In Late 1979...
Craig and Mark Banning, two young brothers settled on the idea of opening a restaurant together which Mark would manage and eventually have sole ownership. After scouting for months for just the right spot, they found the perfect location in a forlorn, closed down restaurant at the corner of 69th and Pacific Highway in Tigard. Mark, Craig and their families went to work clearing the landscaping, remodeling the building, developing the menus, decorating the interior, stocking and most important hiring the outstanding people they knew they wanted to have serving their customers.
In the 80's, with growing customer requests, Mark decided to keep the restaurant open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, one of the few establishments in the Portland area to do so. The restaurant only closes on Christmas Day.
In the past 37 years, Mark and Trish have raised a family while navigating the ups and downs of a changing economic climate and the challenges of running a small family business. All three of the Banning children have worked in the restaurant, served customers, and along with their parents, helped to create an enduring tradition with their family's landmark eatery.
Trish Banning was raised on a farm in St. Paul, Oregon where her family raised row crops, corn, beans and strawberries among other things. As the second oldest of seven children she also learned how to cook. “I helped out in the kitchen daily, preparing meals for my family which included five younger brothers. It was like a mess hall at our house,” she laughed. Her husband, Mark Banning, also grew up on a farm, or what he calls a “hobby farm. It was just 50 acres.” Mark was one of six children growing up on this land, doing things like working in the barn, baling the hay and getting up early to take care of the animals. It seemed like a natural fit that Trish and Mark found each other — while working in a restaurant. “Mark was a fry cook and I was a prep cook.” They have been married for 37 years and have three children. With their backgrounds of growing up on farms and working in restaurants, they were perfect for the restaurant business. It’s appropriate that at Banning’s they offer a farmer’s omelet. “About everything is in it. It is topped with country gravy,” Mark said. “Our strength is breakfast, omelets, everything is made from scratch; our hotcakes are made from a scratch buttermilk recipe.”