A relaxed chat with 37-year-old Tim Williams was punctuated by his frequently leaving to wait on customers (he’s the only one—aside from the cook—working a Sunday afternoon shift with almost two dozen customers) and yielded his admission as a neophyte with Peter’s Bar & Grill, a hard-liquor bar. Williams’ prior entertainment industry work was a scant three years of busing, serving and “a little bar-tending” in a Eugene beer-and-wine venue following undergraduate studies. Conversely, he adroitly handled glass, bottle, ice and fountain device, exuding veteran bartender experience.
Williams has since earned an MBA from the University of Oregon and desk-jockeyed for much of the past decade as a health care industry financial analyst. He and his business partner/fiancée used to frequent Peter’s at Northeast 57th Avenue and Fremont Street for drinks. When they heard that former owner Clyde Jenkins wanted to sell, Williams thought, “It’s the perfect size and type for a new owner.” Williams said Jenkins, “was very helpful in walking us through the sale process, so we purchased the bar.” Williams quit his health care industry job which, he said mostly involved “staff cuts and collections—not very rewarding work.”
That was three months ago. Williams’ one word of advice for new owners: “Don’t start a new business and plan a wedding at the same time.” The wedding is scheduled for this month, but he said the honeymoon will have to be delayed.
Williams is looking ahead with a mission of developing Peter’s into a neighborhood sports bar. “We’re concentrating at first on Beavers, Ducks, Blazers and Timbers fans. I’m a Duck, and my fiancée is a Beaver, so that’s working out just fine,”
Williams explained; “and we’re already listed on the Beavers’ website as a place to watch the games.” Friday nights are the busiest, he added. Williams also expressed his good fortune to have a chef who has experience with “lots of wonderful recipes and brings her fine dining chef skills to bar food.”
When asked about the potential for competition from Fire on the Mountain diagonally across the 57th Avenue and Fremont intersection, Williams responded, “They’re well known all over Portland, bring new people into the neighborhood and can only be good for us. Besides, their employees come over for drinks once in a while.” He had similar comments about Mad Hanna’s to the east on Fremont and Bottles to the west.
Williams is intent on meeting and pursuing common interests with other young business owners in the Roseway, Rose City Park and Cully neighborhoods surrounding Peter’s. Located between the International Business District to the East and the Beaumont-Wilshire Business District to the west, Williams is meeting periodically with the Cully Street business owners to the north. “There’s lots of potential for businesses in this part of town, and we want to explore how best to develop it,” Williams said.
Peter’s Bar and Grill is open Sundays 9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 a.m. until midnight. “Business is brisk,” Williams beamed, “and we have quite a few Happy Hour (weekdays 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing) regulars who enjoy our good food and each other.”