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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Taprock Northwest Grill

Chow Restaurant Spotlight

Taprock Northwest Grill

Written by Pamela Ruhl Gibson

Photography provided by Taprock Northwest Grill


Taprock Northwest Grill in Grants Pass is nestled along the banks of the majestic Rogue River in an attractive lodge building. The original concept was that of Brady Adams, the once long-time president of Evergreen Federal Bank who held many creative ideas for the region. Established in May 2009, the multi-level structure stands distinctly just above the Hellgate Jet Boats loading docks with pitched orange-red sloped roofing and architectural stonework that add elements to the relevance of a Pacific Northwest appearance. 

Wood accents, exterior water features, and a large engraved double door entrance offer an esthetically pleasing welcome to guests wanting to enjoy a delicious taste of seasonal and locally sourced American pub food. A step inside the doors leads to a beautifully executed lodge-like reception area where artwork adorns the walls while representing the region. This all sets the scene for an eatery experience yet to be savored. 

With tall beamed ceilings, wooden elements, and large stone fireplaces, the dining and bar areas provide an ambiance reminiscent of a cabin retreat. The sizable windows offer magnificent views of the untamed river below, while during the warmer months guests can watch kayakers and the action of the Hellgate Jetboat Excursions. Taprock Northwest Grill provides a unique and memorable experience with all of the amenities you could want in a space that is combined with an amazing location, great food, and drinks. The restaurant strives to be the best each and every time they serve a meal, no matter which meal it is. It’s no wonder that this restaurant has become a mainstay in the region.

There are so many delicious culinary delights created in the Taprock NW kitchen that it is hard to name just a few, but the mouth-watering Sasquatch Sampler is a perfect appetizer that consists of sweet onion rings, cheese triangles, hot wings, and crispy zucchini logs served with an assortment of dipping sauces. For poultry lovers, the Mt. Bachelor Basil Chicken is a meal that melts in your mouth with a hearty serving of grilled chicken breast on toasted focaccia bread and layered with bacon, Swiss cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes, topped with a homemade garlic aioli sauce and served with a choice of sides.

Of course, one would be remiss without mentioning Taprock’s Signature Meals which include a Miso-Glazed Halibut Filet made with a Beurre Blanc sauce. The halibut is prepared in a “white butter” sauce that consists of white wine, white wine vinegar, butter, and shallots giving this dish a slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor conveyed in a creamy and velvety richness. Served with seasonal vegetables, fingerling potatoes, and seaweed salad, this is a meal worth trying.

The dessert menu offers just as many scrumptious choices with delightful sweets such as the Cookie Skillet that includes a warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate syrup. The Flourless Chocolate Torte is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth with a rich coffee ice cream that is served with a delectable torte that pairs perfectly with the discerning palate.

The comprehensive beverage selection includes wines from Oregon and California and an assorted selection of beers on tap from Oregon, California, and Colorado. Besides a full-service bar, Taprock offers Signature Cocktails such as the Fresh Blackberry Habanero Margarita or the Paradise Mojito made with cranberry, pineapple and lime juice, cherry that’s mixed with a guava and mango rum, club soda and topped with fresh mint which are served seasonally.

As founders and owners of the Thomason Hospitality Group, Dave and Doneta Thomason have taken pride in providing the community with the finest of hospitality at Taprock Northwest Grill and other establishments for the past thirty-eight years. As one might imagine, the hospitality business can be difficult if not challenging especially for restaurants during a pandemic but, for Taprock, those quagmires have been tested to the brink and the hurdles surmounted. It seems clear that Dave and Doneta Thomason have that “je ne sais quoi” in successfully overcoming diversities and coming out even stronger.

They have been committed to providing their customers with the best in service, food, and atmosphere and are passionate about serving delicious food at affordable prices. Recognizing the importance of having a place where family and friends can come together, Taprock Northwest Grill was created as an inviting space to enjoy great food without overspending. They provide their guests with the best food, the ultimate in customer service, set in the most welcoming atmosphere possible.

Thomason and his wife were awarded the Southern Oregon/Northern California Franchise for Carls’ Jr. restaurants and opened the first Oregon Franchise in 1986. Being the owner of ten Carl’s Jr. restaurants led to developing their diversity by opening numerous restaurants throughout Oregon and coastal California. Restaurants under the auspices of the Thomason Hospitality Group include Pita Pits, Human Beans, Blimpie Sandwiches, Purple Parrot Deli’s, Elmer’s Restaurants, Kenny Rogers Roasters, and Taprock NW Grill. Over the course of decades, the Thomasons have opened over sixty restaurants and have employed thousands of people.

Serving on the Oregon Restaurant Association Board of Directors for nineteen years and as the State President in 1994, Thomason has embraced a lifelong passion in the hospitality industry and pride in his community involvement. He was named Oregon’s Restaurateur of the Year twice and Citizen of the Year twice by the Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce.

Thomasons’ passion lies in his lifelong work in the hospitality business; however, he is starting to make plans towards retiring in the next few years. He is a connoisseur of fine cigars and keeps his collection in his personal walk-in humidor. He has been proud of his life's work and his involvement in the community, but states that his greatest pride has been raising his family in the Rogue Valley and their involvement in the family business. 

The Thomasons have put their collective passions into making their eateries successful, but Taprock Northwest Grill was created as something truly unique—and delicious! With new restaurants planned to be opened soon—-we can't wait to see what they do next! 


Taprock Northwest Grill

971 SE 6th St

Grants Pass

Email: info@taprock.com

Phone: 541-955-5998

Hours of Operation:

Sun-Thurs: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Fri-Sat: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.


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