• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Biz Beat

May 21, 2015

Falafel of Eugene is planning to join Wrap City at Kesey Square, says Kim Still of Saturday Market. Saturday Market contracts with the city to administer the food cart program at Kesey Square and on the Park Blocks. “We are actively seeking a couple more carts to add back in to the plaza food pod,” Still says. “Unfortunately we are not able to permit food trucks in that area, just carts.” Contact the market office at 686-8885, ext. 102.

May 14, 2015

We’re hearing some grumbles about the Glenwood Refinement Project and some residents and businesses that might be affected or even displaced. One drawing of the new Franklin Boulevard Project through Glenwood shows four roundabouts within 1 mile, requiring widening in several places that would take out entire buildings and business frontage. The new Planned Parenthood building could lose part of its setback from the street.

April 30, 2015

We hear The Barn Light is looking at opening a new pub and restaurant down on lower 8th Avenue in the bottom floor of the new Northwest Community Credit Union. Sam Bond’s Garage opened Sam Bond’s Brewing across the street last year. That area near the U.S. Courthouse has a lot of potential with The Hub student housing nearby nearly completed and redevelopment coming for the EWEB riverfront property across the tracks.

April 23, 2015

The pending sale of the Tsunami Books building at 2585 Willamette was announced in this column last fall, and it looks like the deal will finally close later this month. Owner Scott Landfield tells us “We will get at least two more years at this location, likely at a considerable increase in rent.” To help cover the rent boost and improvements to the bookstore and events venue, Landfield has launched a 50-day Indigogo crowdfunding campaign. Links can be found at the Tsunami Facebook page. 

April 16, 2015

KEPW Eugene Home Grown Community Radio is holding weekly meetings at 6 pm Thursdays at the Growers Market upstairs, 454 Willamette St. The group has raised about $2,500 of the $10,000-plus needed to get the low-power radio station up and running by late summer. Organizers plan to broadcast local musicians and bands, variety shows, progressive call-in talk shows, environmental news, labor news and more. See enfn.org/~eugpeace or look for KEPW on Facebook. 

April 9, 2015

Whole Foods is preparing to begin construction in April for its new store downtown that will take up one full block near The Shedd Institute at 8th and Broadway. Two buildings on the site will come down and the new store of about 38,000 square feet is expected to open in March 2016. This project has been relatively uncontroversial. Whole Foods made headlines in 2006 when the company proposed a 50,000-square-foot building in the same area, but required city subsidies of $8 million for a 500-car adjacent parking garage to be shared with the city.

March 26, 2015

We hear Cousin Jack’s Pasty Co. was invited to provide meat pie food props for the Eugene Opera production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. “To [General Director] Mark Beudert and the cast and crew of the Eugene Opera, I say bravo for a fantastic performance and a big thank you for allowing us to participate,” says David Clark, who owns the local business with his wife, Kim Clark. “Like the arts, our small business is constantly pressured with ever increasing costs.

March 12, 2015

We hear changes are afoot at BRING Recycling as Executive Director Julie Daniel and Director of Communications and Development Sonja Snyder are both planning to retire in May. Ephraim Payne recently took over as director of outreach and communications when Shirley Perez West left. Daniel has been with BRING for 19 years and is credited with spearheading the $3.2 million capital campaign that created the new Planet Improvement Center in Glenwood. She also launched the RE:think Business program and the annual Home and Garden Tour.

March 5, 2015

Might be too late to reserve a seat, but we see the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a “Chamber 101” lunch at noon Thursday, March 5, in the Chamber’s conference room on Willamette Street. Pre-registration (free) is required and it appears the presentation is geared to new members. Everything is political in Eugene, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the participants raise political issues, such as why the U.S. Chamber has actively campaigned against reducing carbon pollution. 

February 19, 2015

Cybersecurity is a quickly growing field and we see the Oregon State University College of Engineering has collaborated with Intel Security to offer a course at OSU called “Defense Against the Dark Art.” The class of 45 students filled up almost immediately after it was announced. The class will be videotaped and there are plans to make it available in the future to other universities.

February 12, 2015

Big turnout for the Womenspace fifth annual “End the Silence” community breakfast Feb. 4. An estimated 320 to 350 people, including many local dignitaries and business owners, showed up on a cold, dark, wet morning for the 7 am free buffet at Valley River Inn. A “survivor panel” of women told their personal stories about intimate partner violence and how Womenspace services helped and continues to help them through the challenges.

February 5, 2015

Tiny Tavern at 394 Blair Blvd. in the Whit has reopened under new management after being shut down by the Lane County Health Department Dec. 5. The self-described dive bar, restaurant and live music venue had a Superbowl party Sunday, and we’re hearing good things about the new, improved and more sanitary Tiny’s. It was missed while it was closed. See our Letters this week. 

