This isn’t one of those places I’ve mused and lamented over never visiting, I’ll admit I’ve been here a few times, maybe even more than that. I know the owners – Les and Wayne. I’ve even seen one of them in a far too small Hooters girl’s outfit, (sorry dude!!!) – it was for a bet and nobody can ever say that guy didn’t see his bets through to payoff! King’s Head is located in an old bank building in the middle of downtown Forest Grove. It’s in the actual old bank! The signage is pretty visible from the street – though there is no large signage there is signage in the window and plenty of parking in the rear and depending on the time of day there is parking on the street.
One of the best things about the King’s Head pub is the fact that despite there being lots of “English” pubs around this is an English Pub. Both of the owners are from the United Kingdom and they bring that English flair and flavor with them. The pace in the pub is just a little more relaxed and the talk is just a little more open and inviting – even by northwest standards than can be found at just about anywhere else around. It’s one of the things that keep me going back to the King’s Head – that and the food, but I’ll get to that later. The first thing you’ll notice when you get there is that the outside door just leads to kind of an inside mall area – I kind of like this, it feels, I dunno, “international” to me. There are barrels with chairs nearby where folks can play chess and watch rugby or football (the rest of the world type football) or American football – if it’s the right season.
There is a dart room where there are leagues that play darts – a very serious and traditional game that should never be taken lightly. This is serious stuff folks! There are also other places to sit “outside” the “main” pub area because I can tall you for sure that I’ve seen the King’s Head extremely full on game days. Which just makes everything all the more better – everyone cheering for the same teams, or even different teams but everyone cheering for their favorite sport is just a fantastic thing!
It’s obvious when you enter this is a place that takes it’s pub name seriously, and it’s sports. There is a long very polished bar that dominates the first room and serves as the centerpiece for conversation and gathering, and at most times one can find at least one of the owners there dutifully serving customers one of their favorite delicious beverages. The bar is extremely well stocked and there are also several United Kingdom favorites on tap – Guinness and Boddingtons come to mind.
The King’s Head – as I mentioned earlier is also a great place to watch sports, there are flags and scarves from all types and sports everywhere there. Just take a look around and I’m sure you’ll find a local team you’ve never heard of.
Being an old national bank built in nineteen hundred seven, it had (and still has!) an enormous vault and vault door – which makes for a great story and prop. The only thing to be careful about is that the vault can get a little stuffy in very hot weather as there is no ventilation in there – it’s airtight!
There is also a second floor above the bar area where folks can sit if the other areas are full – on game days I’ve seen it completely full even up there! One of the other cool things about the second floor is the inclusion of more dart areas – these folks take their darts very seriously – see, I told ya!
To the left of the bar area is a small seating area similar to the second floor that is just an eating area, it’s nice to visit and just relax with some great food that the King’s Head specializes in. This is the front seating area and the closest to the front door that faces south.
The King’s Head has a fantastic menu, with weekly specials and lunch and dinner specialty menu items. The specials change weekly so you’ll need to investigate yourself, but I did get a picture of the specials for the week I was there. One thing I can recommend is that you try absolutely everything – I have yet to find anything that wasn’t absolutely scrumptious, and I’ve been visiting The King’s Head for quite a while. Their starters for example, are amazing, one of my favorites, and one that I feel like I need to order just because it’s tough to find most places is the scotch egg – which is just amazing. You’ll also find English Dip on the menu, which might sound a bit familiar, but don’t be fooled. It’s deliberate. There is also a dinner menu which is only served after 4pm. Those items are extremely good and you should make an opportunity to visit The King’s Head to try the Mac n Cheese and the Bangers & Mash.
I finally got around to ordering and no surprise to myself or K, my work companion, I got the Scotch Egg – just gotta have one if I’m at The King’s Head, you know?? We both ended up ordering the English Dip, though she tried to order it with the normal name which I’ll skip here and was corrected by the owner taking the order – who didn’t understand the initial request – he’s a character and loves giving folks a hard time. Soon the Scotch egg arrived and it was cooked to perfection. I’ve made them at home and they are a somewhat time-consuming process. It’s much easier and enjoyable to just order one here and they make their own stone-ground mustard which is am-ah-za-zing.
Soon after I’d gobbled my scotch egg down my English Dip arrived, I know, it looks like something else, but this (which I’ve never had at The King’s Head before) was superb – the bread was toasted and there was ALOT of meat on it. It was also seriously good – so much so that I wanted to take some home with me, but you know how that goes, I was enjoying it and all of a sudden there was none left. I looked all around and somehow my plate was empty. How odd!!
Overall The King’s Head pub is a fantastic place – it’s a real English Pub, with the conversation, atmosphere, and food that is simply not available very much here in the colonies (as one of the owners calls the states). It deserves five big HeyWillamettes and I strongly urge anyone who is near Forest Grove to take an opportunity to visit The King’s Head pub and say hi to the owners, enjoy the conversation and the fantastic food you’ll find there. I’m certain you’ll find the experience rewarding!