Eugene Weekly : Best of Eugene : 2010-2011


Best of Eugene 2010-2011: Spending


Best bike shop

photo by todd cooper

1. Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life 234 W. 6th Ave., 344-4150; 3870 W. 11th Ave., 343-2250; 152 W. 5th Ave., 344-4105; 2480 Alder St., 342-6155

2. Arriving By Bike 2705 Willamette St. 484-5410.

3. Collins Cycle Shop 60 E. 11th Ave. 342-4878.

Every bike shop in town offers experts in fixing, and some of us are partial to Hutch’s, Collins, Bike Friday, Arriving by Bike, Blue Heron or one of the several other solidly wonderful shops in this bike-crazed town (Have you tried to park a bike on the UO campus this year? It’s gloriously near-impossible, even with the added bike parking of recent years), but former city councilor Paul Nicholson’s political commitment to Eugene also stands out, as do his several shops with excellent service and friendly, fast, knowledgeable bike fixing. If you’re out on the Fern Ridge path and need a quick tire inflation, Paul’s is there with a pump. Downtown and get a flat? You’ve got two Paul’s in pretty close proximity. Heading to South Eugene? Get your bike cleaned up at the Paul’s on Alder while you snag a coffee at the Beanery. 

Best bookstore

1. Smith Family Bookstore 768 E. 13th Ave., 345-1651; 525 Willamette St., 343-4717.

2. Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette St. 345-8986.

3. J. Michaels Books 160 E. Broadway. 342-2002.

Print is dying? We don’t think so. Check out Smith Family (either store), where print books pile as high and far as the eye can see. Wander the stacks and end up with a used book from the 1950s, showing maps of places that have changed dramatically; peruse the latest bestseller; find Margaret Atwood’s older novels; take home a towering pile of James Pattersons for a slice of what you’d pay for them new; sit on the floor with the kids and flip through hundreds of books before finding the ones you’ll treasure forever and ever — Smith Family’s more than a bookstore; it’s a living history of the city of Eugene, a community, a place to find old friends and new acquaintances and the occasional one-night stand with a romance or two (or 25; hey, who are we to judge?). Tsunami serves as a community-builder too, deliberately, with its hosting of readings, concerts, poetry events and much more; and we always enjoy the J. Michaels stock of beautifully shelved new and used books, about any of which the owner and workers can tell us everything.

Best clothing store

1. Deluxe 1331 Willamette St. 686-0205.

2. Sweet Potato Pie 20 E. 11th Ave. 344-8810.

3. The Redoux Parlour 780 Blair Blvd. 342-1942.

Best local secondhand store

1. Deluxe 1331 Willamette St. 686-0205.

2. The Redoux Parlour 780 Blair Blvd. 342-1942.

3. Clothes Horse 720 E. 13th Ave. #101. 345-5099. 

Eugene, you know where you want to shop. Whether you’re after a pair of perfectly worn-in jeans or a new piece by a local designer, you head to Deluxe, with its precisely tailored sense of style and affordable prices. (Some of us also go to Deluxe for speedy and precise alterations.) Whether you’re looking for a retro dress to turn into a costume, a pair of ruby slippers (no joke: We found a pair for five bucks once), a button-down for a job interview or a quirky piece of jewelry made by a local crafter, Deluxe will come through. 

Best environmentally friendly business

1. Down to Earth 532 Olive St., 342-6820; 2498 Willamette St., 349-0556.

2. NextStep Recycling 2101 W 10th Ave. 686-2366.

3. BRING Recycling 4446 Franklin Blvd., Glenwood. 746-3023.

Where else can you find organic fertilizers, a plastic bag dryer, animal napkin rings, a beeswax goddess candle and a sake set? Down to Earth isn’t only about supplying your environmentally sustainable needs — it’s also just plain fun. They’re creative with their products, making them from materials like glass, cast iron, wood and stainless steel. When products are too expensive to make here, Down to Earth finds them elsewhere, sometimes across the globe. As both a retail store and a distribution center, Down to Earth has quite a role in Eugene. 

Best downtown business

photo by trask bedortha

1. Voodoo Doughnut 20 E. Broadway.

2. Sweet Potato Pie 20 E. 11th Ave. 344-8810.

3. The Kiva 125 W. 11th Ave. 342-8666.

Best addition to Eugene

1. Voodoo Doughnut 20 E. Broadway.

2. Food carts

3. Vanilla Jill’s 460 Coburg Rd. 844-2286. 

What a sweet tooth we’ve got in this town. The newly arrived Voodoo Doughnut shot to the top of the Best Downtown Business category after just a few months in operation, and if you scan that Best Addition to Eugene list, you’ll note that they aren’t the only treat purveyor to be so appreciated: Coburg Road frogurt shop Vanilla Jill’s is another new favorite. (Tucked into second place is a general vote of love for the recent proliferation of food carts.) Voodoo came in on a sugary-scented swell of anticipation; lots of Eugeneans were already familiar with the goofy, often cereal-topped confections from late-night stops at one of the Portland shops. Now, you can barely get near downtown without catching a whiff of doughnutty goodness — and there’s another late-night snack shop on the scene. And did we mention the doughnuts are irresistible?

