The Sandy Hut has undergone many iterations in its nearly 100-year-old history, its most recent incarnation as a dark and beloved dive and punk and metal music venue at the tip of a lot where NE 14th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard meet.
But after 15 years of owning the bar, John Berning decided it was time to move on, and sold it to Marcus Archambeault and Warren Boothby, the fellas behind nearby Club 21, Double Barrel and Gold Dust Meridian. They, in turn, decided it was time to freshen things up.
They shuttered the place for two months to make repairs and upgrades before reopening its doors to the public in the last four weeks. The live music is out, as is the old food and drink menu. It's also not purple anymore. But other than that, when you walk in, you might think, "Wait, what's changed?"
A lot, says Archambeault. "When people walk in here, they think they we didn't really make any changes because it still looks like the same old Sandy Hut," he says.
But over those two months, they fixed and replaced coolers, parts of the bar, the HVAC unit and other electrical issues that needed tending to. More importantly, they gave the place a fresh coat of paint inside and out, and a thorough scrubbing. Archambeault says the walls were covered with decades of nicotine stains, and by rubbing it all away, they were able to restore a rare and vintage original Al Hirschfeld mural and uncover the glass blocks to let a little light in once again.
The bar also has a new concept. Archambeault says he and Boothby want to revive the menu to what it was in all its mid-century glory, when it had a dining room called The Wolf's Den. Think of drinks and dishes like Mai Tais, crab Louie salads and nightly specials like prime rib on Wednesdays crab legs on Thursdays.
Archambeault also says that the kitchen's also bringing back the original Fat Burger, the ham-bacon-and-egg burger that got its start here in 1923 before making its migration to Stanich's.
Sandy Hut, 1430 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-235-7972; Hours: 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., seven nights a week.