New Years Eve Dinner (and drinks) in Eugene, College-Style

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Foie gras, fancy wine and $100 dinner tabs not on your Eugene New Year’s Eve list?

Yah, mine either.

I’ve compiled a list of places that might be more fun for us college kids. This is meant more for the low-key, grab a couple girlfriends and chat over dinner kinda group. I’m sooo not saying you can’t have fun, a couple drinks and a rather clichéd midnight kiss. I’m just sayin’ if you’re looking to get your hump on, you might check Taylor’s and Cowfish (and there’s nothin’ wrong with that. I don’t judge and on occasion I find myself in these establishments).

Unless noted, all are open until at least midnight. Also, I’m not promising that any of these places have special dishes planned, just that I called to make sure they’re open.

  1. Agate Alley Bistro: Agate Alley is a classic. Great for a good conversation, be it on a date or out with a couple of friends. It’s an excellent spot for big groups too and the food is great. Agate Alley is located at 1461 E. 19th, call (541) 485-8887 for more information.
  2. McMenamin’s High Street: McMenamins High Street has that old pub kinda feel about it, kinda rustic, almost musty and perhaps a little bit romantic. But my favorite part is the outdoor fire. Fire changes the mood in that words don’t need to be spoken, you can just take in the evening (and the party noises from the apartments next door). The food is not overly complicated, just American-fare and the late-night happy hour menu is killer. You can find McMenamins High Street at 1243 High Street. Call (541) 345-4905 for more information.
  3. The Bar at Sixth Street: The bar at Sixth Street is great in that you get the same menu as the restaurant, it’s a more relaxed atmosphere and it’s first-come, first-serve so you don’t have to make a reservation. I’m most familiar with Burger and  Brew night on Tuesdays which pretty much always blows my mind. They’ve got some great, affordable late-night burgers and appetizers. Dinner’s a bit more spendy but not absurd. There are a couple of options under $10. It’s a sports bar, so you don’t have to worry about whispering so the other table doesn’t hear you and rumor is they’re handing out a free glass of champagne at midnight. The Sixth Street Bar is located at 55 W 6th Ave. Call (541) 485-2961 for more information.
  4. Cornucopia at 5th and Pearl: Cornucopia is well known for its excellent burgers and live music. Though a tad-bit spendy, they have some amazing cocktails. In addition to a wide variety of excellent burgers (you have to try the Wild Bill’s Bacon and BBQ. It has bacon, bbq sauce and cheese!) they serve salads, sandwiches, steaks and other traditional bar-fare (onion rings!!!). The atmosphere is upbeat, sometimes busy, but never rave-like (I’m in the mood for 1990s terminology. Next I’m going to use bangin’ and then I’m going to find a way to work NSYNC in). You can find Cornucopia at 207 E.t 5th Avenue. Call (541) 485-2676 for more information.
  5. Pizza Research Institute: It looks like PRI won’t be open until midnight but its a great pre-evening (ok, pre-drinking) option and they’ve got free live jazz/blues music (Olem Alves Duo) at 6:30. Perfect start to an evening! And they’ve got some great handcrafted pizzas all of which are vegetarian! Not to mention, they’ve got some pretty crazy options, I mean, who puts pears on a pizza? I’ve heard the one with pears taste pretty good and I’ve enjoyed everything I have tried there. PRI is located at 530 Blair Boulevard. Call (541) 343-1307 for more information.
  6. Cozmic Pizza: I’ve never been to Cozmic Pizza, I pass it every day on my way home from school and it looks pretty cool. What looks really interesting though is that they have a dance tribe preforming at midnight. Earlier in the evening they also have a live band. And who can go wrong with pizza? If you’re lonely an want to talk to someone for hours about your Taco Bell lunch and the latest episode of Glee call (541)338-9333. Ok no, don’t they’ll probably get mad at me, that’s the number you call for more information or you can check their website. They are located at (541) 338-9333. I’m not sure what their underage policy is, are you? If not, I’ll call in the morning and update you.
  7. Davis: I’m not particularly sure I’d tell you (assuming you’re a almost broke college student) to eat dinner at Davis because they’re a bit spendy and you could be using that money to buy one of their excellently crafted cocktails which are quite the deal. I’ve heard they have amazing food, so if you have the money, go for it. They do have some pretty affordable bar food like cheddar bacon fries and mac ‘n’ cheese. Davis turns into a dance club around 11 p.m. and I’ve heard it’s going to be quite the party. So you can grab a couple of drinks and enjoy a conversation before the party starts. Davis is located at 94 W. Broadway. Call (541) 485-1124 for more information.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Also, if you’re looking for a less-traditional way to spend your NYE check out my article on the Ethos Magazine website.

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