September 14, 2019
By Dan Purkey
Starting in the 1920’s as the Union Gas Station, the current Vida Cafe has gone through name changes and many important owners. The Cafe began in 1950, under George and Marie Miller (The Firs Cafe). In the late 60’s – early 70’s the name was changed to the Vida Cafe. After going through ten different owners, Susan Nelson and her family bought the Vida Cafe in 1995. Susan was known throughout the McKenzie valley for her home cooking and homemade pies!
Wanting to retire from the ownership, Sue began talking with Kellie and Brian Cline about purchasing the Cafe. On June 21st, 2019, the Cline’s began a new era of this landmark (approaching 100 years old)!
Kellie was born and raised in Harrisburg, along with 5 sisters and 2 brothers; and, in 2006, she met the love of her life: Brian Cline. Brian, of Blue River, was initially raised by his parents in an apartment above the McKenzie Bridge General Store. He graduated from McKenzie High School and began his chef/manager career at Shari’s in Seattle. After being relocated a few times by Shari’s, Brian wound up as manager at the W. 11th Shari’s in Eugene; and coincidentally, Kellie was a waitress there!
In 2011 Brian left Shari’s for Takoda’s Restaurant in Rainbow. Previous to the Takoda move, Kellie and Brian were married in 2007; and they now have five boys and one girl. From 2013 – 2019, Kellie taught pre-school; but everything changed for both of them in June of this year!
The Clines are going to freshen up the menu with items such as hand-breaded chicken fried steak and homemade gravy, but keeping the Cafe tradition (Homemade pies) is also very important to them….only cosmetic changes will be made to the interior!
The hours are the same: 7 days a week, 7-7 pm. 541-896-3289. 45641 Mck. Hwy, Vida.