New ‘taps and trucks’ site opening in Washougal

Ashwood taphouse, food truck court to hold 'soft opening' on Saturday, Aug. 13; owners hope to offer 'good food, good drinks and good company'

Megan and Tyler Davis love to eat good food, drink good beer and socialize with their friends in casual, family friendly establishments. They didn’t see anything like that in Washougal, so they decided to create one themselves.

The Washougal residents will hold a soft-opening event for their new taphouse/food-truck pod, Ashwood Taps and Trucks, on Saturday, Aug. 13, and hope to open to the general public “within a week” after that, according to Tyler.

“This is the place where we know we’re going to live for the long term,” Megan said. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re setting down deep roots here, so to have something like this, that we love and know other people love, in our own community, is just super important to us.”

Tyler and Megan started thinking about bringing a taphouse and food-truck pod to Washougal during a trip to Bend, Oregon, several years ago.

“We had met the owner of another, similar establishment and spoke with her about how she and her husband had turned their dream into a reality and had built an awesome community around good food, good drinks and good company,” Megan explained on her Facebook page. “This got Tyler thinking, and soon he was on a relentless path to see if we could make this happen in our small town.”

After purchasing property on “E” Street in Washougal in 2019, the Davises said they were were forced to overcome a series of permitting and supply-chain issues that delayed the construction project.

But through it all, they never gave up hope and remained committed to their dream.

“We have two kids and full-time jobs, and are doing this on the side,” said Tyler, who works in the construction industry. “We have our hands full. But we wouldn’t do it (if we didn’t have a passion for it). I mean, you have to run the numbers and convince yourself from a business perspective that it’s going to work out. But you have to have a passion, which we absolutely do (have).

“My personality is once I commit (to something), I commit, and there’s no turning back. That’s not to say there haven’t been worries and fears at nights where you don’t sleep well. But that’s kind of standard and normal, I think.”

Ashwood Taps and Trucks will feature an indoor dining space with high-top bar seating, tables, televisions, and a rotating selection of Pacific Northwest beers, wine, cider, and kombucha; and an outdoor space with cornhole, a sandbox, a rock garden and food-cart pod with room for four trucks: Homeport Pizza (wood-fired Napoletana pizza), owned by Washougal residents Steven Baird and Maria Hart; The Cravory (burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches) owned by Washougal natives Kyle Denny and Thomas Masalta; Vancouver-based Getta-Gyro (gyros); and The Bowl Shebang (grain bowls), owned and operated by the Davises themselves.

“Having the atmosphere was important, (as well as) a variety of food trucks and a kid-friendly, dog-friendly outside,” Tyler said. “If we were missing one of those things, it wasn’t a green light, so we wanted to make sure we had all three of those because those are the things that we think will make it successful.”

Megan, a senior compensation program manager at Fisher Investments in Camas, said that she “just can’t stop smiling” when she thinks about Ashwood.

“I think it’s needed because we recognize there’s a lot of families just like us, and they love the same things that we do, and they don’t have an easy, accessible place to take family,” she said. “For us, going out and being with friends and having a drink was a huge part of our life, and to not be able to do that anymore once we had little ones? It’s kind of like, ‘We just can’t do this anymore. That can’t be our reality.’ And I think there’s just a lot of families that kind of live that same life, where they’re like, ‘Well, I want to go out, but it’s so hard.’ Let’s make it easy. Restaurant dining doesn’t need to be the formal way that we all used to think of it.”

Ashwood Taps and Trucks is located at 1535 “E” St., Washougal, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit ashwoodtapsandtrucks.com or search “Ashwood Taps and Trucks” on Facebook and Instagram.