From Memorial Day until the end of September, the coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon, bustles with tourists. Visitors make their way to this beach haven to relax by Haystack Rock, wander local shops for niche items and enjoy delicious food. Nestled among the quaint shops and restaurants, Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House offers a little something extra for guests, selling hardware alongside brews and elevated pub food.
An Idea That Made Sense
Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House—affectionately known as the Screw & Brew since it opened in 2010—has become a staple for locals and returning tourists, says owner Ryan Hayes Dewey. However, the concept for the business had been years in the making.
Dewey’s father traveled internationally in his career often, but one visit to Dingle, Ireland, in 1972 paved the way for the business his son would one day open.
“My dad was looking for a spot for lunch in Dingle and was told to go to the pub in town,” Dewey says. “He walked into the hardware store called Foxy Johns asking where the pub was, and they told him he was in it. He always said how cool of a concept it was.”
When Dewey and his wife decided to leave city life in Portland, Oregon, and move back to her hometown of Cannon Beach, the idea to open a hardware store with a bar went from a dream to reality. Dewey had experience in the construction business and also owned two pubs in Portland with his brothers, so combining his experience in both industries made sense.
“I was nervous about opening a hardware store in town because the local population is only 1,700 people,” Dewey says. “The previous hardware stores went out of business, but my dad encouraged me to take the risk by adding the bar. He believed in it so much, he said he’d support me.”
What started as a hardware store with just three beer taps eventually expanded. Now the business features a full pub menu with local beers, a full bar and delicious food. The most popular items on the menu are the fish and chips and the pastrami.
When you walk into the business, you are immediately greeted by a bar to your right and tables throughout the area, right next to the nuts, bolts, batteries and beach toys. Throughout the downstairs, unique items decorate the space, including old airplane seats and antique tools lining the walls.
The upstairs features additional shelves of products one might need in a beach town, like cleaning products, insect sprays and housewares such as shower curtains and oven mitts.
“Our store relieves those in town of having to drive nearly 45 minutes to get to the next closest hardware store,” Dewey says. “It’s really a convenient option for people.”
In addition to hardware and food, visitors love picking out store-branded merchandise to take home, whether it’s a T-shirt, hat or hoodie.
Finding the Right People
Dewey believes Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House has remained a popular destination because of its unique hardware and bar combination, but he also credits his team for the store’s longtime success. Dewey relies on his experience in the construction business to help on the hardware side and brought on general manager Brooke Lynn Neuwirth to run the restaurant side of the operation.
The store employs about 21 people, and often brings a few more people on board to help during the busy tourist season.
“I am fortunate to have such great people who work here,” Dewey says. “We have many long-term employees. Not only do they know what to suggest for lunch or which drink to try, but they also can help answer questions about the hardware side of the business.”
The team at Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House is close knit. Every year, Dewey says he hosts a Christmas party for the team where they take part in an ornament making competition, with the top three ornaments winning a prize.
In 2018, Neuwirth purchased the building next door and turned it into the Hemlocker, a bar and lounge that acts as an extension of the main area of the store. The Hemlocker space can also be rented out for events.
“There is a Fourth of July parade in town that always ends here,” Dewey says. “It’s cool having a place that people enjoy visiting to have a good time with family and friends.”