Gracie’s Sea Hag opened in 1963 and promotes itself as having the finest and freshest sea fare on the Oregon coast. Gracie Strom and her husband Dic started the place but he died a few years after it opened. From the reviews I read, she sounded like quite a character – playing the bottles behind the bar to create tunes and greeting all guests like they were long time friends. Sadly in 2006 she sold the place and I’m not sure it has the same fun vibe, however that is hard to judge in this time of Corona virus. It is a large place with large tables, booths on one side of the room and tables on the other. The booths were all separated by panels of stained glass windows of sea life above the stuffed benches and got extra lighting via a hanging stained glass light fixture. The bare wood tables on the other side are set with unstuffed wood chairs. The floor is a mix of carpet and tile, the ceiling is of wood with exposed duct work running down the middle of the long room. A counter at the front of the room had menus, souvenirs and a person who greets you and takes you to a table. The other end of the room is a service area that leads into the kitchen.
We needed a late afternoon snack and they were open late so we stopped in. Service was friendly, servers wore masks and signs on the tables indicated which ones had been sanitized. There were 2 stands of shirts and other memorabilia. We tried the Sea Hag famous Clam Chowder which according to the menu was voted #1 on the Oregon Coast with Willamette Weekly and written up in the New York Times Cookbook. It is made daily from scratch and served with a dollop of fresh butter, parsley and paprika. You can have it in a warmed bread bowl for an extra $5 and/or add Garlic Bread, 2 pieces, for $3. The chowder was very thick but did have a pat of butter floating below the surface that you could see when you stirred it. The bowl came with 2 packages of small oyster crackers. It was fairly well seasoned but did not have a strong clam flavor. Chunks of potato were more evident than clams and toward the bottom of the bowl we both found clods of flour that had not been mixed in well. The crackers added a nice crunch to the otherwise soft chowder.
We had the garlic bread which was nicely toasted and buttery but not strongly flavored with garlic. It was a good mix with the chowder but the crackers were better because of the texture.
They offered a couple locally made draft beers and we got that to go with the soup. It was perfectly cold and tasty.