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Brewpub to open at Northgate Monday

The RAM Restaurant and Brewery will open its doors Monday in the Northgate Marketplace shopping center.

Store Leader Tommy Simmons combed through 200 applications and has hired about 90 staff members for the newest of the RAM locations.

"There was a lot of excitement, and we had some hard decisions to make," Simmons said. "I suppose that's a good problem to have. Now that we're getting closer to opening, there's still a lot of interest."

It's a homecoming of sorts for Simmons, who was born in Medford but moved with his family to Washington when he was 6. He's been with the firm on and off for 13 years, serving as a trainer for four previous launches, including one in Wilsonville. Most recently he worked for the corporation's C.I. Shenanigans restaurant in Tacoma.

The menu is composed of USDA-certified grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken selections and locally sourced ingredients, he said.

“Our chefs cook with our award-winning beers," Simmons said. "We create delicious beer-infused menu selections that you can’t get anywhere else, such as the Buttface Amber Ale Chicken Sandwich, Big Porter Blue Burger, Hefeweizen Beer Battered Fish and Chips and Big Red’s IPA Baby Back Ribs.”

RAM Restaurant Group is 30 percent employee-owned through an employee stock ownership plan.

"That creates a really passionate team," he said. 

The 7,245-square-foot building can handle up to 273 customers in its restaurant, lounge, brewery and heated, partially covered patio area that includes big-screen TVs. There is also an outdoor fireplace.

Brewer Scott Sulsbury, recently of Southern Oregon Brewing Co., will make beer in a 10-barrel JVNW microbrew system built in Canby.

“Our Hometown Blonde Ale recipe, which is a staple on our taps, recently won a gold medal at a very prestigious competition in Denver," said Sulsbury, who has nearly two-dozen years of brewing experience.

The first RAM opened in Lakewood, Washington, in 1971 and a year later a pub sprang up in Salem, where it has a long-established presence near Willamette University. Today there are more than 30 RAM properties in six states, including locations in Clackamas and Wilsonville.

“For years our friends in the state have been asking us to come to Southern Oregon," said Jeff Iverson, president of The RAM Group, in a statement. "All of us in the hospitality business know what an excellent restaurant community this is. Our Northgate Marketplace location is in a vibrant and dynamic area, and to now be a part of that and the local craft beer scene is an exciting opportunity.”

Simmons said the RAM will open at 11 a.m. daily. Although hours may change, he said the establishment will be open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Friday and Saturday. The telephone number is 458-225-9816.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.