Buckley restaurant opens with western theme

Residents in Buckley and the surrounding area may have a place to put on their boots, cowboy hat and enjoy a meal beginning Saturday.

New western-themed restaurant The Hitching Post will open its doors pending a final inspection by the Health Department. Saturday is the soonest that owner Diana Painter would like to open the restaurant to the public, but the date could change.

Located at 737 Main St., The Hitching Post takes the place of former Coho’s Seafood and Fine Dining, which closed last year. Painter saw the space was available for lease in August while working for the local branch of SYSCO food suppliers and fell in love with the space.

“When I walked in the door I saw what could be done,” she said. “I just couldn’t sleep. I already had a very good job with very good pay. I knew Buckley could have a very good place to have dinner.”

Where Coho’s was a dressed-up, white-linen dining experience, Painter envisions The Hitching Post as a casual, family restaurant. The decorations consist of saddles, steer horns and old boots. A large portion of the upper wall has been left empty for photographs and western art by community members. A few pictures are already on the walls showing the people in Painter’s life. Painter estimates 90 percent of her opening staff are either family or friends, including her daughter Rachel.

“My hope is that as the restaurant becomes successful, I can leave it to her one day, while I’m sitting on the beach in the Bahamas,” she said, chuckling.

Diners can order burgers, steaks, fish baskets or pasta. A “soft menu” will be offered during the first two weeks of opening, and feedback from customers will shape the contents of the finalized menu.

The restaurant will be open for dinner only on Monday through Saturday. A “Bunkhouse Breakfast” will be offered on Sunday, in which servers will provide diners with a portion of all breakfast items. Breakfast will begin to be offered a week or so after opening.

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