts a lot of pressure on (the dolphin),” he said.
When asked how confident he was the sign would be returned, he gave it good chances. The sign was probably still close by, he said.
“I can’t actually imagine it made it all the way to Astoria,” he said. “I think when someone starts looking for it it’ll be pretty obvious. It’ll just be a matter of how far down river it made it.”
For more information contact Beaches Restaurant and Bar at 360-699-1592.