Pride of a city

February 21, 2014

Artist’s memory lives on in his many murals

Oregon-based muralist Larry Kangas was a one-man show with a paintbrush.

He had the innate ability to tell the story of a community with paint, ladders, a large blank wall and an unrivaled imagination.

 By Greg Farrar Larry Kangas puts some finishing touches on ‘The Mill Street Logging Scene,’ a mural of turn-of-the-century Issaquah, painted in 1997 on the wall of the Sunset Alehouse at the Downtown Issaquah Plaza.

By Greg Farrar
Larry Kangas puts some finishing touches on ‘The Mill Street Logging Scene,’ a mural of turn-of-the-century Issaquah, painted in 1997 on the wall of the Sunset Alehouse at the Downtown Issaquah Plaza.

Kangas died of cancer Nov. 25, 2013, but his memory lives on in the more than 1,000 murals he crafted across the Pacific Northwest, a few of which grace Issaquah walls.

“Larry never had any children. He was a great uncle for many kids, but he called his murals his kids, his legacy,” said Sandy Kangas, Larry’s wife.

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Sunset Alehouse brews up a fine menu selection

August 2, 2011

Sunset Alehouse’s The National Champ is an eating challenge featuring nine 1/3-pound patties and nine slices of cheese. File

The last time a group of us dined at the Sunset Alehouse, we didn’t go to enjoy the food so much as endure it.

You see, its menu sports an eating challenge — The National Champ — which features nine 1/3-pound beef patties and nine slices of cheddar cheese between two buns. As delectable as two-thirds of a pound of Nebraska beef per person was, we decided this go-around to give the rest of the wide-ranging menu a sampling.

Opened by the owners of JaK’s Grill across the street, they’d like you to think of Sunset Alehouse as a more casual version of the steakhouse.

Bar food this is not.

The menu has a wide selection of appetizers, soups and salads, burgers and hot sandwiches, and specialty items.

From the hot sandwiches section, we ordered the Italian chicken sandwich. Sunset takes the best of an Italian meal — grilled chicken breast, mozzarella, tomato, pesto mayo and a balsamic reduction — and puts it all into one convenient bite between a toasted baguette.

It’s always refreshing when a sandwich holds up to that many ingredients, as the baguette held its crunch from first bite to last.

While the sandwich came with fries this time, it’s nice to have a selection of alternatives, including spicy Baja slaw, Italian pasta salad, or chips and salsa.

In the mood for a good hot dog, I spotted on the menu the Baja Dog, a.k.a. The Uncle Geno.

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Issaquah eateries dish up more, more, more in oversized offerings

July 2, 2011

Sunset Alehouse's The National Champ

Some meals must be confronted, in a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns style, rather than eaten.

Consider the proof: Issaquah eateries peddling a pizza as broad as a manhole cover, potatoes heaped as high as the Rockies and a gooey ice cream sundae as large as a bathtub.

Turns out that the fabled XXX Burger is not alone among belly-busting options in Issaquah. The city boasts behemoth burgers, sure, but other options abound, beyond beefy and french fried delights. Establishments revel in menu items meant to satisfy oversized appetites — and egos.

Come, gluttons and gluttons for punishment, on a grease-stained and sauce-spattered odyssey through portions the next size up from ample.

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Fundraiser is rockin’ and rollin’ for barber’s colon

April 26, 2011

Mark Ashbaugh has cut, trimmed, curled, straightened and styled hair in Issaquah for almost two decades.

Mark Ashbaugh chats with client Allison Smith during her hair-styling appointment. Several businesses and friends are hosting a benefit for Ashbaugh, who just had two surgeries on his colon. By Laura Geggel

After two surgeries in the hospital, his family and friends are asking the community to give back by helping him at a benefit called Rockin’ and Rollin’ for Mark’s Colon.

Since they started the Front Street Salon in 2000, Ashbaugh and his business partner Danielle Abker have amassed more than 600 clients.

Customers call his humor “edgy” and “very funny.”

“People who know him love him,” friend and customer Clinton Fink said. “There will be a family of four and they’ll all be waiting to get their hair cut.”

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