In just the Pacific Northwest pocket of this great big world there is so much to come upon with happy surprise. Case in point; Cottage Grove, Oregon and an unassuming corner with a feed store/brewery.
We turned off I-5 when I saw the sign for the historic district. I always get a kick out of walking down a quaint Main Street on a sunny day. Sidetracked by a sign that announced farm fresh eggs for $3/dozen, I learned my lesson to not ask my husband to pull our 30’ RV into just any drive way on an egg hunt. As he suspected, there was no way to turn around once we’d procured our chicken and duck eggs and he had to do some fancy maneuvering to avoid a low-slung power line, to boot.
Back on our quest for that quaint Main Street, we were not disappointed by Cottage Grove’s representation of Americana. A few shops, sidewalk cafes (like Stacy’s Covered Bridge Restaurant next to a…you guessed it…covered bridge), a museum, it was all there. I also always keep my eyes open for what’s just off the Main Street and we were rewarded by Coast Fork Feed & The Brew Station.
Emily Rinck purchased Coast Fork five years ago and her dad, Ernie, helps her run the place. About three years ago she had the idea to turn a portion of the high-quality feed store into a family-friendly, 12-tap brew pub. It’s not just a brew pub, however, but an extension of the long-standing feed store which carries products for farm and domestic animals as well as housewares, bee keeping items and home brewing supplies.
Mosey over to The Brew Station and choose from a large selection of craft beer and hard ciders. There’s also a selection of wines and non-alcoholic drinks to whet the whistles or an array of customers.
When we discovered it, Emily and Ernie were busily reconfiguring their outdoor space after the City had given approval to expand it. So, expect even more outdoor seating for the summer months and check it out on a Friday or Saturday night when live, local music adds to the community vibe of the spot.
A block up and over is a great book store with a mild Harry Potter vibe. While it has an entrance on Main Street, I only noticed Kalapuya Books (operating since 1997) because I was admiring a mural on the corner of Main and 7th Street, looked across the street and saw a bakery. I am a sucker for bakeries and always on the hunt for the best cinnamon roll. Alas, it was a bit late for cinnamon rolls at Backstage Bakery & Café but the staircase, nooks and crannies and shelves of books that I spied from the corner of my eye, drew me to closer inspection (are you sensing that I’m easily distracted?).
Backstage, Kalapuya Books and The Axe & Fiddle Pub all share common entrances and seem to live synergistically on this corner. Axe & Fiddle is also a place to catch live music, eat great food and, if the urge strikes, duck over to Kalapuya to seek out the newest release or an old treasure.
I’d say our detour off the I-5 was inspired. Plenty of unexpected treats for food, drink and a bit of shopping. May Main Street in America live on!