Porters is nostalgically named in honor of all the men and women who work professionally aboard passenger trains bringing food, drink, courtesy and a warm smile to their traveling patrons.
We welcome you to a classic American restaurant and bar and a tantalizing taste of oldtown Oregon history. The city of Medford was born in the late 1880’s when the Central Oregon and Pacific railroad pushed south through a town called ‘Middleford’ in the Rogue Valley. By 1910 Medford, renamed by a railroad engineer, was a rapidly growing, prosperous community and Jackson County had become one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. In February of 1910 ground was broken for a new brick railroad depot to replace the older, wooden structure located south of Main Street. This new passenger depot was completed and dedicated in October of the same year, a mere nine months from start to finish. After just two glorious decades passenger rail service declined due in part to the Great Depression and the increasing popularity of automobile travel. From 1955 to 1996 the depot was abandoned or used only as a freight office. Now, after an extensive renovation as a restaurant and a bar and designation as a National Historic Landmark, this true gem of Southern Oregon architecture once again proudly serves the community.
While enjoying your visit and award-winning cuisine, take a moment to observe and appreciate the numerous original and still functioning features of this historic building: over 40,000 Mid-west red roof tiles, hand chiseled exterior granite corbels and massive wooden beams. 100-year-old ‘railroad graffiti’ adorns much of the hand-hewn brickwork. Indoors one finds the original golden painted radiators that heat the building, craftsman style chandeliers (reproduced from a 1914 interior photograph) radiating their own warmth and ambiance. The windows are all original, having been recased and rehung. Many early artifacts are displayed including a ladder for attic access and a ticket making machine. The original railway Passenger Ticket Counter now serves as the curved center section of the bar. Our Station Master’s Office banquet room, complete with a custom audio-visual center featuring flat screen TV, DVD and internet services, was once the sole domain of the Station Master, who no doubt held a party or two of his own there. This room is a great spot for showing your company or family videos, slideshows or DVDs. The giant mural, painted by Emil Knutson, is from a 1912 photograph. And much credit and thanks to Roger Whipple of Jacksonville, for his early restoration work.
Thank you for not smoking or choking. We are locally owned and operated. We will do our best to meet your dietary needs. MSG is not used here. We make oodles of stuff from scratch and we buy from local growers, vintners and artisans. We recycle and compost. We accept all major credit cards, local checks, gold bullion, old stamps & vintage cars. We reserve the right to assess parties of 8 or more an 18% service charge (but you are welcome to leave more since your porter shares tips with the whole crew). Furthermore, the management and ownership of Porters is not responsible for any oxymorons, contradictions, or illogical phrases and accepts no liability for frivolity, confusion, gluttony or any other condition experienced by diners or patrons. We like what we do and we hope you do as well. If so, tell all your friends. If not, please tell us. Thank you and have a pleasant night. And do come see us again.
Tim, Rolar, & Brian - proprietors.