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March 13, 2014 12:00 AM

I survive mainly on kombucha, coffee and hard liquor. Mixing coffee with whiskey is kind of a no-brainer. I’m perky and buzzed — what could go wrong? Kombucha, in large doses, has a similar effect on me. Given my predilection for caffeine and adult beverages, kombucha cocktails strike me as pure genius. 

March 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Donie Smith started working at the Horsehead Bar about a year ago, but that was enough time to garner her a “sexiest bartender” win. A Cottage Grove native, Smith says she was a bit surprised to hear she had won. She shouldn’t be, because voters raved about her “perfect smile,” “great personality” and “sweet-ass tats.” 

March 13, 2014 12:00 AM

The people behind popular Eugene restaurant Party Downtown, located at 55 W. Broadway, apply a “make-it-in-house” ethic to everything they do, from curing meats to baking bread. Bartender James West is particularly passionate about house-made liqueurs — distilled spirits infused with the flavors of fruit, berries, herbs or even flowers. 

March 12, 2014 11:08 PM

Ben Lundberg, 33, was born and raised in Eugene and has been tending bar at the Starlight Lounge for more than four years. In his spare time, he’s a photographer, which adds to the list of admirable qualities that voters mentioned, including his “boyish charm” and “phenomenal personality.” One voter opined that Lundberg is “downright a good person.” What could be sexier?

March 12, 2014 10:51 PM

My dad approached parenting in his own way. When my older brother Taylor started wearing obscene clothing during his rebellious youth, my dad responded by wearing a brown bag over his head like a chef’s hat the next time the two of them went grocery shopping. He’s a maverick in just about every way except his fashion, so it makes sense he made me attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after I was caught drinking during high school.

March 12, 2014 10:47 PM

From food cart to store front, Red Wagon Creamery has come a long way. The ice cream shop is well known for wonderfully eclectic, handmade ice cream flavors like carrot jalapeño, peach rosemary and Saturday Morning, meant to taste like the milk left over after a bowl of Fruit Loops. But stick around after 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, and the creamery transforms into Red Wagon After Dark, where bartender Amanda Hoffman throws booze into the mix of creamy deliciousness. 

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Walk into Noisette Pastry Kitchen and you know you’re somewhere special. Sun pours through the glass walls and, even in winter, the open kitchen with its bustle and chatter makes the place feel alive and exempt from cold-weather hibernation. Noisette’s menu is visual, with names of dishes written on the parchment paper lining cases of sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches and salads.

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Settled where The Bier Stein used to pour pints for locals lies The Cannery, a hip but homey restaurant where owner Mike Wares is “trying to put an honest culinary effort behind pub fare.” The restaurant has 20 beers on tap, a full bar and a menu that boasts homemade food with a true Northwest feel.  

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Eating locally year-round can be intimidating, even to people who are adventurous cooks. Though we have an abundance of farms and produce here in the Northwest, sometimes it can be hard to know what to eat in February when the potatoes have run out. Author Elin England is trying to make that easier. Her first book, Eating Close to Home, is a seasonal guide to what’s available in the Pacific Northwest and what to do with it. Her newest book, Further Adventures in Eating Close to Home, covers beans, grains, nuts and seeds. 

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

If there’s one thing that everyone’s got an opinion on, it’s pizza. Folks get downright adamant about the “best” in town. We decided to visit a few of the local favorites for some pizza and put together a little guide to who has what. One thing that is hard to get around is the fact that pizza is amazing.

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Reviews on Yelp for the Tiny Tavern range from “Ever wonder what the gateway to hell looks like? Check the men’s bathroom” to “Smells like pee.” The Whiteaker’s classic dive bar suffered from an unfavorable reputation, but in recent months the oldest bar in Eugene has undergone an extraordinary transformation. With new management, the Tiny Tavern is serving exceptionally tasty bar food, offering live music and entertainment throughout the week and is slowly returning to the epicenter of Eugene’s bar scene.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival kicks off once again Feb. 14. Our internationally recognized theater down I-5 is entertaining with plays ranging from 400 years old to fresh off the press, dark dramas to Marx brothers comedies. I got in touch with a few notable theater artists from Eugene to see what’s on their list to see this season.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Dark of night, light of day. These are the times we come out to play. No cars, no trains, no first-class flights, no neon signs or big bright lights. We creep and crawl from the highs of the treetops to the jungle floor … We are ferocious and in many ways distinct. Now come with us on our journey, make sure you bring your … ANIMAL INSTINCT! 

