New eatery opens in downtown Medford – Medford news, weather, sports, breaking news

CravingCave owner Adrian Gonzalez-Hernadez said it took nearly 10 months to prepare the new Front Street location in downtown Medford. The restaurant, located in the former Howie’s on Front location, is opening Saturday. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

CravingCave’s new location in downtown Medford features 13 big-screen TVs, a top-to-bottom renovation, and a unique plastic clover wall decor. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

CravingCave employees Santo Chavajoy and Manuel Perez work in the kitchen during the downtown Medford restaurant’s grand opening Friday afternoon. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

Downtown Medford’s CravingCave will open Saturday at 16 N. Front St. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

Adrian Gonzalez-Hernandez, owner of CravingCave, is hoping to attract a crowd by casting a wide net for his new downtown Medford eatery.

Opening on Saturday, December 3, the business offers something special for a wide variety of customers, from sports enthusiasts to families with children and tequila enthusiasts. The business is located at 16 N. Front St., in the space formerly occupied by Howie’s.

“We’re nothing like Howie’s,” Gonzalez-Hernandez says quickly.

“We’ve redone every inch,” he added Friday, pointing to fresh gray paint, an unusual plastic clover wall trim and a brand new fence.

The Medford Center location is the company’s second location. The first is located at Tolman Creek Plaza in Ashland and opened in 2020. The new facility is the result of nearly a year of preparation, he said.

With gleaming slate floors, onyx countertops, modern LED lighting, and a neon “Good Feelings Only” sign, it’s clear that CravingCave has a very different vision than a dive bar with a record album on the ceiling.

However, nostalgia will find a pool table.

Gonzalez-Hernandez says she sees CravingCave as a restaurant first, and prides herself on the diversity of her menu. In addition to wings, pizza, hamburgers, and sandwiches, the menu offers more classic Mexican dishes like ceviche and street tacos.

There is a children’s menu that Gonzalez-Hernandez hopes will attract families with children to what she describes as a “Mexican-American family-friendly” restaurant.

To appeal to sports fans, he installed 13 new big-screen TVs on the walls of the historic building, along with 15 beer taps and ten different types of bottles.

For the after-work crowd, the bar has over 100 varieties of tequilas.

“It took the place almost a year just to get the OLCC license,” Gonzalez-Hernandez said.

CravingCave took over the lease from the not-for-profit restaurant Ghostlight Grille at the Randall Theater in February of this year. Gonzalez-Hernandez expressed frustration with the OLCC’s understaffing, changing pandemic restrictions and “excuse after excuse” when it comes to paying rent and improving restaurants.

“I’m excited,” Gonzalez-Hernandez said at Saturday’s launch. “I’m ready to work.”

Gonzalez-Hernandez said she focused on downtown Medford when looking for locations in late 2019 and early 2020, but Ashland St.

The original location helped him refine his approach, he said.

“We had a clearer vision based on our experience in Ashland,” Gonzalez-Hernandez said.

Gonzalez said his long-term vision is to expand CravingCave into larger metro areas, including Portland.

“That’s our long-term goal: to be a franchise,” Gonzalez-Hernandez said.

CravingCave in Medford is open weekends from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call or view 541-690-1270 for more information

Contact Web Editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.

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