jefferson street grill?

What happened to the Jefferson St. Grill on Jefferson and W. 19th, and even more importantly, what will happen with the space? It just opened last year and friends say it’s now closed. We have eaten there a couple of times, and although it’s unquestionably nicer than Jake’s Place, which preceded it, there was something dissonant about a moderately upscale restaurant (e.g., prime rib, full bar) next to a convenience store. Or maybe it was the big OREGON LOTTERY sign on the restaurant marquee.

I’m going to cross my fingers that a neighborhood restaurant will open up that has more of a neighborhood feel — a lower-priced menu, more casual food (but not pub food, or wraps-n-sprouts in them, since we have way more than we need of those types of restaurants). It always felt too formal for us to eat there mid-week, on a budget, and yet too casual to go there when we wanted to splurge. It just didn’t fit the space. I guess others agreed.

Why not a sweet little bistro along the lines of The Vintage? Or even a café that serves soups and sandwiches? It’s too far away from downtown to be a bar of any weight or traffic, but it’s a busy and central enough location for folks commuting from work downtown or from the university to grab a bite.

4 thoughts on “jefferson street grill?

  1. Molly 28 March 2008 / 2:15 pm

    It’s gone? I didn’t even notice. I desperately wish we’d get a cozy little pub-type thing, like you say, casual and reasonably priced. Kind of like a McMenamins, but not. Maybe like Chanterelle’s bar with more food. Even Max’s with a menu would make me totally ecstatic.

    (I live a few blocks away and frequently sulk about the lack of out-of-the-house pint-of-beer options nearby. Also, I followed a link from … somewhere? Michelle’s blog, I think — to get here, just, y’know, if you’re curious…)

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  2. Eugenia 28 March 2008 / 3:16 pm

    We’re neighbors! Welcome! I know exactly what you mean when you say “like McMenamins, but not.” My guess is that it’s probably a lot harder to get cozy pub right than it seems, but jeez. We’ve all been to great cozy pubs with really good, casual food. WHY can’t that happen in Eugene?

    We go to Cornucopia pretty frequently, but the food just isn’t that good. Some menu items are better than others, but they need a creative chef.

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  3. Molly 30 March 2008 / 11:10 am

    Hello, neighbor! You’re probably right about the difficulty of the Cozy Pub. I keep thinking of an Irish restaurant and bar I used to live upstairs from in New York, and how I just want THAT, but here. Concrete floors, worn-in chairs, a gorgeous little back garden, dim lighting, amazing scones and imperial pints. It’s probably impossible, though.

    When I want to go somewhere relatively nearby, I tend to Bel Ami, though financially it’s not realistic for me to go there that often. But at least I can justify it to myself though the “But Morgenthaler makes the best drinks in town, so it’s worth it!” argument… provided I can resist ordering the damn fried feta.

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  4. Eugenia 3 April 2008 / 9:36 am

    The Irish pub sounds fab. The problem with Bel Ami is the price, as you note. But Morgenthaler does make some mighty fine drinks. I’ve been meaning to go down there again for some time now, but I’ve been incredibly anti-social this entire winter. Spring will draw us out, I’m sure!

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