2017 MUGGYS results are in!
The who’s who and what’s what awards of the local bar and nightlife scene.
Scientific? Not exactly. But we used a round of online voting to help paint a picture of which bars Yamhill Valley residents seek out for certain needs. The West division includes McMinnville, Carlton, Yamhill, Lafayette, Sheridan and Willamina; The East division includes Newberg, Dundee, Amity and Dayton.
Bar with best appetizer menu Winner: West: The 411 Eatery & Lounge, McMinnville Something for everyone on this little gem’s snacks menu. The candied bacon two ways is semi-famous around these parts; there are three ways to order oysters; the steak quesadilla is a meal in itself; and even escargots are available for the adventurous.
Other top vote-getters: Golden Valley Brew Pub, McMinnville; Pura Vida, McMinnville.
East: Ruddick/Wood, Newberg Always something new to try according to the season, including whatever graces the daily grilled flatbread. Plenty of wine country staples to choose from (craft cheeses and breads, fresh veggies and artisanal meats), but we recommend an order (or four) of duck & oat hush puppies.
Other top vote-getters: The Barlow Room, Dayton; Dundee Bistro, Dundee.
Bar with best place for a burger and a beer
Winner: West: Carlton Corners, Carlton The repeat winner of the Indulge Yamhill Valley Burger Bracket has graduated from hidden gem to local favorite destination. Fashioned inside a gas station market, Corners features 10 rotating beers on tap and a hearty menu of burgers.
Other top vote-getters: Golden Valley Brew Pub, McMinnville; Blue Moon Tavern, McMinnville.
East: The Dundee Bistro Wine & Bubbles Bar, Dundee Given it’s name and upscale flair, this place doesn’t scream burger and beer joint. The beer selection is smaller than most. So to win this honor the burger must be extra tasty. Save a few bucks and order it during happy hour (2:30-5:30) when a bistro burger ($6), truffle fries ($3) and a draft beer ($3) won’t break the bank.
Other top vote-getters: Ruddick/Wood, Newberg; Chehalem Valley Brewing, Newberg.
Bar with best cocktails Winner: West: Thistle Restaurant & Bar, McMinnville Bartender/mixologist Patrick Bruce’s reputation precedes him for serving creative cocktails, from Prohibition-era recipes to what Bruce has experimented with lately.
Other top vote-getters: La Rambla, McMinnville. The 411 Eatery & Lounge, McMinnville. The Oak, McMinnville.
East: Jory at the Allison, Newberg Hand crafted cocktails in the center of luxury are what you discover at Jory, whether there for a full meal or simply stopping in for a drink. Orders from the craft cocktail menu run from $11 to $15.
Other top vote-getters: Voodoo Martini, Newberg; Ruddick/Wood, Newberg.
Best bar for a glass of wine
Winner: West: La Rambla, McMinnville This Spanish-inspired eatery and bar has been serving since before McMinnville was known as the heart of wine county, and continues to attract with its substantial wine list featuring dozens of Spanish selections and around 150 Northwest options.
Other top vote-getters: The Back Room at Nick’s, McMinnville; R. Stuart Tasting Room, McMinnville.
East: Subterra – A Wine Cellar Restaurant, Newberg Renowned for its dining sublime experience, Subterra also offers a cozy bar to settle up to and enjoy a selection from its award-winning wine list. For a nice two-stop offering, head upstairs to the Dark Horse Wine Bar, a runner-up in this category.
Other top vote-getters: The Dundee Bistro Wine and Bubble Bar, Dundee.
Bar with best place to play 9-ball
Winner: West: The Deluxe Billards Parlor, McMinnville “I know it’s closed, but this is the chance to honor an icon in our community,” wrote one Muggys voter. He/she wasn’t the only one. The Deluxe closed at the end of 2016, but its legacy endures with this posthumous award.
Other top vote-getters: Nick’s Backroom, McMinnville; The Oak, McMinnville; The Mac Club, McMinnville.
East: First Street Pub, Newberg All the comforts of your casual small town bar with several tables to choose from, video games and plenty of sports on television.
Other top vote-getter: Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee.
Best bar to play card and board games
Winner: West: The Bitter Monk, McMinnville Downtown McMinnville’s Beervana has a custom cribbage board in the shape of its logo. Enough said.
Other top vote-getters: The Oak, McMinnville. Grain Station Brew Works, McMinnville.
