Astute diners or passersby might notice a change in the sign in front of Lord Brixxton’s, but the real changes are happening inside, including an updated menu and a new chef with fresh ideas for the future.

“Our sign is cleaner and sharper, our staff have new uniforms and Chef Jeremiah Queroda is really shaking things up in the kitchen” said owner Michelle Long. “We’ve gone through a 100-percent metamorphosis since we first opened.”

Queroda, born and raised in Hawaii, is excited to be working with Long and general manager Rebecca Ottensmann in creating a restaurant that fills a fine dining niche in a fun casual environment with an emphasis on fresh and locally sourced food.

“Even when I was learning to cook and attending culinary school in Hawaii I was very interested in Pacific Northwest cuisine,” Queroda said. “There’s such an abundance here. You even can forage for some of your ingredients.”

Queroda, who has also worked in the restaurant community for 12 years in places such as Hawaii, the Oregon Coast and New York City is very much a hands-on artisanal chef.

“The biggest thing for me right now is making our pastas in house,” he said. “In my opinion there is a day and night difference between fresh and pre-made pastas. We’re also bringing in a lot of Pacific Northwest seasonal fish like halibut and salmon. When people come to the coast they often want seafood. We do also have prime rib, steak and surf and turf though; lots of Oregonians love their meat and potatoes.”

It was a cold rainy day when I met with Queroda, who was quick to respond when asked what his current favorite menu item was.

“We have an amazing Cioppino seafood stew,” he said. “It’s full of prawns, calamari, fish and crab in a nice spicy broth. We serve it with the house made focaccia bread that I make fresh daily. You dip that into the spicy broth and man is it wonderful, especially in this weather.”

A growing favorite for customers are the 10-inch artisanal pizzas.

“I use my personal recipe for the dough,” Queroda said. “I used to be a pizza guy so I take it seriously. I’ve been developing this dough for a long time.”

The variety of toppings available include classic meats and vegetables, while vegan cheese and gluten-free dough options mean there is a pie for almost anyone.

“The crust and red sauce are both vegan so you can do a full-on vegan pizza or a vegan pasta too,” Ottensmann said.

Part of streamlining the look of the building and logo meant letting go of the cute little dog that lends its name to the business but is no longer part of its marketing materials.

“Unfortunately, the dog (Brixxton) is no longer with us,” Long said. We just needed a cleaner logo because we are stepping up our whole game. But we are still definitely dog lovers!!! We have many customers who come because they can bring their dogs and eat on the patio with them when weather permits. We have bowls of water out and will even make special meals for them.”

People also come for the live music in the lounge, happening five days a week starting at 6 pm.

“We cater to people that want music a bit earlier,” Ottensmann said. “And it’s not so loud, so you can choose to listen to the music or have a conversation. We have a gentleman that plays jazz that everyone seems to love. There are local performers and bands coming from places like San Francisco and Seattle, too. They are now calling us, which is a great position to be in.”

In addition to great music, the lounge features beers from Depoe Bay Brewing on tap, top-shelf liquor, wine and even chances to win big in the Oregon Lottery.

“I hear regularly that our lounge is cozy, friendly, safe and clean,” Ottensmann said. “Customers also appreciate that we’re very accommodating. We’ll do our best to make food to your preference.”

And coming soon is Brixxton’s Coffee Corner, a coffee and gift shop.

“We’ll have Elk City Roasters coffee, baked goods and other food items and some locally made gifts,” Long said. “The Coffee Corner will be open during hours in the early morning when the restaurant isn’t open, for those looking for a shot of espresso and a scone. In addition, specialty coffees will be available during the lunch and dinner hours in the restaurant.”

It’s easy to see that both food and ideas are always fresh at Lord Brixxton’s.

“In this industry you have to be able to evolve.” Queroda said. “We don’t conform into a style, we just want our customers have a great experience.”

Lord Brixxton’s is open from 12:30 to 9 pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, from 12:30 to 10 pm on Friday, and from 12:30 to 10 pm on Saturday. They are located at 3245 N Hwy. 101 in Depoe Bay, in a wheelchair friendly building. There is an ATM onsite and all major credit cards are accepted. Call 541-764-4222 or visit their Facebook page for specials and live music updates.

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