At last word, the team behind Little Star Pizza and Boss Burger were working on an Oregon-inspired restaurant to take over the former Little Star space. It’s now been a year, and owners Ryan Murff and Jon Guhl are nearly ready to unveil Cafe Eugene, an all-day restaurant dedicated to the food of the Pacific Northwest. Come Wednesday, January 13, Cafe Eugene will open with daily brunch and dinner with an emphasis on the style of food Murff was raised on. “I wanted to create a space that was a good reflection of who I am and what I’ve learned in my life, and that happened to start in Eugene, Oregon,” Murff told Eater. “There are lots of really neat influences food-wise and also personality-wise [from Eugene], and so we thought we'd start a nice, humble, smart and artistic Northwest-vibed place in California.”
Murff, along with executive chef Amanda Joost Gehring (Cafe Rouge, Lalime), created a menu with dishes like smoked fish pate with dill pickled vegetables and a mochi date muffin with caramel sauce at brunch and clam chowder pot pie at dinner. The bar menu focuses on Acme breads with various toppings like house-cured salmon with cream cheese or sardines with marinated chilies and boiled egg. Murff also created the drink program, which includes an entire bloody mary menu and warm cocktails.
Murff also designed the space (what didn’t he do?) with restored wood tables, vintage Tiffany stained glass light fixtures and other vintage furniture. The restaurant and bar seat 74 people, plus there’s outdoor seating. Cafe Eugene will be open Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with food served all day.