An Island in the Pacific (Northwest)
We've been in Eugene, Oregon a number of times on this trip. To be honest i can't really complain about it either. It's a great college town, just like everyone says. In fact, all the rumors are true. The people are great, the history runs deep, the football is good and the atmosphere, frankly, rocks. There's no better evidence to all of the above than Taylor's Bar and Grill.
It's the only bar and grill on 13th Avenue. So by those standards it's hard to miss. But if we hadn't been looking for it, we might have missed it. It's nothing special to look at, really--inside or out. Yet, it's a testimony to the university.
It's been around forever. Since the early 1920's. It was the place for musicians and a number of performers of note have played. The front cover of the menu touts bands like Blues Traveler and legends like Stevie Ray Vaughn.
While Animal house was filming here in '77-'78, Taylors was the hang out for the cast and crew. I'm not sure whether John Belushi made a test run at downing and entire bottle of Jack Daniels at the bar, but I'm sure the prospect of such a feat was discussed, if not repeated. One thing is for certain, during a blues show at Taylor's, the idea for the Blues Brothers was born. The cast and crew of Saturday Night Live came up to check out how one of their favorites was doing and, according to Taylor's, Aykroyd and Belushi came up with the idea for the best Rhythm and Blues review band I've ever heard.
Taylor's has continued to be the place to be on campus. If you can't be in Autzen on a game day, or if the Ducks have flown south for an away game, you need to be in Taylor's. The players hang out there after the game and the good times, especially this season, roll all night.
If you need any more reason to visit, or even move to Eugene, try this. Taylor's is one of only six places in Oregon, and one of the only places in the Pacific Northwest, where you can buy Old Style Lager. The official beverage of the Chicago Cubs. I know this because I talked to the man who got it there. A resident of Eugene for just under a decade and a manager at the fine establishment, Justin, a Chicago native, moved to Eugene after randomly picking it out on a map. He doesn't plan on leaving.
For me, it was nice to see a little slice of home. Being Chicago-born and a die hard Cubs fan, being so far away and enduring the sweep has been tough. Taylor's isn't just home for an estranged Cubs fan, though, after only a few days, I could see it being home to anyone around campus. So, whether it's game day or just an idle Tuesday afternoon check out Taylor's. It's a true campus hot spot.