March 27, 2002 11:00 pm

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

UNION After a trial run last weekend, the newly named D n Ds Smoke House Restaurant and Lounge is now open on Main Street.

It was formerly called Michrinas Restaurant, but about Feb. 1 Ken Michrina sold the building and business to Don and Deb Spradlin. The paperwork on the sale hasnt been completed, but all parties are confident there will be no problems, they said.

The Spradlins said they want to emphasize the business is independently owned.

We are specializing in true smoked meats and deep-pit, true hickory smoked barbecue, said Don Spradlin, who will do the cooking.

He mentioned items such as racks of ribs, pork and beef and chicken halves, sirloin roast, pork loins. It wont be just cooked meat with a sauce poured over it, he said.

The wide variety of menu items is available except that on Sundays the menu is limited to prime rib and smoked ham, plus the usual vegetables or salad. Portuguese beans are a specialty. The couple are hoping for a good turnout for Easter Sunday.

Sunday hours are noon to 8 p.m.

Other dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Lunch hours, with a special menu, are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

They have spruced up the building, constructed in 1890.

Weve done a lot of painting, said Deb Spradlin, and a good overhaul.

The 7,000-square-foot building has 4,600 square feet of restaurant, lounge and banquet area on the first floor. The restaurant will seat 75, the lounge has nine bar stools and seating at tables for 14.

The banquet room can seat 50 at a sit-down event or 75 for a stand-up gathering, said Deb Spradlin. The room can be closed off for privacy, she said.

The lounge, which will have a full-service bar and wont permit children because smoking will be permitted, will be finished off with a sports theme, the couple said. Some items are already on display. There is a TV over the bar. Some people might prefer to eat in the lounge, Deb said.

They envision renovating the buildings second floor over time and turning that into five rooms.

A bed and breakfast without breakfast, Don said. A bed and brunch maybe.

The new owners, who have lived in Union for 10 years, have varied backgrounds that make them suitable for this venture.

Ive done outside sales for 35 years, said Don, a native of Arkansas. I sold and serviced restaurant equipment, from kitchen equipment through the whole restaurant, including cups and saucers and the dishwashing chemicals. For four years, I managed and ran a concession stand at a midget racetrack in California. Ive always enjoyed cooking.

Deb said, Ive been in the restaurant business for 35 years, including working at Michrinas for five years when it first opened. Ive been a hostess, a bartender, a dishwasher and a cook.

They said Ken Michrina is helping us get started. Hes going to stay around and help teach us and train us.

They have 11 employees, not counting themselves, and plan to add three more, Don said.

They already have six bookings for the banquet room, and Don stressed that groups who want to reserve the room give him about a weeks notice and have an alternative date in mind when making a reservation.

Among the services offered will be a take-out service. If a group wants to order 30 or 40 meals for an event at the city park, for example, he will prepare such a meal, with proper lead time, Don said.

Major credit cards are accepted. There is a senior menu for dinner and childrens menu for both lunch and dinner.

Deb raved about the in-house pastry chef who bakes all our desserts. And our cornbread is homemade.

Michrina said, Im not going anywhere. I just needed a change after being in the restaurant business for 30 years.

He owned the local restaurant for eight years, serving mainly steaks, chicken, seafood and prime rib, he said. He started out in the business in Pennsylvania, then spent 13 in Colorado before coming to Union.

He is working a couple days a week at the Buffalo Peak Golf Course, filling in when pro Dave Spurgeon is off, and filling in as needed at other times.

Michrina has been very active in community doings, including serving four years on city council, serving on the Northeast Oregon Regional Strategies Board, serving as president of the Union Commercial Club, acting as the citys representative to the Union County Contact Committee (dealing with economic development), heading the sewer and water political action committees that got two bond issues passed for the water treatment plant and the golf course, and serving on the Reunion Board responsible for developing a business plan for Union.

Reach Ray Linker at

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