November 2012

Great Tradition at the Bistro Continues


When I came through Grants Pass for the first time in February 1976, the first place I visited was The Bistro, located at 1214 NW 6th Street. The restaurant was opened in 1975 by two college buddies of mine from Indiana, whom I'd stopped by to see while on a tour of the West Coast. Before opening, they even called a restaurant in Bloomington to get their secret recipe for the sauce to their Stromboli sandwich, which we all loved.

Here it is 36 years later, and the Bistro now has its fourth owner. In June of this year Ryan Clark, born and raised in Grants Pass, bought the restaurant with the intention of continuing in the family tradition that the Bistro is known for.

"When my job as a counselor for the County Juvenile Department was cut, I was ready for a change," Ryan said. "My four children were also a motivating factor. I have a daughter who always wants do something new, who wants to make and sell things. I wanted to be able to look her in the eye and tell her to not be afraid to take risks. And I want my children to be able to work beside me. Ultimately, I want to be able to spend as much time with my family as I can."

The Bistro has always had a reputation as a fun place to bring the family and enjoy some pizza and pasta.

"It's also a place to bring your date, sit in one of our private booths, and have a more intimate meal and a glass of wine," Ryan said. "I have a passion for good food and good experiences. I still view the restaurant business from the other side of the table, from the customer side. If 50 people walk away happy, and one does not, it's the one that matters. I aim to provide every customer with our best, every time."

Ryan is sold on the Bistro's tradition of deep dish pizza.

"When I first had it here, I was shocked how good it was," he said. "The sauces and dressings, like the Creamy Italian, are also what make the Bistro unique. All sauces, soups and dressings are pieced together from scratch to produce tasty results."

The expanded hours at the Bistro are 11am-opm Tue-Thu, 11am-10pm Fridays, and 10:30am-9pm Sundays.

The phone number is 541-479-3412.


The Bohemian Opens on G Street

The-Bohemian-BarThe revival of downtown Grants Pass has been on everyone's wish list for the last twenty years. Historic G Street is the center of that revitalization, and nowhere is that more apparent than the great restaurants that have opened recently.

The newest kid on the block is The Bohemian Bar & Bistro, located at 233 SW G Street. Associates Jill Dini and Julia Espy want to make their establishment a focal point for downtown.

"The Bohemian is a little bit of a Portland tavern in the heart of an interesting town," said Jill, who moved to Grants Pass seven years ago and is a former owner of Blondie's Bistro. "We offer fabulous fresh food, an inviting environment, great cocktails, local music and talent, plus a commitment to the community through donations and events that contribute to those around us. In fact, we have an upcoming fundraiser to promote the Josephine County Community Libraries."

Julia was born and raised in the Rogue Valley and has worked five years in the food and beverage industry.

"Our goal is to provide an upbeat, happy gathering place with quality food and beverages while supporting arts and education," she said. "We offer a late-night venue with Happy Hour twice daily (except Tuesday) from 3-5pm and 9-11pm. We have music several times a week, plus other special events. You can check our calendar on Facebook."

Both Jill and Julia feel their skill sets are complementary toward running a successful restaurant. Jill taught 15 years of high school in the Napa Valley in between owning and operating two restaurants. Julia is the mother of two young children with "excellent and enthusiastic skills in the kitchen combined with dynamic cocktail/mixology talents." She is the "hands-on, go to gal" at the Bohemian.

The restaurant opens at 3pm Tuesday-Saturday. Live music and special events vary. Call 541-471-7158 for more info, or go to Facebook (their website is currently under construction). They are taking reservations for holiday gatherings, and lunch parties are also an option. A "Light Lunch Menu" is in the works for November.

Automania Wants Your Cars and Motorcycles

Automania, located at 895 SE Gladiola, was opened by Ted Holman in 1980 shortly after a move from Portland. It began as an import parts store on Rogue River Highway, then took over the closing Volkswagen dealership in 1986, moved to selling cars on 7th Street, and then back to Rogue River Highway, where collectable motorcycles were introduced.

"We started a website selling Suzuki parts in 1999, and I realized that our local economy was now a global marketplace," Ted said. "Over twelve years of Internet experience has knocked most of the rough edges off, and it is where Automania now positions its business of selling cars and motorcycles."

Ted also brings 23 years of experience as an instructor for Reg Pridmore's CLASS Motorcycle Schools, the nationally recognized Premier Motorcycle Safety School with events around the U.S.

If it has two wheels and stays on asphalt, Ted has the answer if you have a question. He has almost forty years experience in the automotive industry and is comfortable with any type of vehicle when it comes to presenting it in its best light.

"Our consigned inventory includes the sale of motorcycles and cars of interest stored in our warehouse on Gladiola Drive," Ted said. "Seventy percent of Automania's consignment sales ship out of state and around the world with huge success."

If you're thinking of consigning and selling a vehicle that would be best presented to a national or global Market, please contact Automania at 541-479-8888, drop by their warehouse at 895 SE Gladiola Drive in Grants Pass, or visit their website at