Runner-up: Street 14 Cafe, Astoria
Honorable mention: Columbian Cafe, Astoria
Arnie’s Cafe on Main Avenue has been a Warrenton breakfast standby since before it was Arnie’s. The restaurant was constructed in the 1950s, added to and has gone through several iterations, including Carol’s and the Donut Hole. For the past 20 years, it has been Arnie’s.
Owner Crystal Green took over in 2015. She had worked there in the 2000s for former owner Mary Garrett, jokingly telling her she should reach out if interested in selling.
“I’m very grateful, but it has nothing to do with me,” Green said of the award. “It has everything to do with my staff. Honestly, it’s their award. It’s fantastic. Their hard work is coming through, and they should be really proud of themselves.”
Green remodeled the inside after taking over. She and her staff have also pared down the diner’s menu to the most popular items people order.
“We cleaned it up a little bit, and then brought in a lot of fresh stuff,” Green said. “A lot of things were premade, or their fruit was canned fruit. So we brought in fresher ingredients, made things homemade versus boxed or bought that way. I think hopefully that made a difference.”
Green recently announced the restaurant would be moving into the former Warrenton Auto Parts, a shuttered Napa Auto Parts franchise on Main Avenue a block from City Hall, in June.
“It will certainly be old-style cafe,” she said in a November interview with The Daily Astorian. “I think that’s part of the charm that people appreciate, being able to come back and sit in a place that maybe you think your grandparents sat, or (where) your parents came as kids. The history of this place — even though we’re not in the same location, I still want to bring that feel.”