Best bar with the best bartender
Winner: West: Becky Tucker at The Bitter Monk, McMinnville To complement her “kickass fashion style,” as one voter described, Tucker’s comforting smile and swift service makes her stand out from the Bitter Monk’s beloved set of bartenders.
Other top vote-getters: Rick Drakeley, The 411 Eatery & Lounge, McMinnville; Janelle Justen, The Wildwood Hotel, Willamina.
East: Brian Curtis at The Barlow Room, Dundee Friendly and professional service with a knack for making delicious drinks is what to expect from the Barlow Room’s bartender and lead server, along with as much friendly banter as you care for.
Other top vote-getter: Mylee Smith, Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee.
Best small town bar Winner: West: Wildwood Hotel, Willamina Small town bar attracting big town entertainment. Wildwood Hotel is respected for its live music offerings, but also exudes the charm of a small community watering hole with friendly service, great food, good drinks and video lottery.
Other top vote-getter: Barrel 47, Carlton.
East: Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee As far as bars within a stand-alone building next to a highway go, this humble slice of wine country is one of the better ones you’ll find. Pool, poker machines, smiles, hearty grub and much more await patrons of Lumpy’s.
Other top vote-getter: The Barlow Room, Dayton.
Best bar for date night
Winner: West: 1882 Grille/The Barberry, McMinnville Housed in the KAOS building, the ground floor Barberry provides a touch of swank to date night at an upcsale bar with a backroom vibe; music every Wednesday evening promises a great time for a date. Then head to the rooftop Grille for a more casual moment, settling in to whatever is on the flat screens or sip a martini while gazing at the stars from the outside patio.
Other top vote-getters: Thistle, McMinnville; The 411 Eatery & Lounge, McMinnville.
East: Ruddick/Wood, Newberg Also winner of the “Best Establishment for Singles to Mingle” in the east, it’s no secret that Newberg residents of every relationship status or level love this place.
Other top vote-getter: Jory at The Allison, Newberg.
Best establishment for singles to mingle
Winner: West: The Bitter Monk, McMinnville This taproom has a classic pub feel and welcomes conversations with friends and strangers. It’s oversize windows and summer outdoor seating attract patrons from all walks of life, and hosts a weekly running group, coloring nights and live music.
Other top vote-getters: The Oak, McMinnville; The Cabana Club, McMinnville.
East: Ruddick/Wood , Newberg See above (in best bar for date night.)
Bar with best live entertainment Winner: West: TIE -- The Wildwood Hotel, Willamina McMenamins Hotel Oregon, McMinnville The Yamhill Valley music scene would be diminished without these two staples. McMenamins hosts three nights of music weekly, while The Wildwood attracts local, regional and national acts to the intimate setting of the West Valley.
Other top vote-getters: The Horse Radish, Carlton. Willamette Valley Vineyards Tasting Room, McMinnville. The Bitter Monk, McMinnville.
East: Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee Living a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle with a collection of local bands help bargoers unwind on the weekend.
Watering hole with the best sports viewing
Winner: West: The Bitter Monk, McMinnville Just one television is all that’s needed. Like a classic soccer pub where fans sit shoulder to shoulder, trying not to spill beer while giving constant high fives. Also of note, the Wednesday night runners’ club, The Bitter Runners.
Other top vote-getters: The 1882 Grille, McMinnville; Golden Valley Brew Pub, McMinnville.
East: Lil’ Cooperstown Bar & Grill, Newberg You don’t name a place after the Baseball Hall of Fame without guaranteeing it has all the necessities for great sports viewing.
Other top vote-getter: Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee.
Bar with best setting for outdoor imbibing Winner: West: McMenamins Hotel Oregon, McMinnville Offering sidewalk seating for people-watching on the street and the finest view in town from the famous Rooftop Bar.
Other top vote-getters: The Bitter Monk, McMinnville. The Grain Station Brew Works, McMinnville.
East: Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, Newberg
In a short time this brewery has established a major reputation as a must for beer lovers. The outdoor patio features picnic tables and authentic German umbrellas next to a hazelnut orchard. Live entertainment options are planned for 2017, too.
Other top vote-getter: Ruddick/Wood, Newberg.
Best townie bar Winner: West: The Blue Moon, McMinnville The oldest operating bar in town remains a local favorite. Whether you want breakfast and Bloody Marys, an early evening drink with “the boys” or late-night hobnobbin’, The Blue Moon delivers with vintage decor and homegrown hospitality.
East: Lumpy’s Tavern, Dundee Make it a Lumpy’s night.