The Place in Roseburg was one of the few open businesses on the second day of the record-breaking snowstorm in February.
It opened for the first time just a few days earlier and Manager Amanda Mehrer was determined to be there.
“It was such a bummer,” Mehrer said. “I was so determined to get here, and the power was out so I couldn’t open. We were partially closed for three days. People still came in. Anybody who was walking around downtown was really excited we were open. We just want to take care of everyone who has taken care of us.”
Mehrer worked at the bar when it was C&M Tavern and always had a vision for the space to serve hard liquor, fresh food and to be a fun place for people to visit.
“I loved it here, I really did and I loved the owners,” Mehrer said. “It was an old cowboy bar and it was just full of antiques. It was frozen microwave food like 50-cent chicken pot pies and cans of soup and we changed that.”
The bar opens at 7 a.m. and the soup, salad and sandwich offerings have been a hit, especially when families didn’t have food during the snowstorm. Mehrer said she ran food out to people’s cars that week to make sure everyone had food, even if they had children who couldn’t come in.
“C&M was community oriented for a long time and it kind of slowed down as the old owners got older and I want to see it get back to that,” Mehrer said. “I feel like it became my home after a while. I saw it start to fail and it made me so sad. It’s so cool to just see my vision sort of come to life in it.”
Owner Cecil Barrett bought the business and hired Mehrer after a few customers recommended he bring her on to the bar tucked into the wall just off of Jackson Street.
“We’ve got a secret here,” Barrett said of the location.
He said the name “just popped out of the head.”
Her and some of the staff are planning to join other local business owners and concerned citizens with downtown cleanups on Fridays to show support for the area.
“I really want to be community-oriented,” Mehrer said. “I really, really want to keep it local, I want to keep serving fresh food and doing as much as we possible can to be involved in downtown. I want a full bar every single day. I want people to be happy and I want it to be a fun place to go.”
She said she was concerned about the response the bar would get when she came back for the business reset because of a poor reputation from the end of the C&M days.
“There was so much bad influence here and it was such a problem for downtown,” Mehrer said. “I was so concerned we were going to get a lot backlash from the business owners but they have been fantastic. They’ve loved it here and they’ve been so supportive and it’s taken a lot off my shoulders.”
The Place in Roseburg serves a full menu from 7 a.m. to midnight and Mehrer is focused on serving local beers. The bar has applications in for a hard liquor license and for lottery machines.