written by Julie Lee | photos courtesy of Taylor’s Bar & Grill
College football has kicked off in a big way and, before a day of mimosas and microbrews, it’s advisable to line the stomach with a lineman-sized meal. Here are some favorite haunts to hit before a fanatical day of hand-clapping, high-fiving and belly-bumping at a football game.
Taylor’s Bar & Grill
Taylor’s Bar & Grill in Eugene is the apogee of a college bar: cheap plates of food, cold microbrew on tap, sticky dance floors, multiple TVs and a pool table. This is a place where time freezes—literally, in its decades old decor and, figuratively, where hours melt by and, before you know it, it’s 2:30 a.m. last call. The best deal for a hungry collegiate or pre-game meal is the heaping plate of nachos, paired with locally brewed Hop Valley Citrus Mistress.
894 E. 13th Ave., Eugene | taylorseugene.com
Flat Tail Brewing
Beaver fans have a solid line-up of pre-function options, from heaping plates of sweet ribs at Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe to damn good pizza and ice cold beer at American Dream Pizza. Flat Tail Brewing is a newer Corvallis entry with a huge following. Brewmaster Dave Marliave’s claim to fame? He was once one of the youngest brewers in the nation and a medalist at the Great American Beer Festival. Flat Tail does a fun twist on some traditional pub fare: tacos made with turkey, Thai style wings, and “frick—cornmeal crusted pickle chips.
202 SW 1st St., Corvallis | flattailcorvallis.com
The Cheerful Bullpen
Portland State football fans have a myriad of choices within a 45-yard field goal to Providence Park: Kingston Sports Bar & Grill, Marathon Taverna, Leaky Roof, Kells Brew Pub. The Cheerful Bullpen is a fan favorite for its no-frills atmosphere and cheap, greasy eats to fuel up on before walking across the street to see the Vikings take the field. Beers on tap include Oregon favorites from 10 Barrel, Ninkasi, Deschutes and Bridgeport breweries, and $4 well drinks are a hard-to-find bargain these days in Portland.
1730 SE Taylor St., Portland | cheerfulbullpen.com
The Cooler Restaurant and Bar
Duck fans flock to The Cooler in Eugene for bucket-sized Bloody Marys, cold brews, and giant burgers. TVs are plentiful, so you can keep an eye on what’s happening in the SEC or Big Ten while diving into the Cooler burger, adorned with thick cut bacon and a fried egg. With a full belly and a good buzz, it’s just a hop, skip and jump from The Cooler to Autzen Stadium.
20 Centennial Loop, Eugene | thecoolerbar.com
If you want to acquire some passport stamps while pre-gaming, McMenamin’s offers game day pit stop options for Ducks, Beavers and Vikings. Two Corvallis locations open early on game days to make sure Beaver fans get plenty of time to party down in their orange and black. Three locations in Eugene cater to Duck fans, with North Bank offering a minimal 1.5 mile jog towards continuing the festivities at Autzen. Viking fans are blessed with no fewer than six McMenamin’s locations within a short hike to Providence Park.
Various Locations | mcmenamins.com