Living in Whiteaker

The Whiteaker district has seen grown over these last few years like almost no other neighborhood in Eugene. The real estate slump left this ‘hood in a deceptive quandary, some houses under-water on mortgages while giants like Ninkasi Brewing, Hop Valley and Oakshire silently (or not so silently) sharpened their nails digging deep foundations in what is now a buzzing hive of brewery-and-bar fueled local and not-so-local tourism.

People-powered 10-person drinking tours will pedal by, dropping participants at the above breweries, or bar/nightlife fixtures like Sam Bond’s Garage, or wonderful restaurants like the Izakay Meiji Company or all of the above. The neighborhood even has one of Oregon’s best sushi restaurants, the hole-in-the-wall Mame, where customers can sit and taste delicacies off the menu by Taro Kobayashi, or sit at the bar for a chef’s special, and just have him keep sending out mind-blowing flavors of his choosing until your seams are bursting.

Surrounding the buzzing hive of commercial activity are some of Eugene’s cute flatland homes, cottages and craftsman homes from the ‘20s or earlier, and Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy even made this neighborhood her own home. The Willamette River is to the north, Lincoln and Washington streets to the east and Chambers to the west, with 7th Ave. marking the border between Whiteaker and it’s more demure sibling to the south, Jefferson-Westside neighborhood.

“The Whit” is one of the less gentrified neighborhoods in Eugene, it’s streets roamed by characters and personality. Having grown up in Eugene, it just feels like part of my home, but the vibe residing there is a long shot from the more stately homes atop College Hill, Campus or up in the southern hills.

Live there, play there, work there. Whiteaker is growing quickly and I’d see values in this neighborhood going up in the future, nationwide brewery and beer-maps putting a gold star in that location, the proving grounds for bubbling hops and eccentric barley, the mainstays of our country’s trendy, mass-consumed libations.

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