New café opens in the railroad depot building
February 9, 2016 marked a new era for the old railroad depot building in downtown Talent when southern Oregon native Clea Arthur opened the doors of Cantina Vida. As Clea describes it, it’s a small café with a big heart.
“I provide real, honest food and beverages at affordable prices. I want to give local families, outdoor enthusiasts and worker bees a welcoming place to gather, enjoy healthy food and quench their thirst,” Clea explained. “I hope to create a simple, sustainable business that succeeds by doing business the right way. What the right way means to me: local, organic, from scratch and with as light a footprint at possible.”
Clea is no stranger to the restaurant business. “I bussed tables at Alex’s in Ashland when I was 14. I’ve been a server, bartender and general manager. In 1999 I started working in the back of the house (kitchen) at a fly fishing lodge in Meeker, CO.” Last year I had the amazing opportunity to live in London for about four months. While there I took an intensive cookery course. I had one-on-one, hands-on instruction daily with very talented chefs. The school is all about reducing waste, using organic products and making sustainable choices. The style of cooking we learned was from all over the world.”
Cantina Vida is a counter service café with indoor and outdoor seating. The menu has big salads, soups, seasonal baguette sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, some small bites, beer and wine.
“I love creating food that integrates exciting flavors from many different cultures.
They have six rotating taps with four beers, hard cider and kombucha; and will sell and fill growlers.
“We try to find unique wines that are not on other wine shops’ shelves,” Clea said. “And all of our wines are available by the glass so you are welcome to taste. We also sell retail bottles of wine to-go at discounted prices.”
Cantina Vida is located in the railroad depot building in front of City Hall and across the street from the skate park. The public parking lot is shared with City Hall and the Community Center.
If you’re wondering about the name, Clea explains that in Spain, a “cantina” is a type of bar located in a train station or near a workplace where food and drinks are served. And “vida” means life in Spanish.
In March, Cantina hours for Thursday and Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 2-7pm, and Sunday 12/30-6pm, with daily Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30pm. For more info please call 541-897-0711.
* They also collect and recycle cigarette butts. “There is a cigarette butt receptacle with a recycle symbol on it located along the fence,” Clea explained. “Most people don’t realize that cigarette filters are non-biodegradable plastic and the tobacco remnant is toxic. The filter will break down into smaller parts but the chemicals persist in the environment and contaminate our water and soil. I hope to raise awareness and get this litter off our streets and out of our rivers and streams.”