Back in 1970, there were about four restaurants in Ashland. Now there’s something like a hundred! What exactly happened? It’s pretty simple. The Angus Bowmer Theater was constructed and it turned the Oregon Shakespeare Festival into a world-class operation, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and rejuvenating the restaurant and nightlife scene in Ashland. We should count ourselves lucky.
You’ve got to hand it to the local restaurant owners, though. It’s a tough, competitive market and they work overtime to provide excellent food and service. In this survey, 30 different owners were named, and the top spot went to Julie Gurwell, owner of Hearsay Restaurant below Oregon Cabaret Theatre at 1st and Hargadine.