On Thursday, April 12, 2012 a crew of University of Oregon students trampled over to the Whiteaker area to investigate small business owners about their neighborhood and to see what they love most and figure out the things they would like to see improve. At first glance, one may perceive the Whiteaker as grungy and dismantled due to its previous name “Felony Flats” but over the past ten years the neighborhood has transformed into a beautiful spot in the greater Eugene community.
On the corner of Blair and 5th across from the Pizza Research Institute sits El Pinche Taco run by a wonderful women named Coco Santana. There you can find delicious burritos and amazing tacos for meat eaters and best of all they are vegetarian friendly. Santana likes the community feel of the Whit, “the neighbors are friendly people and nice to be around” but as the Whit is coming up Santana says, “Police are coming more frequently, there are more crazy people and I couldn’t tell you if they have health problems or it’s just drugs.” If there was one thing in the community Santana would like to fix it would be the roads, to make them safer for cars, bikers, pedestrians and better yet the look.
Following El Pinche Taco we headed to Eugene Glass Menagerie where John Munro explained that he has been living in The Whit for years but has recently joined the small business community. Speaking with Munro he explained that “the people, the community, the way it’s growing has taken off” and he really enjoys seeing the process. Even though Munro loves the Whit he’d “really like to see less drug addicts in the neighborhood, see the city get behind the community a little more and have more events like the Whiteaker Block Party.”
After Eugene Glass Menagerie we headed down past The Red Barn Grocery, Sam Bonds Garage and found ourselves at The Tiny Tavern. There we talked with Aubrieanne Reineke the bartender and found out that she loves the art. Johnson speaks more about Reineke in her post and as well, Zoe Gadsby a local lady who lives and breathes the Whit. Gadsby works at local brewery Ninkasi and helped found the Whiteaker Block Party.
Overall, the majority consensus was to help clean up the streets of The Whit and show people that there is more to offer than Felony Flats.
Other places to check out –
Red Apple – fair prices
Red Barn Grocery
Bars and Food:
Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company
Sam Bonds Garage
Pizza Research Institute
Papa’s Soul Food kitchen and BBQ
Le Petit Gourmet Bakery
New Day Bakery – which also has a farmers market coming soon!
Last Stand Coffee
Wandering Goat Cafe