Doc’s Pad Returns
An old bar finds a new home
By Shaun O’Dell
According to Gary Miller, co-owner of the Black Forest, the opening of his new Doc’s Pad at the current Jogger’s location is Eugene’s downtown story of the decade. Along with his wife, Casey, Miller hopes to revive the spirit and tradition of the Doc’s Pad of yesteryear.
|Patrons at Doc’s get their caricatures done on a Saturday night
“We want everybody,” Casey Miller says. “We want the college crowd. We want people 30 and older. We want everybody to feel comfortable and have a fun place to come down to. We want to get away from that scary downtown feeling.” She adds that the focus of Doc’s during day time will be as a family restaurant, serving food and allowing minors until 9 pm. The menu, mostly consisting of American food, bar appetizers and a few island cuisine selections, makes for more meal choices than are often found at a full-service bar such as Doc’s. Prefer omelettes or French toast when coming down from a night of drinking? They serve breakfast all day.
On the weekends, Gary Miller says, the bar will transform into more of an evening club and dance spot. Since renovations, the DJ booth has been moved to a new spot next to the bar, allowing for more window seating facing the Hult Center. The corrugated metal wall coverings are almost completely gone, replaced with green paint and exposed wood that gives the space more of a clubhouse feel. No longer will the bar’s interior look like the inside of Oscar the Grouch’s trashcan.
As far as activities at Doc’s, there is a B3 jazz session every Monday for jazz fans. Expect oyster and ales on Thursdays, a tradition carried over from the old Doc’s, with a featured beer and oysters on the half-shell prepared fresh in the outside seating area.
When asked about the construction going on next door to Doc’s, both the Millers turned quiet, refusing to share their plans for the area. They only promise that nothing like it currently exists in Oregon. Curious customers can keep checking in, but no date has been given for announcing the surprise.
“Everybody remembers Doc’s Pad as the service industry bar,” Gary Miller says of the bar’s previous incarnation at 11th and Charnelton. “Bartenders, waitresses and bar owners seemed to, on their off days, always go to Doc’s.” Miller is hoping for a repeat performance. After all, who’s a better critic of nightlife than the people who run it?
Doc’s Pad is open at 710 Willamette Street and will have its grand opening on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.