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The Wild Goose: A Rogue Valley Regular

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The first bar I patronised  in the Rogue Valley was Ashland’s Wild Goose. The last bar I will write about for Drink Local is the Wild Goose. You will find everything you need there for a pleasant evening out, with friends, with your Valentine, with the intriguing soul you want to know better.

At first glance, you might think that there is nothing special about the Wild Goose. Tucked behind the restaurant, the bar occupies the former “lounge” of whatever non-historic, 1960s, I-5 motel is now the Rodeway Inn. You can imagine a frazzled father or traveling salesman easing the rigors of a hard day’s drive with a shot and a beer at the curved bar. No massive tap wall, themed decor, or galvanized metal diminish the original, comfortable spirit.

What gives the Wild Goose its spirit today are the essentials of any trustworthy local bar.

The music is present but not at conversation-killing volumes. On a recent visit, the Frankie Hernandez Band played an excellent set. The staff balances efficiency and hospitality. Even if they are having a less-than-stellar day, they will help improve yours. Many bars–and it would be neglectful not to mention the dangers of too much drinking–enter a downward spiral of gloom and negativity due to the staff’s attitude. At the Goose, the buzz is a happy one.

The superb restaurant kitchen fills bar food orders, if you’re hungry. However, you can just drink and not feel as if you are tying up a seat. There is booth seating, neon, and free pool on Wednesdays. There is never a cover charge.

I learned how to behave like an adult at a bar far from the Rogue Valley called the Stoneleigh P. Not yet legal drinking age, my trusted friends and I drank only in moderation, entertained ourselves with long conversations and occasional trips to the jukebox, conducted ourselves appropriately in public, and tipped well. We respected the Stoneleigh, and they let us stay. That’s what you’ll find at the Wild Goose: a public place to relax with friends, a place where you will feel welcome as a newcomer or a regular, where you can truly drink local.


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