The Cannery taps into Eugene's taste for local produce
Apr 19, 2013 (The Register-Guard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A "sustainable gastro-pub" called The Cannery is opening Saturday at 345 E. 11th Ave. in Eugene, the former home of The Bier Stein, which moved to Midtown Marketplace.
Cannery owners Michael Wares, formerly executive chef of the Downtown Athletic Club, and Lori Mace "will focus on sustainable practices by utilizing preserving, canning, fermenting and pickling great featured, local organic products," they said in announcing the new downtown eatery. The Cannery also will offer 20 varieties of draft beer.
Mace said the inspiration for the gastro-pub was Wares' grandmother and her skills in preserving food. The focus of the restaurant will be foods the owners preserve themselves in season, she said.
"We want to show that there are healthier ways to preserve foods, without the additives and preservatives," Mace said. "We'll have homemade sauerkraut on our Reubens. We have a really good pickle recipe. Our green beans are really crisp -- you can preserve foods and still have them be very crisp.
"We are a scratch kitchen, and we make all of our sauces and dressings in house," she said. "Our house dressing is the Rogue Caveman Blue Cheese vinaigrette."
Most of the sandwiches and salads on the menu will be $8 or $9, Mace said, with the most expensive items being a red snapper fish taco for $12 and chicken wrapped in prosciutto over creamy polenta for $14.
The Cannery will be open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, with discounts on the food during happy hours Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight. Prices for food items start at $3 during happy hours, Mace said.
The 2,100-square-foot gastro-pub can seat about 45 people, she said.
The owners have more than 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry, Mace said, she in the front of the house, he in the back. Wares, an alumnus of the Oregon Culinary Institute, was executive chef at a number of Portland restaurants before the pair moved to Eugene three years ago, Mace said.
The bar will be serving a large selection of draft beers from the Pacific Northwest, as well as some beers from California and back East -- Wares is originally from Michigan -- Mace said. And they will be serving the 20-ounce imperial pint. "We're proud purveyors of the honest pint," she said.
She declined to say how much The Cannery's owners have invested in getting the business off the ground, other than to say it was significant, even with the sweat equity she and Wares poured into the place. "We made our own tables, built cabinets and built the bar," Mace said.
The location is just outside the boundaries of the area eligible for a loan from the city's downtown revolving loan fund, she said. Even without that inducement, the couple liked the location, Mace said.
"We love this area, this is where we wanted to be," she said. "I think downtown Eugene is booming."
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