Imnaha Store & Tavern

★★★★☆

About Imnaha Store & Tavern

4.0 1
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My husband and I were honeymooning AND looking at possible retirement towns this past April in Northeast Oregon. We camped at the State Park in Joseph and drove up to Imnaha to see how far we could get into Hell's Canyon (throughways were still closed due to snow). As far as we could tell, when we reached the Imnaha Store and Tavern, we were at the end of our excursion. The building was VERY rustic, looking like what I imagine it did when pioneers built it 100 years or so ago. We were STARVING and seeing NOTHING else in the town save the post office, school and library we sauntered in. It took some time for our eyes to adjust to the dimly lit and basically uninhabited interior when we spotted the restrooms on the far side of the dining room/store area. We quickly crossed the creaking wood slat floor past the pool tables which had 2 patrons shooting AND drinking at 11am!!!! When we met back up at the bar we grinned at each other in anticipation of trying a local lunch with some brew to boot!!!! (we really love a dive so we were in heaven!) The beer was cold and CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. The daily special, steak sandwich with onions and mushrooms, was posted over the bar in chalk. One woman (we later found out the owner) was running the whole show...bartending, cooking, waiting tables and working the register...she was a virtual WONDERWOMAN!!! She suggested I try the fried oysters and although reluctant about the possible freshness of them in such a desolate local, I did. My hubby ordered the steak sandwich special and we ordered more CHEAP beer as we hunkered down to wait for our meal. This was not the type of place to be in a hurry and we weren't. We asked (Sally? God I hope that was her name) how this place stayed in business in the off season (it's on a major tourist route when the snow melts) and she said that the townfolk kept her going (all 27 of them!!!) She also knew how many visitors were in town...including us!!! Before we knew it the place filled up with "THE TOWN"...the postmaster, farm workers... EVERYBODY eats here! I know they have no choice unless they stay home but what a lucky choice they have!!!! Our food came out and was delicious. The portions were huge, the beer was cold and the locals were friendly and informative about the area. We would have stayed all day if we didn't want to weave all the way back to Joseph. When touring the Hell's Canyon Loop don't miss the little rustic gem and ask the bartender if her name is Sally for me!! What ever it is tell her the honeymooning Virginians will be back!!!!!!

4
★★★★☆

My husband and I were honeymooning AND looking at possible retirement towns this past April in Northeast Oregon. We camped at the State Park in Joseph and drove up to Imnaha to see how far we could get into Hell's Canyon (throughways were still closed due to snow). As far as we could tell, when we reached the Imnaha Store and Tavern, we were at the end of our excursion. The building was VERY rustic, looking like what I imagine it did when pioneers built it 100 years or so ago. We were STARVING and seeing NOTHING else in the town save the post office, school and library we sauntered in. It took some time for our eyes to adjust to the dimly lit and basically uninhabited interior when we spotted the restrooms on the far side of the dining room/store area. We quickly crossed the creaking wood slat floor past the pool tables which had 2 patrons shooting AND drinking at 11am!!!! When we met back up at the bar we grinned at each other in anticipation of trying a local lunch with some brew to boot!!!! (we really love a dive so we were in heaven!) The beer was cold and CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. The daily special, steak sandwich with onions and mushrooms, was posted over the bar in chalk. One woman (we later found out the owner) was running the whole show...bartending, cooking, waiting tables and working the register...she was a virtual WONDERWOMAN!!! She suggested I try the fried oysters and although reluctant about the possible freshness of them in such a desolate local, I did. My hubby ordered the steak sandwich special and we ordered more CHEAP beer as we hunkered down to wait for our meal. This was not the type of place to be in a hurry and we weren't. We asked (Sally? God I hope that was her name) how this place stayed in business in the off season (it's on a major tourist route when the snow melts) and she said that the townfolk kept her going (all 27 of them!!!) She also knew how many visitors were in town...including us!!! Before we knew it the place filled up with "THE TOWN"...the postmaster, farm workers... EVERYBODY eats here! I know they have no choice unless they stay home but what a lucky choice they have!!!! Our food came out and was delicious. The portions were huge, the beer was cold and the locals were friendly and informative about the area. We would have stayed all day if we didn't want to weave all the way back to Joseph. When touring the Hell's Canyon Loop don't miss the little rustic gem and ask the bartender if her name is Sally for me!! What ever it is tell her the honeymooning Virginians will be back!!!!!!

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