Now Serving Hard Work & Good Food

The newest—and only—restaurant in Wasco dishes up lunch and dinner

Story and photos by Drew Myron

Kory Geddes serves cold beer, hot steak and a warm smile at The Dirty Cowgirl Saloon in Wasco. Photo by Drew Myron

Who’s your dirty cowgirl?

In Wasco, it’s Kory Geddes, the entrepreneur serving cold beer, hot steak and a warm smile.

Dishing up hard work and good food, Kory opened The Dirty Cowgirl Saloon last summer. She thrives on challenge. Her newest endeavor—turning a well-loved but worn-out bar into a family-friendly restaurant—is already a winner.

Here, dirty cowgirls are go-getters, and getting dirty is a source of pride.

“It’s a game to see how dirty you can get by the end of the day,” says Kory, a down-to-earth cowgirl who is equally comfortable on horse or backhoe, running a carriage or a kitchen. “The dirtier you are, the harder you worked. A dirty cowgirl’s day doesn’t end till she is out of daylight or fuel.”

Open for lunch and dinner, The Dirty Cowgirl—or DC, as frequent customers have dubbed it—is a beacon for burgers, steaks and hearty staples in a small town hungry for a place to eat.

The DC was originally a food truck in Goldendale, Washington.

“I moved to Goldendale and couldn’t find anything to eat, so I started the food cart,” Kory says.

Cook Kristen Hardesty prepares meat for Taco Tuesday.

The project was such a hit, she expanded into a full-scale brick-and mortar restaurant. Soon, the town was seeing more restaurant success. Having done her part to kickstart dining options, she looked for the next challenge.

In 2022, she relocated to Wasco’s downtown strip, setting up in what had been the Lean-To Cafe and Goose Pit Saloon, a beloved bar in business for 36 years.

While Kory handles the restaurant service and operations, the behind-the scenes business work is handled by her best friend and business partner, Celeste Jackson.

Along with a handful of friends and family, Kory and Celeste completely restored the restaurant interior. The overhaul included fresh paint, new flooring, new booths and seating, and refinishing the bar to a high-gloss sheen.

Kory knocked out walls to add a pool room and created a large outdoor beer garden that offfers horseshoes, cornhole and additional seating.

Inside, the restaurant is a mix of whimsy and workaday. Saddles hang from the ceiling like chandeliers. Drill bits hold paper towels in place. Cowhides line every booth, and an entire wall is a collage of photos in honor of local cowgirl culture.

Though the DC has been open less than a year, some house favorites are already clear. Steaks are served nightly, by popular demand.

“These farm boys like their steak,” Kory says. “The ribeyes are popular.”

Barbecue brisket and pulled pork are favorites as well.

Steaks are an always-popular menu item.

“I love to see the ladies here with their mimosa on Saturdays and Sundays,” Kory says. “We’re seeing new crowds, children and women.”

Grass Valley resident Shandie Johnson says the restaurant is an amazing addition to the area.

“My favorite meal is the chicken fried steak with the bloody mary,” she says. “It’s so good.”

Shandie competed in the Mongol Derby with Amy McNamee last summer

The women’s photos are featured on the wall, serving as a model of an honest, hardworking way of life.

Shandie’s outlook resonates in this community of farmers and ranchers.

Andy Silcox eats at the DC at least once a week. A wheat farmer, he appreciates the good food, Western atmosphere and family-friendly setting.

“It’s a place the good folks of this county can congregate and socialize,” he says. “We’ve been lacking a certain spot for a few years now, ever since the old bar closed. A lot of us were afraid it was never gonna come back, with the whole shrinking of rural America and all. But Kory and Celeste squashed all those fears.

“It has a warm and inviting atmosphere with the look of an Old West saloon. It’s also got that ‘Cheers’ feel. Every time you go in there you see familiar smiling faces. And, yes, everyone knows your name.”

Kory Geddes is the face behind The Dirty Cowgirl Saloon in Wasco. The restaurant celebrates cowgirl culture with decor that features saddles, chaps, ropes and more.

At 50, Kory has decades of business experience. Born in Portland, Kory grew up in Troutdale and spent 20 years in Welches, lived briefly in Colorado and moved to Washington before opening the restaurant in Wasco. She has owned a delicatessen, run an excavation business, headed a mortgage company, started a horse-drawn carriage enterprise and operated a vacation rental business.

10 years ago, Kory was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer was detected early and successfully treated, but the experience propelled life changes.

“The diagnosis was a catalyst for change,” she says. “I realized life could be more.”

In 2016, Kory divorced her husband of 20 years and was suddenly single with a teenage son.

“I have no trust fund, no alimony,” she says. I have to hustle.”

An enterprising problem solver, Kory is energized with activity.

“I like a project going on all the time,” she says. “This place is my therapy. The town has been great about embracing me. I feel like I’m making a difference, having an impact. We’ve created something this town really needed.”

The Dirty Cowgirl Saloon is at 1214 Clark Street, Wasco. For more information, visit The Dirty Cowgirl Saloon on Facebook The restaurant does not have a phone line. Staff corresponds through Facebook Messenger.