FOOD, FOOTBALL … OR BOTH
NEW DOWNTOWN BAR CATERS TO CUSTOMERS
Story by Vanessa Salvia • Photo by Todd Cooper
For the past eight years, customers have appreciated Tom Kamis behind the bar at Café Soriah, one of Eugene's finer dining and cocktail spots. Now Kamis is looking to spread some of that rosy glow to The Davis, a new downtown Eugene establishment opening in early April.
|(Right to left) Daryl Anderson, Ibrahim Hamide, Jeff Desler, Kurt Kuehnast, Tom Kamis (kneeling)
Located in the refurbished Quan's at 94 West Broadway, The Davis will incorporate amenities customers have told him they desire in a nightspot. "I really just like to have everybody feel comfortable," Kamis says. "I'm trying to create a space that has almost a lounge feel, a lot of low banquettes and nooks and little areas where you can crawl away to, but I'll keep it open as well so that you can do the people-watching that people love to do at bars."
Remodeling plans include an open main area with banquette seating and a side room for televisions and couches. "If people want to come down and watch a game, it'll be in the side room where the sound will be on and it won't really filter into the other rooms," he says.
Kamis long dreamed of having his own establishment but didn't come up with plans until about three years ago. "I thought really super seriously about it and then started looking for the opportunity to do it," he said. He investigated two other locations before finalizing this one, mainly because he sought a quality restaurant space that was already up to code.
Naming the bar was easy. Kamis and a friend named John Davis, who passed away a few years ago, imagined their own version of the ideal bar, called The John Davis. "We just didn't come up with a better name, so we decided to call this The Davis," he says. The name doesn't lend itself to any particular type of food or atmosphere, which Kamis appreciates.
The Davis' menu veers toward eclectic Northwest, with a twist: The entire menu will be appetizers — and the entire menu will be entrées. Want a snack with drinks before heading home to dinner? Order the appetizer portion of any item. Want a substantial meal? Choose the entrée size and receive the same item as a dinner plate with harmonizing sides.
With Kamis' connections, bank on The Davis boasting good service. He will manage the front of the house while business partner Daryl Anderson will head a talented kitchen crew. "The people I have … are super professional people that I've known for a long time, that I know can make people feel at home," Kamis says. "The guys that I have working in the kitchen have years and years of experience working in restaurants and different styles of cooking. I want them to run with their ideas and make the best food they know how."
Though he's leaving Soriah, Kamis has the blessing of Soriah owner Ibrahim Hamide. "Ib is a part of this," says Kamis. "He's my mentor in a lot of ways. I love the way he treats people and the way he runs his restaurant and how generous he is with time and energy and everything." While Hamide isn't providing any funding for The Davis, he did assist Kamis in securing a Downtown Revitalization Loan. Kamis also whispers about the possibility that he and Hamide might open another establishment together someday.
Meanwhile, we've got The Davis to elevate Eugene's downtown offerings. "If you're a foodie and a drink lover, you can come here and have that," says Kamis. "And if you just want to hang out with friends and watch a football game, you can do that too."