Small business tips

The Stables Clubhouse

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April Shivers turned the old horse stables in Lakeside, Oregon into a kid’s clubhouse and restaurant now known as “The Stables Clubhouse and Restaurant.”  The business, officially named The Stables Clubhouse LLC, is 100% women owned.

During the early 1900s, people in North Bend and around the coast would ride the train to the Lakeside train stop and walk to the Stables. Times changed and the Stables closed. The building has been vacant for several years.

Around six months ago, April’s house was filled with kids looking for somewhere safe and fun to be. She realized how many Lakeside children had no safe, supervised space where they could be doing fun things with peers instead of being home alone playing games on their phones. She felt challenged to start a clubhouse to help these kids.

April contacted the SBDC and spoke with the Director, Derek Tonn, who walked her through the process of starting a business and developing a kid friendly environment. He also told her about how CARE Connections supported clients interested in childcare-focused businesses.

April started looking for an available building and met with the owner of the Stables. With the building owner’s support, she and her husband Jake rented the space and started renovating the old Stables into a kid-welcoming environment. Meanwhile, Mary Loiselle of the SBDC assisted April to develop a business plan and answered questions she had as business started coming to life.

April and Jake closed their construction company and took a huge leap of faith to develop the restaurant connected to the youth clubhouse space. With donations from the Lakeside community, they have fed over 500 meals and snacks to children over the past several months. With Jake’s construction experience, they remodeled the interior of the building to create safe spaces in which kids could play. They brought in people who work with reptiles and other rare animals to share their experiences and knowledge. They use Facebook to keep the community informed and are working on developing a website.

On April 29th, April and Jake passed their final restaurant inspection and have officially opened their restaurant. Now the restaurant can help support the clubhouse and the clubhouse can help support the restaurant. They hope to provide a great wholesome family environment for years to come.

When April was asked about the SBDC and the assistance they provided, she said:

“I could not have done it without them.”

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