Megan and Tyler Davis like to eat good food, drink good beer, and socialize with their friends in laid-back, family-friendly establishments. They didn’t see anything like it in Washougal, so they decided to start one themselves.
Washougal residents will hold a soft-opening event for their new taphouse/food-truck pod, Ashwood Taps and Trucks, on Saturday, August 12, and hope to open to the general public “within a week” after that, according to Tyler.
“It’s where we know we’re going to live for the long haul,” Megan said. “We’re not going anywhere. We have deep roots here, so having something like this, that we love and know other people love, in our own community, is just super important to us.
Tyler and Megan first started thinking about bringing a tap and food truck pod to Washougal on a trip to Bend, Oregon several years ago.
“We had met the owner of another similar establishment and explained to her how she and her husband had turned their dream into reality and had built an awesome community around good food, good drinks and good company,” said explained Megan on her Facebook. page. “It got Tyler thinking, and soon he was on a relentless journey to see if we could make this happen in our little town.”
After buying a property on “E” Street in Washougal in 2019, the Davises said they were forced to overcome a series of permitting and supply chain issues that delayed the construction project.
But through it all, they never lost hope and remained committed to their dream.
“We have two kids and full-time jobs, and we do this on the side,” said Tyler, who works in the construction industry. “We have our hands full. But we wouldn’t (if we didn’t have a passion for it). I mean, you have to analyze the numbers and convince yourself from a business perspective that it’s going to work. But you have to have a passion, which we absolutely have.
“My personality is once I commit (to something), I commit and there’s no turning back. That’s not to say there haven’t been worries and fears on nights when you don’t sleep well. But it’s a bit standard and normal, I think.
Ashwood Taps and Trucks will feature an indoor dining space with elevated bar seating, tables, televisions and a rotating selection of Pacific Northwest beers, wines, ciders and kombucha; and an outdoor space with a cornhole, sandbox, rock garden, and food cart pod that can accommodate four trucks: Homeport Pizza (wood-fired Napoletana pizza), owned by Washougal residents Steven Baird and Maria Hart; The Cravory (burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches) owned by Washougal natives Kyle Denny and Thomas Masalta; Vancouver Getta-Gyro (gyroscopes); and The Bowl Shebang (grain bowls), owned and operated by the Davises themselves.
“Having the ambiance was important, (as well as) a variety of food trucks and a kid- and dog-friendly exterior,” Tyler said. “If we were missing one of those things, it wasn’t a go-ahead, so we wanted to make sure we had all three because those are the things that we think will make it a success.”
Megan, senior compensation program manager at Fisher Investments in Camas, said she “just can’t stop smiling” when she thinks of Ashwood.
“I think it’s necessary because we recognize that there are a lot of families like us, and they like the same things we do, and they don’t have an easy, accessible place to take their family,” she said. “For us, going out and being with friends and having a drink was a huge part of our life, and not being able to do that once we had little ones? It’s kind of like, ‘We can’t do this anymore. This cannot be our reality. And I think there’s just a lot of families that kind of live the same life, where they’re like, ‘Well, I want to get out, but it’s so hard.’ Let’s make it easy. Dining out doesn’t have to be the formal way we all used to think.
Ashwood Taps and Trucks is located at 1535 “E” St., Washougal, and will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit ashwoodtapsandtrucks.com or search “Ashwood Taps and Trucks” on Facebook and Instagram.