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Hult Center stands as the Grand Dame of the Lane County performing arts scene — known more for highbrow ballet, opera and classical music than contemporary or avant-garde work. Brad Garner of the Eugene-based interdisciplinary arts organization Harmonic Laboratory hopes to change that … well, at least in the lobby.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Eugene Ballet Company is perhaps best known for its professional approach to traditional ballets, perfecting performances like The Nutcracker for the past 32 years. Yet occasionally, artistic director Toni Pimble likes to shake things up by exploring a new artistic vision or collaboration. Following collaborations with bands The Freudian Slips, Pink Martini and The Jazz Kings, the EBC will team up with local boys the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for Zoot Suit Riot, a visual storytelling told through dance and set to the tune of the band’s extensive musical cache.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Divas and prima donnas rule the opera stage. But in real life, not so much, no matter what happens with Hillary in 2016. On Feb. 8 and 9, the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble presents “A Tale of Two Women: The Old Maid and the Thief and Trouble in Tahiti,” a pair of delightful American one-act operas that explore — sometimes hilariously, ultimately poignantly — the psychology of mid-20th-century women and their roles in a changing America.

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

“Jonathan? Melissa? Meet us on the lawn and close your eyes.”

Grinning staff members at the Cascades Raptor Center led us past our lopsided wedding cake to the grass outside the visitors’ center. “We have a gift for you … don’t peek.”

For years, we’d volunteered to clean mews, feed orphaned owls and medicate injured hawks at the nature center and wildlife hospital in Eugene. After Jonathan proposed, we asked to marry at the center. 

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

“Everywhere we travel we tell people there’s no better place to get married than Oregon,” says Ryan Welch, co-founder of Moetic Wedding Films, a high-end wedding film production company with offices in Eugene and McMinnville, Ore. “The problem is,” Welch continues, to take advantage of Oregon’s natural beauty “you’ve only got three months. We’re not going to film a wedding here in the Northwest until June.”

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

Renne Phillips sits perched on a stool in the Redoux Parlour’s workspace surrounded by scissors, paper patterns and sketches. Behind her, a dress form is mocked up with lace — the beginning of a gown she’ll complete for a summer wedding. She pulls out the garment’s sketch; sweeping lines resembling rose petals flow together creating a voluminous skirt, which is sprinkled with dots representing intricate beadwork.

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

At Dawn Baby Salon in Eugene, the past comes back to glamorous life for brides and grooms seeking vintage style. Stylist Dawn Baby specializes in vintage hair; more couples are turning to hairstyles from the 1920s through the 1960s. 

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

You think you know a state — and Oregon, with its crunchy granola public-access beaches and the fewest abortion restrictions in the nation, should be known for protecting its gay and lesbian residents as well, right? Not so much. According to Sasha Buchert, formerly of Basic Rights Oregon and now a staff attorney at the Transgender Law Center, Oregon holds the record as the state with the most anti-gay ballot measures in its history. The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest put that number at 35. And Springfield, that sweet little city to Eugene’s east, was the first place in the U.S. to put anti-gay language in its city charter back in May 1992.

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

Despite the cold and rain that enrobes Eugene for many months of the year, outdoor weddings are growing in popularity here. And there’s one venue that is more popular than nearly all others — Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Peg Douthit-Jackson, the arboretum’s education and special events coordinator, says they have been “swamped” with interest in recent years and that it consistently fills its wedding schedule. Part of that growing interest is the arboretum’s response to the desire for more sustainable weddings. 

December 19, 2013 12:00 AM

Movies are one way to stay entertained on cold winter nights