Caffé Pacori’s Eric Pierce in ‘The Bog.’ Photo by Todd Cooper.

Best of the Ballots

One of the quirks of working at Eugene Weekly is that people assume you know everything that’s going on — and sometimes we do. All those hours we spend editing the What’s Happening Calendar listings aren’t for nothing! But since our crystal ball malfunctions on the regular, there’s a lot we don’t know until you, our readers, tell us about it. This means that one of our favorite categories for Best of Eugene is “Best category we didn’t include and who would win it.” Because we find out some pretty cool stuff about our little part of the Willamette Valley.

We’re going to start with the bad news — if you campaigned for something and all of your friends said they voted for you and your category and you’re not on here, umm, your friends might be blowing smoke. You need more than three votes (or you need to be really, really intriguing) to show up on Best of the Ballots. Caffé Pacori’s “best bathroom” campaign was definitely both and garnered a lot of votes.  

The good news is that while there were no outright winners in these suggestions, we clearly need to think about a Best Nail Tech, Best Sandwiches, and maybe Best Beard?

Also, we have learned that there are an awful lot of you who really want a category in which you can vote for “your mom.” 

Finally, to the person who suggested something like, “best person, place or event that gives hope for the future of humanity.” We like that one, too. — Camilla Mortensen

Best bathroom

Caffé Pacori “The Bog” 255 Wallis St. ste. 3. 541-912-1248.   

Upon entering Caffé Pacori’s bathroom, you find a world unto itself. A mix of nostalgia, comfort and detail gives the average porcelain patron a sense of peacefulness. The creatively crafted fiber optic lighting along with ambient forest sounds leads the occupant to discover that a bathroom can be so much more than just a toilet. 

The bathroom was built by Jason Dean, and it was designed by artist Alessandra Sanniola, who goes by Kat. Both are dear friends of Caffé Pacori owner Eric Pierce. Dean explains how Pierce is a visionary, saying, “He is really good at finding artists and letting them do a lot!”

Pierce calls the bathroom “The Bog,” taking inspiration also from Mattel’s goblin-themed hand puppet toys called the “Boglins.” He tells Eugene Weekly that he owns over 29 large and 100 mini Boglins — some of which are hidden in the bathroom, or as the Brits call it, the bog. 

Toy and puppet designer Tim Clarke created the popular goblin-themed hand puppet toys in the late 1980s and has recently rereleased them. Clarke has also praised Pierce’s bathroom. “We reached out to Tim and he said that he loved it,” Pierce says. 

The Bog takes inspiration from other ’80s nostalgia like Steven Spielberg’s series Amazing Stories. When asked how long the project took, Pierce replies, “It’s still a work in progress. We have been working on it for a year.” 

Pierce has been brewing coffee in Eugene for the last 19 years. He says, “I have always wanted to win something. When we saw ‘Best Bathroom’ as an opportunity for the Weekly, we went for it!” He encourages other businesses to be more creative with the bathroom designs. Pierce says that besides having the coolest bathroom, he has some of the best coffee in town, too.  — Faheem Khan 


Best shop dog at a clothing thrift store

Clover The Clothes Horse 295 E. 5th Ave. 541-345-5099.   

Thrifting is a source of joy for many, and personally, it’s one of my favorite pastimes. The feeling you get when you walk into a store and dig through overflowing racks to find that perfect gem of a romper is unmatched. The Clothes Horse, Eugene’s oldest women’s resale shop, carries a well-curated collection of pieces for any style, and is a favorite stop of mine. And it was at this very shop where I learned that there’s one thing that can ramp up your thrifted romper joy.

Adding a shop dog to snoopervise your shopping.

Often nestled sweetly behind the register, Clover is a small dog with a big personality. She’s a spunky 2-year-old whippet who calls store owner Mariah Melson mom. Aside from being the shop’s unofficial mascot — a job she clearly loves — Clover is also AKC certified trick dog. Given the number of votes her warm brown eyes and sly smile brought in, it’s unclear if customers come in to shop or just to play Clover’s favorite game of hide and seek. For me, it’s both.

The Clothes Horse has been closed for renovations, but the shop is reopening this Saturday, Oct. 28 at noon, there will be snacks, thousands of new items and best of all — Clover will be there. We hear she loves treats!. — Elisha Young

High Street Tonics. Photo by Todd Cooper.

Best mocktails

High Street Tonics 233 W. 5th Ave. 541-912-9484.

Walking into High Street Tonics bottle shop and tasting bar is a dream for the sober-curious. Though high-backed black velvet chairs invite patrons to take a seat and sip a drink, you won’t want to walk away from the bar, where owner Cheri Hammons pours samples and recommends the best zero-proof spirits.

Hammons has been making herbal concoctions since she was a teen, but did a “deeper dive” into what she could do with her hobby during a dry January, she says. Hammons launched High Street Tonics in the spring of 2021 with a series of pop-up bars to test the idea. 

Hammons wanted to do more than make a mocktail, she says.

“People are really sick of the juicy sugar bombs like Shirley Temples,” Hammons says. “You feel like you’re ordering off of the kids’ menu.”

After selling out of her products multiple times, Hammons has opened a permanent location within Bumble Boutique in Eugene.

High Street Tonics now sells house-made tonics and bitters as well as nonalcoholic spirits, wines and more. Each product that was not made by Hammons was hand-picked by her to meet High Street Tonics’ quality standards.

High Street Tonics makes nonalcoholic cocktails — which Hammons refers to as a “more elevated drink experience” — on site, with one best-selling cocktail being the Sour Virgo. It contains Free Spirits’ The Spirit of Bourbon, Drømme’s Calm and High Street Tonics’ Elder Spice Tonic, all of which can be purchased on site. — Emma J Nelson

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