Welcome to The Granary: Pizzeria-Nightclub-Jazz Bar-Cocktail Bar-Poetry Forum-beloved Dead Head hang out; well, at least it is on their Grateful Dead Live Tuesday night venues, and wine bar. I had heard that the owners of The Granary kept the feel of the old Jo Fed’s by continuing their live music venues, but I truly had no idea what a night out for pizza would evolve into.
A friend of mine and I originally headed to The Granary for a good old-fashioned pizza, but when we were immediately greeted by stocked shelves of local and international wines and a sign that read, “Welcome, Please Seat Yourself in the Wine Bar”, we were surprisingly sent off course and directly into a cozy, candle lit wine bar with bistro tables lined along windows that stretched from floor to ceiling with front row viewing of the happenings on 5th Street. The granite rectangular shaped bar was lined with leather cushioned bar stools, and beautiful glass blown pendant lights hung from the exposed duct, high ceilings.
Their wine list was far from limited, and included an impressive selection of boutique wines from Oregon, a few wines from California, and an extensive selection of wines from Italy. Although we could have been adventurous and ordered something we weren’t real familiar with, like an Italian Dolcetto/Nebbiolo/Barbera blend, we instead decided to keep it local, and pick out a bottle of Pinot Noir from their list of 10 different Pinot’s, all from Oregon with the exception of one California Pinot. Being that I’m a huge fan of Pinot Noir’s from the Willamette Valley, we chose the 2008 Penner-Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. While waiting for the cork of our Pinot to be popped, we glanced over the two sided menu. One side was entirely dedicated to pizza, and just a few of the appealing topping choices were egg plant, blue cheese, and asparagus, even dates were an option. The other side of the menu had an alluring selection of appetizers, salads, and pasta dishes.
After we spotted the Baked Artichoke Stuffed with Italian Herbed Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic & Parmesan served with Garlic Crostini and the Calamari-Wine Herb Marinade, Crispy Fried with Lemon Herb Aioli our craving for pizza was no longer what needed to be satiated. Alternatively to pizza, we ordered these two appetizer’s for starters and an adult style Mac and Cheese of Orchette Pasta with Sharp Tillamook Cheddar and Parmesan for an entrée to share.
The cork was popped on our wine, and the waitress filled our Riedel Vinum XL Oregon Pinot Noir glasses with the highly acclaimed, garnet colored Penner-Ash Pinot. For all you wine snobs out there, I know the words that just caught your eyes (aside from Penner-Ash): “Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glasses”. Yes, the Granary Pizza Co. serves your wine in what I consider to be the ultimate of the ultimate stemware.
Riedel’s crystal lead Vinum XL Oregon Pinot Noir glass was created during several workshops with famous Oregon wine growers and producers. The tulip shaped glass showcases the luscious Pacific Northwest fruit forward juice we’re so well known for, all while minimizing and balancing the acidity and toning down the alcohol which creates the perfect flow from glass to lips, with every sip. George Riedel claims that this glass is the “Perfect Oregon Pinot Noir dream glass”. I was clearly impressed to be sipping an outstanding Oregon wine in a glass that was made specifically for that wine.
While we thoroughly enjoyed noshing our baked, stuffed artichoke and crispy, yet tender calamari, we learned that the Granary is co-owned by the owner of the neighboring Lucky Noodle Café and west Eugene’s Ring of Fire restaurant. The name Granary came from the historical building that the restaurant is housed in, which was once a Silo. The restaurant and wine bar are upstairs, and the nightclub, cocktail bar, and stage are downstairs. There are themed rooms within the Granary Pizza Co., like the Asian inspired Tatami Room; where you must remove your shoes before entering and sit on cushions that are placed around a sunken dining area.
There’s also a very private alcove with a long booth and high ceilings- appropriately named, ‘The Silo’. There are some bar stools along a railing with an eating bar that lurks over the edge to the stage below, where live music and performances reign seven nights a week. Every Sunday, enjoy a free show by the Green Mountain Blue Grass Band. Mondays are Jazz and Poetry night, and the Grateful Dead plays live-on the big screen, of course, every Tuesday for the Granary’s Grateful Tuesday. If you’re in the mood for a mellow dinner set, Wednesday’s your night with a singer/songwriter theme, but Thursdays are saved for the big bands and big sound. On Fridays and Saturdays, two sets are played each night by local, well-known musicians, and every other Friday, local reggae talents take over the stage.
After we devoured the appetizers and the deliciously creamy adult- style Mac and Cheese, we headed downstairs to finish off our bottle of Penner-Ash Pinot Noir from our specially made Oregon Pinot Noir glasses, and watched the Grateful Dead play live, on the big screen.
So, when you decide to head over to the Granary, whether it’s for a pizza or to pitch some poetry, or maybe to reminisce about your first Grateful Dead show at Autzen, “please seat yourself in the wine bar”, order a glass of wine, swirl it, sip it and savor it. You’ll be glad you did. Cheers.
The Granary Pizza Co. is on Facebook
259 E. 5thStreet – Eugene
Julia – Writing About Eugene’s Wine Scene