Best naughty business

1. olivejuice 543 Blair Blvd. 345-1618.

2. Freudian Slip 870 Pearl St. 345-7547.

3. Exclusively Adult 1166 S. A St., Springfield. 726-6969.

Costumes, sexy clothes, art, festival wear, corsets, buttons and zines locally made — what’s not to love? The store even hosted pole dance aerobics for a while. It’s a funky space with fun, funky stuff in the ever-changing and always interesting Whiteaker neighborhood. Check it out on a Last Friday Art Walk, or just drop in the next time you need just the right feather boa to go with that oh-so-hot outfit. 

Best pet supply store

1. Mini Pet Mart  974 W. 6th Ave., 344-9603; 2636 Willamette St., 345-3399; 2775 River Rd., 688-8619; 1999 Main St., Springfield, 744-0665. 

2. The Healthy Pet  2777 Friendly St. 343-3411.

3. Wags! Dog Emporium  485 Coburg Rd. 338-8801.

Whether Eugeneans want cigarettes, Science Diet, collars, kennels, chews, toys, litter boxes, fish food or collars, Mini Pet Mart has it all. Yeah, some people just pop in to buy some chew for their pockets to go along with the chews for their dogs, but others swear by the Mini Pet Mart scratch-off loyalty card that might just get you $10 off your next purchase of a large, room-filling cat play structure. The Healthy Pet focuses more on less processed food for your companion animals (and doesn’t cater to smokers), and Wags! on Coburg Road offers pup owners everything they need.

photo by trask bedortha


Best tattoo artist

1. T.C. Combs, Ink’d Up Tat2 970 W. 7th Ave. 357-2332.

2. Dr. Julien, Black Lotus Tattoo 1011 W. 6th Ave. 434-8282.

3. Splat Ter, High Priestess 525 E. 13th Ave. 343-3311.

It’s no small achievement to be named best inker in a city full of tattoo artists and the folks who wear their work proudly on their collective skin. Talk about the needle and the drawing done: A visit to the Facebook page of Ink’d Up Tat2 (, where winner Trent “TC” Combs plies his trade, reveals the fine lines, strong colors and diverse aesthetic of his work, which ranges from rococo lettering and intricate symbols to graphic portraits that are at once sophisticated and sharply defined. In an EW article from June 2005, Combs said of his art: “I always start from the center and draw outward… Once I see an image, I’ll get more creative and get more ideas. Then I start throwing in what could look like random images. But everything means something, and I base it around that center piece.”

Best personal indulgence provider (spa, salon, etc.)

photo by todd cooper

1. Gervais Salon & Day Spa 248 E. 5th Ave. 345-1312; 301 W. 5th Ave. 334-6533.

2. Pearl Day Spa & Hydrotherapy Clinic 1375 Pearl St. 683-3377.

3. Bello Day Spa 2746 Shadow View Dr. 345-0551.

Whether you’re getting a new do at the Fifth Street Public Market salon or heading in for a facial at the the 5th & Lincoln day spa, Gervais — which uses Aveda products and thus always smells like a freshly harvested field of Provençal lavender — serves its multitude of clients (and no! They’re not all women!) with the little touches that make a salon successful. You really can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to Gervais, but if you’re up for something else, both Pearl and Bello have intensely loyal advocates and repeat (and repeat, and repeat) clients — and they also smell pretty darn great. Mmmm.


Best place to buy a last-minute gift

1. Hirons Drug 185 E. 18th Ave., 344-4832; 1950 Franklin Blvd., 344-5260.

2. Down to Earth 532 Olive St., 342-6820; 2498 Willamette St., 349-0556.

3. Saturday Market 8th & Oak. 686-8885.

Walking into Hirons is like walking into a potpourri dish of entertaining miscellany. It smells like scented candles and new plastic and is, we’re convinced, one of the only places on Earth where you can find adult diapers and party favors in the same aisle. Need gloves, candy canes, stickers and a cookie tin? Duck paraphernalia, light bulbs and condoms? Confetti and cotton balls? Hirons is your place. And when you’re caught empty-handed on the way to a birthday party/graduation ceremony/baby shower, you can be sure that in the towering aisles of gadgets, gizmos and random necessities, you’ll find something for just about anyone.

Best entertainment shop (music, movies, games, etc.)

photo by trask bedortha

1. CD/Game Exchange 30 E. 11th Ave. 302-3045.

2. CD World 3215 W. 11th Ave. Suite B. 683-6902.

3. House of Records 258 E. 13th Ave. 342-7975.

It’s a first-time win for CD/Game Exchange, which has built its downtown presence over the years — and has now, clearly, more than arrived. Trade in your old Nintendo games; scope out new releases; pick up some cheap DVDs and people-watch downtown while you’re at it: CD/Game Exchange, with its poster-covered walls and wide variety of things with which to entertain yourself, is an easy place to leave with your wallet a lot lighter.











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