Our Story

Letter from Jack:

I was born in a small town near South Dakota called Buffalo Gap and always liked that name. Uncle Else was the Mayor. You are sitting in “Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery,” but you aren’t in South Dakota. I chose this name for our restaurant because it reflects our cuisine and service values, in the style of America’s Heartland. Many of the things you will eat here are taken from old mid-west traditions and recipes, served up with the same homey style and comfort you’d expect to find on the other side of the Rockies.

We bought the “Hoot Owl Tavern” in 1973 with a small bar, 25 seats and a huge snooker table. We served pepperoni, beer nuts, Polish sausage and chips. In 1974, we remodeled with burlap and old barn wood developed a menu with sandwiches and scratch recipe soups that quickly put us on the map. We eventually added a kitchen, Grandma Stutzerelli’s pizza and salad. We grew to 75 seats, 2 pool tables and one of the first beer gardens in Portland.

In 1985, we expanded our operations into the second floor and called it “The Attic.” We added a full kitchen, an upstairs deck, a full bar and began serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. In 1990, we acquired the building next door and dubbed it “The Annex,” which became our adults only Game Room. We now have seats for 200 inside and 50 more outside. We put on some of the BEST private parties and special events in town, and cater in-house private meetings, lunches and dinners at people’s prices. We are proud of our history and we’re glad you’re here.

This building is over 100 years old and has been used, among other things, as a private residence, a boarding house, a brothel and a tavern. Many of the nails still have square heads! We have been adding stories to its history since 1974… IF ONLY THESE WALLS COULD TALK!!

– Jack Stutzman, Founder

Buffalo Gap, circa 1975

Jack Stutzman, Founder