Sassy Onion Grill owner Kevin Boyles poses outside the restaurant on State Street on Aug. 3, 2021 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
The Sassy Onion is getting a new layer as the Salem restaurant plans to open its second location at the end of August.
The new 6,000-plus square foot building located at 3310 Market Street N.E. tells a story of survival.
Back in March, when Covid vaccines became a reality, Sassy Onion owner Kevin Boyles decided to take a risk. He had survived a year of Covid restrictions that plagued restaurants and was looking to the future as vaccination rates went up and new infections dropped.
“I looked at (surviving) as an opportunity and jumped in,” he said.
The new location was the result of an exhaustive search from Eugene to Portland, Boyles said, but he ended up within five miles from the original restaurant.
“We built up a brand here,” Boyles said of Salem. “We support the community and the community supports us.”
Now a handful of weeks before the doors are set to open Covid case numbers are rising again, pushed by the Delta variant and waning vaccination numbers but Boyles said he’s still feeling “bullish” about Sassy Onion’s expansion.
The original location on State Street mainly serves students from Willamette University and professionals from the Capitol.
It began as Cafe Today. Eggs, omelettes, french toast and other breakfast and brunch foods were ordered quickly, picked up even faster and patrons moved on about their day.
“In 2002,” Boyles said, “we changed the name to Sassy Onion and went to a full restaurant. We’ve also been catering the entire time.”
Catering will continue out of the State Street location while both locations continue cranking out breakfast and lunch.
The new Market Street location is the former home of Almost Home Restaurant & Steakhouse, a Salem diner which closed its doors permanently July 23.
Line cooks at The Sassy Onion Grill make hash browns for breakfast on Aug. 3, 2021 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
There are no menu changes in the works just yet but, citing the surrounding neighborhood, Boyles may add a meal to the new location: dinner.
“We’re near hotels and the highway so this location would support dinner,” he said. “It’s possible that in the future we can do that, but right now we want to get down what we do really good.”
Sassy Onion’s second location is scheduled to open on Aug. 25.
This article was updated to include information about the previous restaurant at the Market Street location.
Contact reporter Caitlyn May at [email protected].
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