The Deschutes Brew Pub is now filled with people. What had rattled around in my head for a year, unable to communicate how it would really feel and look, was exceeding my expectations. People were having a great time in the space talking to friends and making new friends. Gary Fish, the owner of Deschutes, and I wanted to make a family place, where adults could be adults and children would feel welcome and comfortable.
The idea of a Scottish Pub: eclectic, intimate, cozy; combined with the nature of Oregon: old growth fir, fish, wildlife, everything large scale, rustic lodges - came together in a former auto body shop. The Pearl District now has an indoor place that unabashedly says 'Oregon' and is inviting to families.
A sleek copper and steel canopy lures you in, a hint of heavy timber showing through the circle above. Enter to a large framed picture of tanks. This is a Brewery. Turn and see a gigantic piece of timber at the host stand. This is Oregon. And then, more and more frames as you look some more. The huge red framed walls are influenced by a Scottish pub - but this time, not only images are framed, but everything is framed: windows looking to the brewing tanks, TV's, mirrors, just everything, even ductwork. Walk to the Dining Room where four large dining cubes, frames in three dimensions, scale down the large space and make rooms, like a Scottish Pub. My family’s tartan is on the floor. The cubes’ entry gates are a little wild, depicting Oregon mountain scenes and wildlife carved by a chainsaw. Children already love the beavers and chipmunks. The bar is constricted to build coziness, people close to people with a fireplace and a huge single piece of heavy timber at the bar. Being set at the center, the energy of the bar area pours over the whole pub. Walk through the kitchen, a purposeful step to make the chefs part of the party and customers part of the kitchen. Through to the towering trophy wall reaching to the sky, through the infinity room, to the men’s room with its massive porcelain urinals and skylight looking up through the timber roof to the grain silo.
This pub doesn't take itself too seriously. It is a place to enjoy being in and coming back to. Dogs play poker next to a table. It’s a place to enjoy a smile and hear tall tales.
by Stuart Emmons
The Oregonian Blog, May 7, 2008
for more information on the brew pub, click here.