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January 22nd, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Bar Reviews
 

B Squared: Half-Baked

bar_b2_clublist_4012B SQUARED - IMAGE: Evan Johnson
     
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In Oregon, food goes south to make money. Sizzle Pie, Voodoo Doughnut and Mio Sushi have all cashed in on Portland cachet to serve Eugene’s college kids and street activists. Rarely do Eugene’s offerings travel north to Portland, however. So we noted with interest the quiet addition of B Squared wine bar (1966 NW Pettygrove St., 971-202-7569), a new outpost of Eugene Wine Cellars’ bar in Eugene; the bar is also the first nod to the Con-Way warehouse district’s future as Pearl Northwest. But in confusing and transitional times for the ’hood, B Squared is confusing and transitional. The improvised space, which doubles as a daytime cafe, is painted mustard brown and decorated with a tight hodgepodge of celebrity illustrations, from Andy Warhol to a frighteningly pursed Christopher Walken; they’re the only things in the bar that aren’t overlighted. The bar menu ranges from standard olive plate to pulled-pork sandwich and banh mi, not to mention lasagna and shepherd’s pie. This last dish, unfortunately, arrived uncooked: Unmelted, shredded cheddar sat atop mashed potatoes and beef still cold from the refrigerator. “You forgot to cook this, man,” the bartender called to the kitchen when I sent it back. The house B² red was similarly unbaked, a hollowly acidic pinot noir with nearly the same name as an excellent New Zealand pinot by Brennan Wines. As a wine bar in a neighborhood under heavy construction, B Squared is a pioneer. But it seems, for the time being, to be roughing it. 
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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