January 29, 2015

Bloxi is a new Eugene-based web business startup that appears to be quickly growing an international audience. “Bloxi is a quiz site where anyone can create, take or share quizzes,” says Bailey Koharchick, director of marketing. Find it on bloxi.com or call the company at 505-8044.

January 22, 2015

If you go online to search for Prudential Real Estate in Lane County you will automatically be rerouted to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Billionaire Warren Buffet recently bought Prudential and associated businesses for an undisclosed amount and brought them under his Berkshire brand. Buffett’s purchase is considered to be another indication that the housing sector of the economy is recovering.

January 15, 2015

The Ducks might have lost some feathers in Dallas this week, but we hear local pizza and other take-out businesses had one of their busiest sales times ever in the hours leading up to the national championship game. One pizza maker we talked to said he was swamped starting at 10 am Monday filling orders for home game-watching parties. As it turns out, comfort food was badly needed, particularly in the second half of the game.

January 8, 2015

We hear the dramatically lower gas prices are good for local businesses. Transportation costs are down for everything that travels by car or truck, which improves profits now and maybe customers will benefit later. Car sales are up and more people are traveling. The downsides don’t get much attention. High fuel prices helped alternative transportation enterprises grow and kept our focus on locally produced goods. Will we see bike businesses and local farmers take a hit, and less support for cycling and pedestrians? We expect urgent care and ER rooms to get more business.

December 31, 2014

We understand why private investors are motivated to build student-housing complexes. College enrollment is predicted to grow and the projects pencil out as profitable even if they are not filled to capacity, particularly if tax breaks are involved. Once built and operating, they can be sold to other big-time investors to cover costs and pocket a few million bucks. But what we don’t understand is why they are designed to accommodate only single students for the life of the building, say 40 to 50 years.

December 24, 2014

Where would Jesus eat? Many local restaurants will be closed Christmas Day. Among the businesses that will be open is Agate Alley Bistro & Bar at 1461 E. 19th Ave., but only from 5 to 10 pm so the staff can have Christmas morning off. If you are planning on dining out anywhere Christmas Day, we recommend calling ahead and leaving big tips. Going to the coast? We once showed up late and ravenous for a Christmas buffet at a fancy hotel near Depot Bay and found only scraps of salmon and halibut, but plenty of mystery meat, soggy broccoli and cold potatoes.

December 18, 2014

Alice Doyle of Log House Plants in Cottage Grove has been working for the past five years with Dutch and American horticultural researchers to refine and market a “Ketchup ’n’ Fries” grafted plant that grows potatoes underground and tomatoes above ground. Potatoes and tomatoes are related, and the first such graft was recorded in the early 1900s by Luther Burbank. The local Territorial Seed Company will have a national exclusive to sell mail-order plants and “I’m sure they‘ll see quite a bit of action,” Doyle says.

December 11, 2014

Tiny Tavern in the Whiteaker was shut down by Lane County health inspectors Dec. 5 for health code violations, according to the Eugene Brewery District website. The bar at 394 Blair Blvd. scored 67 points out of 100 and “according to regulations, any score of 70 or less will require the business to close its doors until corrections and a re-inspection can be made,” says the website. Jeff Malos owns the building and is rumored to be looking to sell it. Back in our Sept. 25 Biz Beat, we wrote about the bar closing when manager Jeff Peck left to open Old Nick’s Pub.

November 26, 2014

The Dexter Lake Club closed Nov. 17 and the land and building are for sale for $279,000, according to the nightclub and café’s Facebook page and website. The club was featured in Animal House in 1977 and has been in operation along Highway 58 since 1949. The business has changed hands nearly a dozen times, most recently in 2011 when Greg and Shannon Stewart took over the roadhouse from Michael McCann. Hundreds of local musicians have performed there over the years.

November 20, 2014

Tsunami Books on south Willamette was given notice earlier this fall that the building was going on the market and the longtime independent book store and performance venue would likely need to find a new home (see Biz Beat, 9/25). But we heard from store owner Scott Landfield that the building is now in the process of being sold to someone who supports the store staying put for at least a couple of years.

November 13, 2014

Congrats to NextStep Recycling founder Lorraine Kerwood McKenzie who was given the Toyota Standing O-Vation, a recognition of extraordinary people in communities around the country, during Oprah Winfrey’s “The Life You Want Weekend” in Seattle Nov. 8. The award was given by Winfrey and Paralympic bronze medalist snowboarder Amy Purdy.

November 6, 2014

A Whiteaker neighborhood building and land at 252 Lawrence St., across the street from Crux Rock Climbing Gym, has been sold to Rick Wright, the CEO of Market of Choice, to become an events center, and we heard from one small business being evicted, Bohemia Café & Apothecary. Co-owner Felicia Parra-Colden tells us the eviction was given with short notice, but she was able to negotiate more time to relocate.