By April Bailey
Pacific City is home to some delicious eateries. Whether it is the incomparable scones at Grateful Bread, the tasty burritos of Los Caporoles, or the beer-bathed everything at Pelican Pub, this coastal town has menus to fill the belly and satisfy the taste buds. But something was missing, and Timm and Tammy Lakey took notice.
Timm and Tammy cannot seem to stay away from the restaurant business. In all fairness, Tammy was birthed into a family owned and operated restaurant. Her parents owned and operated several restaurants over the years that served food influenced by Tammy’s mother’s Vietnamese heritage. While Timm did not hail from a restaurant family, he began his restaurant career as a busser. “I worked my way from the front of the house to the back of the house,” said Timm. In fact, it was while working at a restaurant in San Diego that Timm and Tammy first met. You could say it was a match made in a food heaven.
During their early married years Timm and Tammy lived and worked with Tammy’s parents. Timm learned to cook Tammy’s mom’s Asian recipes. Being a fair-haired chap, Timm says the people give him a second look when he claims to cook Asain food. “When I tell people my wife is Asian, they give me some credit,” Timm jokingly stated.
The couple eventually branched out to owning their own restaurant. Their first restaurant did well, but the Lakeys “hated where they lived. “We realized we needed to love where we lived, and then build a business around it,” said Tammy. The couple then relocated to Hood River where they ran another successful restaurant. Over the years they have served Mexican food, American food, and Asian food.
Despite their success in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge area, Timm and Tammy loved Pacific City. Timm had visited the area with his family while growing up. They eventually made the decision to sell their restaurant in Hood River, and buy a house in Pacific City. Now in their mid-forties they decided to take a breather from owner and operated restaurants. They began working for others, and taking in the local community. After two years they decided to open up another restaurant, or as Tammy puts it “buy ourselves jobs for the next 15 years.”
The Lakeys purchased the former Fat Freddy building, and began the renovation process. Staying true to their entrepreneurial spirit, they remodeled the restaurant themselves. Having decided to offer menu items unavailable for 25 miles in any direction, they gave their restaurant a unique look of an Asain beach eatery with white walls and dark wood accents. The couple chose to accent their restaurant with local historical photos bequeathed to them by the former building owners. Even some of the wood trim can be considered local history as it was salvaged from a Pacific City boat dock.
Starting July 12th the Beachwok is serving up Asian inspired cuisine that includes all the favorite Asian sauces—sweet and sour, ginger, Szechuan. However, they are dishes that will be free of nuts and MSG. They also have several gluten free items—even a flourless chocolate cake. The curry is also gluten free. They offer chicken in both the traditional breaded and fried version or grilled. Their hope is to keep their price point moderate, while offering food products that are “responsible.”
As a side note, this author must add that the Lakeys offered me a plethora of dishes to sample during their interview. I suppose this was their way of supporting Tammy’s assertion that, “We love the tourists, but we need the locals.” While I am very fond of Asian food, I have never found sweet and sour palatable. Timm’s version of this popular dish has forever changed my mind. His ginger sauce was equally excellent, and Szechuan was superb. I also enjoyed their spicy, Korean meatballs. I am very excited about sharing this restaurant with my special diet family in the future.
Beachwok is located at 6320 Pacific Ave., Pacific City, visit their website at