Hrm. We eat at Mac’s at the Vet’s (as unpalatable as the apostrophes are*) not infrequently. Untenured professors (and a few hoity-toity elite tenured types) like to gather there because it’s a strange and unique Eugene institution: part small-town male social club watering hole with period decor, part fancy menu, part live music, part lottery machines in the back. The food is OK, but oddly (but not for Eugene, sigh) too “upscale” and pricey for the venue. But it’s quirky enough to be enjoyable, and there’s a great Wednesday burger and brew special.
Note to Chef Bill McCallum, though, before we proceed: the jo-jo potato things that you serve as french fries…please, man, for the love of god, cease and desist. Give us an honest french fry. Those things are almost inedible.
OK, sorry, off track here. As I was saying, we eat at Mac’s at the Vet’s not infrequently, so we know it’s not that bad, and certainly better than Jake’s Place, which was Chef Bill’s previous venue. Jake’s Place, a schizophrenic restaurant with a vaguely Hawaiin motif and a fancy menu, was sold and turned into Jefferson Street Grill, a place for which we had great hopes because it is in our neighborhood and the perfect venue for a neighborhood pub with light, fresh, creative food. Alas, it was not to be. They tried the more formal restaurant with a similar, inappropriate menu featuring dinosaurs like prime rib and low lighting, and it failed quickly.
I was excited to see the new sign — Billy Mac’s Bar and Grill opening in June! Then I figured out that the place was going back to its OLD vision of Jake’s Place with the same chef. I don’t have anything AGAINST Chef Bill, but for Chrissake, Eugene, give us some new blood! I’m frustrated to think that nothing’s going to change with this little place that holds so much promise.
So. Do I speak for other Eugeniuses when I say WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER BAR AND GRILL? I hope I do. Let the people speak!
Edited to add: OK, OK, one person (my husband) spoke, and he said that I haven’t even tried the place yet, so I should wait to release the hounds. Yeah, good point. So I amend my rant thusly: CHEF BILL, PLEASE SURPRISE US WITH THE BEST BAR AND GRILL IN EUGENE WITH A COMPLETELY NEW VISION!
* Mac’s is OK, as it is short for McCallum’s, I assume. Vet’s is not so kosher, as it is housed in the Veterans’ Club, not the singular, only veteran in Eugene’s establishment.