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Mixing it up on Ashland Street

South Ashland’s main business strip is hopping this spring with the chic, new ReMix coffee house (offspring of Mix downtown) opened in the old, entirely rebuilt Beanery.

Also just opened is Rogue Credit Union’s 20th branch overall and second in Ashland a block down on Ashland Street.

The new and elegant ReMix features a basic cafe menu — soup, salad, hummus, savory croissants and a huge range of pastries, baked by Jamie North, owner of Mix (where she is the pastry chef), ReMix and Flip.

However, North goes in a new direction from her Mix origins, offering beer, wine and keg cocktails. As you approach ReMix from the street, you notice right away that it’s black on the outside, a look North chose to “anchor” the business on a main corner, Walker and Ashland streets, of the increasingly busy south town.

Step inside and you’re struck by the generous amount of space and light, with more and bigger windows from days of “the Bean,” and a garage-style door that rolls up, opening to the large west patio, which has great late afternoon views of sunset.

“We rebuilt the building in place. It took over a year. It’s a special spot with a lot of history and it’s important to keep the character and the look and the way it sits on the corner, with its barn-like roof. It’s refreshing.”

A long, continuous but narrow table runs down the middle of ReMix, to encourage mixing and chat, as well as to allow space for patrons to stand and wander about, she says. A big round table seating 10 people will dominate the center of the shop, further facilitating chat and getting to know people. The patio should be complete and ready for use Saturday.

A walk-up window on the north side is designed for hurried students of Ashland Middle School, down Walker Avenue, and will have benches on the wide stairs around it.

The shop has it own blend of coffee and rotates two others, Andytown of San Francisco and Sweet Bloom from Colorado.

North has invested an enormous amount of time, money and creativity creating ReMix — and has a 20-year lease to keep it going. Next door, in the old Wiley’s Pasta, her North Star Creamery is taking shape and should be open for ice cream lovers this fall.

ReMix opened Tuesday, May 15, and customers are still wandering around, getting used to it and offering their snap assessments.

“It seems very hip. The hip factor is high,” said Cliff Beneventi. “I can get my mocha for $4.75 here, much less than in Portland. I don’t like the black building, but the inside is light and airy, inviting. The service is friendly, where the Bean wasn’t that friendly.”

Hayley Mete said, “Definitely, I like it. So glad to see this high space brought back to life. I love the open windows. It feels expansive, very inviting. The coffee is the best.”

North says, “It feels like a party here every day, such a warm response, really positive.”

Across the street sits the sleek, new and modern Rogue Credit Union, which staged its grand opening last week, in response to years of demands from members, says Kelsey Esqueda, marketing manager.

“Our downtown branch is one of the busiest in the entire Credit Union,” she says. The credit union serves Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Klamath, Coos and Curry counties and has 125,000 members and assets of $1.4 billion.

The credit union got its humble beginning in 1956, when 10 Medford teachers started it in the Jefferson Elementary School cafeteria and ran it in a garage for several years, Esqueda says.

The new credit union is across from the Ashland Street Cinema, with drive-through service available, as is parking in the back.

— John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Photo by John DarlingBaked goods fill the display case awt newly opened ReMix on Ashland Street on Thursday at the site of the former The Beanery.
Photo by John DarlingPatrons jam the newly opened ReMix on Ashland Street on Thursday at the site of the former The Beanery.