tableFIVE 08 brings the culinary talents of executive chef Jason Freeburg to Salem for the best in global dining. The Chef is a graduate of New York’s CIA (Culinary Institute of America), the world’s premiere culinary school, and is excited to share his expertise with the Salem community. The team also receives additional support from local celebrity bartender Rob “Rob the Bartender” Melton, who has complete creative control over the bar and lounge.
The restaurant prides itself on creating food that satisfies the palates of those who enjoy fresh, local food with dynamic flavor. The menu features a variety of vegetables, fruit and proteins, while also offering vegetarian and gluten-free options.
The restaurant has a colorful “Rustic Industrial” décor of gold and chili pepper red. The lounge provides comfortable seating at tables or along the bar, where Rob will certainly keep everyone entertained while they munch on small “bar bites.” With a large selection of local liquors, beer, and over 100 wines and champagnes, tableFive 08 has something for everyone.
Our smooth service allows business diners to be served quickly and get back to work, while those who wish for a more leisurely meal will not be rushed. Whether you want to have a special dinner out, grab a quick drink with a colleague after work, or stop in before or after a show at the theater, tableFIVE 08 invites you to experience us.
Brothers Jason and Steven Freeburg grew up knowing the value of hard work. The Freeburg Hospitality Group owns and operates a number of franchise hotels and restaurants in Oregon. While Jason pursued a career as a chef, attending the prestigious premiere culinary school, New York’s CIA (Culinary Institute of America), and cooking around the country, Steven graduated from Willamette University with a degree in business and economics. They work closely together in the family business, and learned much from their late father, who taught them to “take care of things” within the business. They have always hoped to create something different in Salem, and sought to build a restaurant.
When the corner property at State and High Streets in downtown Salem became available, they knew they had found the perfect location and quickly moved to acquire the space for tableFIVE 08. The brothers continued to build their team by adding bartender Rob Melton, along with expert servers to create a cohesive team with northwest style and attitude.
tableFIVE 08 opened in July 2014 and is named for the warmth and comfort brought by gathering around the “table” and “508” for its address–508 State Street.
CHEF JASON FREEBURG
Executive Chef Jason Freeburg has a passion for bold, global flavors, and hopes to bring them to Salem using local ingredients.
Freeburg’s experience with the food service industry started when he worked as a dishwasher at 14 years old. From there he began to work his way through a number of restaurant and food service jobs, gaining valuable experience that would later benefit him in his future career; his fascination with the hospitality industry continued. In Salem he worked at both the popular Chelsea’s in south Salem and later helped open and operate the Lancaster location. After earning his Associates of Science from Chemeketa Community College, he was accepted into the prestigious world’s premiere culinary school, New York’s CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, where he graduated in 1984 as a classically trained French chef. He then served as an apprentice at Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami, and later moved to Dallas, which led Freeburg to learn to cook for the Texan palate as well. To improve his culinary ability, Freeburg spent a long period of time doing “research and development” in Europe, finding interesting and unique flavors amid both the movement of big cities and the stillness of small country towns. Freeburg more recently moved to Salem, where his parents live, and became a chef at the Salem Golf Club. His family, the Freeburg Hospitality Group, owns franchise restaurants and hotels in the area, where he joined and worked with his father, the late Paul Freeburg, and brother Steven.
Wanting people to experience “his” food, Freeburg spent a number of years searching for the right location for the Salem restaurant–when the La Capitale location became available, he and Steven knew it would be the perfect spot.
Chef Freeburg said tableFIVE 08 will focus on vegetables, fruits and proteins with very little fried food, dairy and eggs (except in desserts).
“You can find a lot of the same food everywhere,” says Freeburg, “the difference being with us, you get the flavors.”
Freeburg will change the menu seasonally to adjust the recipes to the seasonal foods, and moods, that are available to him.
“I just want people to be happy with my food,” Freeburg said. “I want them to look forward to coming back to tableFIVE 08 to see what is new. We want to be an integral part of the Salem downtown scene.”
ROB “THE BARTENDER” MELTON
Rob Melton, also known locally as “Rob the Bartender,” has lived in Salem more than 40 years, and tended bars for almost 30. His years of bartending experience have built quite a following in the region. When tableFIVE 08 was being remodeled, the Freeburg Hospitality Group gave Rob full creative control over the lounge and bar.
Melton says “it’s a phenomenal opportunity…the lounge and bar are beautiful…this is the big time.”
Rob holds a degree in behavioral science from George Fox University. At first bartending was a way to pay for college, but it developed into much more. He found a passion for creating signature drinks and used his love of learning to become an expert. When working at the Night Deposit, Melton sampled more than 400 bottles of liquor, and made notes on their flavors. He committed to study each liquor and its complements, “I ended up with four volumes and 1,000 pages of notes,” says Rob, who is looking forward to designing new creations for the restaurant. “At tableFIVE 08 we will use local liquors and infuse them with fresh herbs, spices and produce.” Right now, along with the favorites, he’s thinking: Tiki Tuesdays, giant bowl drinks for two, infused cocktails . . . fun drinks (nothing stuffy or pretentious).