Torque to locate in Washougal

Ryan Palmer is planning a grand opening in February

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Ryan Palmer plans to open a Torque Coffee Roasters cafe in mid-February, in Washougal Town Square. "We have been looking for a second location for a while," he said. "I have been all over the county, including Battle Ground and Hazel Dell, but I felt Washougal had the right ingredients for us at the right time."

The owner of Torque Coffee Roasters said the location of the Pendleton Woolen Mills and store was one of the main selling points, in his decision to expand his business to downtown Washougal.

Ryan Palmer, who already owns a Torque cafe, at 501 Columbia St., in downtown Vancouver, plans to open before Valentine’s Day, in Washougal Town Square, 1700 Main St., Ste. 130.

While wearing a Pendleton shirt Monday, Palmer described the mill as a landmark.

“It’s one of the more defining things in the area,” he said.

Palmer also noted the workforce at Pendleton, which is more than 200 at the mill and the outlet store.

The fabrics on the seats at the new Torque cafe will come from the Pendleton commercial division, in Portland.

Palmer opened the Vancouver location three years ago in a renovated garage space. Coffee beans from South America, Central America and Africa are roasted there.

Palmer has been in the coffee business for 18 years, including time spent as a barista, manager and consultant.

He had been looking for a second location for Torque for a while including in Battle Ground and Hazel Dell.

Palmer felt Washougal has the right ingredients, such as “the right size of space, the right demographics, the right location and the right time,” for his family-owned business.

He said the area has a lot of drive-through coffee businesses, but he envisioned a place to drink coffee and relax.

“Downtown is missing a neighborhood coffee spot,” Palmer said.

He described the businesses in and near Washougal Town Square as good neighbors.

“We wanted to hang out with the cool kids, so we came out here,” Palmer said.

He plans to initially hire six employees for the Washougal location, with interviews expected to take place next week.

Some of the Torque workers from the Vancouver cafe will help train them.

“This [Washougal] location will add beer and wine, so employees will need to be 21 or older,” Palmer said.

The new Torque Coffee Roasters will be open daily, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (971) 200-5252, email or visit