Downtown Corvallis Sees Losses & Gains During Pandemic

During the past few months, Downtown Corvallis saw a few business closures, but many new openings as well. Jennifer Moreland at the Downtown Corvallis Association says the area is experiencing one of its biggest periods of change.   

The Pig & Olive, a family friendly Irish pub, closed its doors due to economic pressures from COVID-19, according to Moreland. 

The Downtown Corvallis Association posted a message from Cloud Davidson, the owner of the Pig & Olive as well as other restaurants around Corvallis, saying the coronavirus was especially trying due for a business model that relied heavily on live music and events.  

The Pig & Olive was not the only business to close. After more than ten years, Flat Tail Brewing announced it would be shutting its doors, saying in a Facebook post that its lease was unexpectedly terminated. However, six days ago Dave Marliave, the owner, posted, “People keep asking me if I’m back and I haven’t really had an answer, but yeah, I’m thinking I’m back” – a  John Wick quote hinting that this would not be the end of Flat Tail Brewing 

New Eateries  

Despite hard economic times, Moreland pointed out many new businesses are popping up downtown.  

Moving into the space once occupied by the Pig & Olive is The Bière Library, a craft beer bar and restaurant. Co-owner and general manager Erica Baze has over ten years of experience being in the service industry in craft beer establishments, and co-owner Chef Travis Allen is a graduate of Seattle Culinary Academy, spending the past few years testing and experimenting with Belgian recipes and cooking with beer.  

Their website describes the eatery as “Inspired by the beer and cuisine of Belgium, The Bière Library explores the relationship between beer and food in an environment reminiscent of a comfortable library.” 

The Bière Library had its grand opening on Oct. 21.  

Food Truck Pod and Tap Room, Common Fields, is a new addition. Owner Jacob Oliver started his journey with a pop-up truck, Kalamata Bistro, and found a passion for craft beer along the way.  

This led to his creation of Common Fields, a place for food trucks and good beer, and where an emphasis is placed on local vendors, artisans and breweries. Oliver also took part in an effort to develop a meal delivery plan for fire evacuees and allowed local farmers to use his space in Common Fields to distribute fresh produce to evacuees.  

New Odds and Ends  

Delicious food isn’t the only tempting addition to Downtown.  

Filling the space that was once the Tibet House is Valley Rock Gym, an indoor space for climbing. Before COVID-19, owners Morgan Foster, Johanna Garcia, Wendy Little, and Sally Starker, had planned to open in October. The pandemic only pushed back the date a few months, with the anticipated opening being in January of 2021.  

Their goal is to create a space for different levels of climbing ability, youth, a yoga and fitness studio, as well as housing Ants on a Log Café. The café will serve foods fit for pre- or post- workout fuel, and aims to obtain the majority of its food from local farms.  

For more spiritual needs, look no further than the newest addition to the Madison Plaza. With an already established Etsy account, Agnieszka Navarrete just opened a physical version of the business Moon Lotus Crystals & Jewelry. Navarrete handcrafts and personalizes jewelry, and the quality and customer service gave the online storefront an average of five-star reviews.  

I use my intuition and knowledge of metaphysical and healing properties when choosing crystals,” Navarrete said on her website 

Moon Lotus Crystals & Jewelry also offers personalized engravings, as well as a selection of gems and crystals.  

Kraken Cards is also coming soon to a downtown near you. Owner Thomas Pool has dreamt of combining sports cards and games for a new version of a game store. Pool started by finding ways to customize Magic the Gathering playmats by bringing crowdsourcing to players. 

His online business, Inked Gaming, now includes other customizable products like dice and tapestries. Pool credits Inked Gaming with creating Kraken cards, and says that people anxious for the opening can check out the online store.  

By: Hannah Ramsey