The Black Sheep Mission
The Black Sheep was established in 1993 to provide an entertaining gathering place for the local community, a centralizing point for visitors, and a haven for the exceptional. It is The Black Sheep’s goal to provide patrons with a comfortable place where they can enjoy the company of friends and strangers in a setting where they can relax and feel that their minds are free.
The British Telephone Box
This red monster weighs in at 121.43 Stones (1700 pounds) and originally serviced the public of Sheffield, England. It arrived in pieces and was carried, re-assembled, and lovingly restored by assorted staff members. Yes, it is very heavy. You may not have heard, but the British government has been removing these monuments of tradition from the streets of Britain and replacing them with boring, regular phone booths. An antique merchant informed me that most of the removed phone boxes have been sold to Americans and converted into showers. Crazy. Call us conventional; we installed a pay phone inside of ours. Now you can experience a British memory right here in Southern Oregon!
The International Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal order that originally built the historical landmark building which houses The Black Sheep. It seems that in 1879, racing with the Masons to see who could build a club house quicker, using huge river rocks for a foundation, old growth headers, and brick, the Odd Fellows finished first! Well haste makes waste as they say, and eventually the facades of both buildings began to peel away and needed reinforcement and repair. Again a sense of urgency was injected into the building. Once all was secure, the Odd Fellows gathered on Thursday nights, sang songs (I found some of the sheet music in the walls while renovating) and did whatever guys did for a kick back then when forests were old and thick. Over time, this grand space has welcomed many different people for many different purposes. What better history than that for The Black Sheep?
The Black Sheep Wall of Fame
Well, there’s so much wall to cover, and so many smiling faces, it was an obvious match. The photographs on the wall are of our beloved patrons and staff. How do you get your photograph on the wall? You’ve simply got to be in the right place at the right time! After all, what fun would it be if it wasn’t spontaneous?
The Imperial Pint
You can get one of these in Britain, where it is law that a pint is a pint, and at The Black Sheep, where a pint is still a pint. Fair is fair. A full 20 royal ounces of libation, not 14.5 ounces, or 16 if you’re lucky, as most places like to serve you when you order a ‘pint’. Ounce per ounce our beer is less expensive, and to top off the experience our bevy has traveled half way around the world just to be with you and your belly. So what more could you want from us, romance?
Well, speaking of romance…there does seem to be something magical about The Black Sheep. Aside from being voted ‘The Best Bar to Meet Ms. or Mr. Right’ by our adoring patrons, over the past decade we have witnessed and had related to us countless encounters of the romantic kind. Many of these meetings have blossomed into strong friendships, long-term relationships, marriage, and an abundance of adorable babies. Is it true that we are secretly known as The Love Sheep? Maybe…
The Art of Conversation
People love to talk. Some more than others. Here at The Black Sheep you’ll find that the art of conversation is still very alive and well. Enter and discover a room full of people who enthusiastically enjoy conversing and sharing observations, adventures, politics, and their perspective on the comedy of life, debating about questions and opinions, reaching to stretch their knowledge while remaining friendly. Hey, what better way to contribute to world peace than to practice some with a new friend?
The Dancing Ghosts
Sometime after the Odd Fellows vacated, but before The Black Sheep was created, the upstairs floor of the building housed an apartment, a lot of walls, and a dance studio. (The hardwood floor is what was saved of the dance studio.) Now the dartboards are in the kitchen, the kitchen is in the bathroom and the bathrooms are in the locker room. We knocked it all down and started over with one big, open space with a smashing mountain view. Seems that’s what those Odd Fellows had intended when they built those grand, elegant windows. So now there’s more room to move around and mingle. But watch out because ghosts still wander the hall (we call our favourite Donald), and the spirit of the dancers is in the wooden floor, the combination which now and then suddenly compels people to dance, twirl and leap about with bursts of energy!