The Tangent Inn opened in September and though it’s in the same space as the old Dixie Creek Saloon, the new owners have positioned the business as a family-friendly restaurant.

“It was known before as a rough-and-tumble place, and we didn’t want that kind of venue,” said Bill Nix, who helps manage the restaurant for the owner, his fiancée Deb Greiner.

While there’s still a full bar and local microbrews on tap, the emphasis is more on burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and more.

And residents have been hungry to have a local restaurant again. “We were jam-packed on day one,” Nix said.

The Dixie Creek Saloon closed nearly three years ago. Bev Manfredo, finance director for the city of Tangent, said that there wasn’t an eatery in town for at least a year.

“That was really missed,” Manfredo said. “We’re glad they’re here. They add value to living in Tangent. For all of those local employees that forget their lunch like me every once in a while, it’s a place to get a good meal.”

She added that the location has changed for the better, since families can go in and eat dinner together.

Sarah Freitas, Greiner’s daughter and a manager for the Tangent Inn, said there isn’t another restaurant for miles.

So far, the top seller has been the Tangent Burger, a half-pound brisket-and- sirloin mix topped with three pieces of bacon and 4.5 ounces of cheese that melts out over the patty and is fried into a skirt.

“It’s got a real good chew and real good flavor,” Nix said.

The burger also has garlic aioli, and many other menu items feature garlic.

In the coming months, Greiner wants to add more dinner options, including a London broil, roast chicken and pork loin, and she plans to start opening earlier for breakfast, which will give local farmers and old-timers a place to chat over coffee.

The Tangent Inn has regular weekly events, including a taco Tuesday happy hour, Friday and Saturday night karaoke and an acoustic music jam at 2 p.m. every Sunday.

By summer, there will be a stage out back for events as well as horseshoe pits.

Greiner and Nix said they and family members spent nearly four months renovating the space. “When I first looked at it, it was a little bit rough, but we saw it had great bones,” Greiner said.

The building started off as a restaurant and bar back in 1914 before turning into the Dixie Tavern in the 1940s, Nix said.

“We’ve kind of taken it back to its roots,” Nix said. “It was the hub where everybody would come from miles around.”

The Tangent Inn, 32994 Highway 99E, is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, go to the business’ Facebook page or call 541-248-3060.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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