By Laura Hanson
This establishment is on the edge of Downtown Eugene next to the University, and it is obvious from their “café by day, bar by night” theme that they intend to attract students. The first thing that you notice when you walk in is the charming rustic decorations in the “café by day” section. Antique plates line the wall, thermoses are repurposed to hold dried cattails, one could even imagine that the 20-foot bench that lines the back corner, with two-person tables scattered along its length, is repurposed barn wood.
When one orders a latte, the expertly-trained barista takes his time at the slate counter and high-tech brass-colored machine; he carefully pours the steamed milk to make a fern design and places a lemon cookie on the saucer from a jar on the counter.
Judging by the sheer variety of customers enjoying coffee and food here at noon on a sunny Monday in Eugene, this establishment has something for everyone. Two businessmen sit removed from the rest of the customers in the middle of the room with cups of coffee, talking and gesturing back and forth about something, though they cannot be heard over the din of the coffee grinder, the jazz music playing over the speakers, and other customer conversations. There is a couple obviously past retirement age, enjoying sandwiches and lemonade at one end of the long bench and two students wrapped up in reading their textbooks, though upon closer examination, one of them is reading a crossword puzzle book. A man sits with a computer, accompanied by a coffee drink probably gone cold, engaged in a heated debate with himself under his breath. Another pair sits on the other end of the bench, colleagues from an office nearby, having lunch and discussing how to best manage their interns.
One can only imagine how lively this establishment would become at night with drink specials and game night. The natural light through the rustic windows would fade, and the repurposed barn lanterns would flicker on overhead. The “night” half of the seating area, dimly lit and reminiscent of an abandoned carnival during the day, would come alive and fill with game enthusiasts in the evening. This week’s game of choice is Settlers of Catan and the beers are $2.
Taken from their website, their tagline represents the sense of a community space that they hope to bring to downtown Eugene: “This is a place where one can work or escape from work, where one can be left with one’s own thoughts or share those thoughts with friends—it is the perfect place to start your day, spend your day, and raise a toast to the end of the day.”