Former Banyans owners set sights on downtown Pullman

Oak on Main, a new restaurant that serves classic Italian food, is scheduled to open later this week on East Main Street in Pullman.

Banyans on the Ridge in Pullman has closed after 11 years, but the owners have embarked on a new restaurant downtown that is expected to open this week.

Oak on Main, located on 337 E. Main St. is described by owner Michael Byrne as a classic Italian restaurant that he and fellow owner Frank Maryott believe will provide customers with a great meal in a casual environment. They expect to open the restaurant Friday.

“We’re doing fast and easy and fresh,” Byrne said. “It’s not fine dining.”

The restaurant, like Banyans, will offer catering services, as well as delivery. The restaurant space will close at 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays and will be leased out for special events like parties, rehearsal dinners and fraternity and sorority events.

Byrne said the menu will include Italian staples like soups, salads, lasagnas, flatbread pizzas and manicottis with sauces made fresh at the restaurant.

“I’ve always wanted to do an Italian restaurant,” Byrne said.

He said they wanted to make food that is suited for delivery. According to Byrne, Chinese and Italian food are the two best meals for delivery because they store well, stay warm and can be reheated easily.

Maryott said they were drawn to the Main Street location because they needed a bigger kitchen space to accommodate their growing catering service. The dining space is large as well and can seat as many as 100 people.

Byrne said they are proud to be part of downtown’s identity.

“We love to be downtown,” he said. “We love to help out the downtown core and make it more vibrant down here. We need some more businesses downtown.”

Byrne and Maryott have been restaurant owners since they bought Pelican Pete’s in Pullman in 1989. They have since owned the former Fireside Grille and Banyans on the Ridge, which was located on the Washington State University’s Palouse Ridge Golf Course. They currently own Banyans on the Green in McCall, Idaho.The owners decided to close Banyans on the Ridge in December because they felt their new lease was too expensive.

But after being on the ridge for more than a decade, Maryott said they are excited to be on Main Street.

“We’ve been in town for so long now that it’s nice to be downtown, finally,” he said.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to

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