Cammie and Colin Bashon are saying goodbye to the bar business as they get ready to move their eatery to the Starlite site. They promise good food and a family atmosphere at the familiar Vale dining spot. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

VALE – Sometimes timing is everything when you are a small town business.

Cammie Bashon can attest to that as she prepares to move her business – the Diamond Back Bar & Grill – from the east side of town to west Vale.

By early October, Bashon hopes to be serving food and cold drinks at what is now the Starlite Café location at 52 Clark St. S.

The owner of the Starlite, Sharon Bannon, operated the well-known local eatery for 13 years, but decided to sell after struggling to keep up with boosts in Oregon’s minimum wage. Bannon said Bashon will lease the building.

“When they have enough experience then they will buy it,” said Bannon.

The timing for the two business owners was perfect.

Bashon said she and co-owner, brother-in-law Colin Bashon, opened up the Diamond Back Bar & Grill at 197 A St. E. about a year ago.

Bashon said there will be several key changes once she moves to the other end of town.

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The Starlite Café menu will vanish and the Diamond Back Bar & Grill food and drink choices will replace it. The menu will also expand, said Bashon.

“But we are keeping the pies and will include other pastries and frozen products like frozen yogurt,” said Bashon.

Bashon said her new business will keep the Diamond Back name.

Bashon, a veteran who retired from the Idaho Army National Guard more than five years ago, said the bar portion of her current business, as well as lottery, will not continue.

 “There is no place to put a bar down there to make it inaccessible to minors,” said Bashon.

“We do plan to introduce beer and wine so people can have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner but that is down the road and won’t be one of the initial changes,” she said.

The focus for her and Colin Bashon will be to create a family-oriented atmosphere, she said.

The hours of operation will also change, said Bashon, with the restaurant open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

“That will be the biggest change for people,” said Bashon.

Bashon said the move is a good one for her business.

“I think it is a better location and opportunity. We will have both eastbound and westbound traffic,” said Bashon.

Bashon said she plans to try out “new and innovative ideas” at the new location but the process will be a slow one.

“We want to make sure that, to start off, we make it comfortable for everybody from elderly to the kids,” said Bashon.

Diamond Back Bar now employs eight people, Bashon said. The Starlite Café, she said, has about 11 people on its payroll. Bashon said her crew will move over when the business changes hands and she plans to keep as many of the current Starlite workers as possible.

“We will pick up business we don’t currently have,” said Bashon.

So far, said Bashon, people appear to be pleased with the upcoming move.

“A lot of the town seems excited about us going down there,” said Bashon.

Bannon said the Starlite will probably close “the end of September.”

Bashon said she is hoping to open about Oct. 2.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell: pat@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377.

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