It’s not all roses: New bar’s name creates quite a stir in Mount Angel

March 2013 Posted in News
David Borchers, owner of The Drunken German in Mt. Angel. Photo by Don Murtha.

David Borchers, owner of The Drunken German in Mt. Angel. Photo by Don Murtha.

By Don Murtha

So what’s in a name? Potentially, an uproar.

Ask David Borchers, owner of  The Drunken German, a soon-to-open bar and restaurant on Church Street and Highway 214 in Mount Angel. He will tell you the name is “unforgettable.” He does not mean to imply that the entire nation of Germany are drunks, he added.

“I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone,” he said. “That would be stupid and just drive people away.”

But ask a host of outraged Mount Angel citizens and they will say the name is an insult to their community, an affront and an abuse.

Then the question was put to Mount Angel’s city councilors, and they found it a cause for action and asked Mayor Andy Otte to write to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) requesting that a liquor license for The Drunken German be denied on grounds that the name would be detrimental to the image of Mount Angel.

Ask the OLCC, and it will say a name – in this case – is not a reason to deny a permit. OLCC has granted Borchers a liquor license for his bar with the restriction that no minors will be allowed on the premises after 5:30 pm.

“I can live with that,” he said.

A stout, talkative man with a sense of humor, Borchers said,  “I’m a loving person. A people person.”

But the loving, people-person stirred a hornets nest and raised howls of complaints from around the community over the choice of name for his establishment.

Residents at the Mount Angel Towers sent him letters and his phone rings with anonymous callers. Other complaints come from local organizations.

Borchers is not without his supporters, however.

“My distributor says the name is great and several people around town have told me it’s amusing,” he said

Ultimately, city council members Teresa Kintz and Darren Beyer said it was not the city’s place to criticize businesses.

But Borchers has his own complaints about the complainers.

“Not one of them has ever come to see me in person,” he said. “They have never come to talk to me. That would have meant a lot to me.”

Still, it likely would not have changed anything.

“I’ve put $1,000 just into incorporating the name,” he said. “I’d have to spent that much to change it.”

He said as far as the name presenting a problem for Oktoberfest, he believes it will be a positive attraction.

“I think it will help them,” he said.

Borchers says he and his family are long-time residents of the area.

“I’m a cradle Catholic. My parents used to take me to Mass every Sunday at the Abbey,” he said. He attended Central Howell Elementary and graduated from Silverton High School.

Borchers went on to Chemeketa Community College to study automotive technology and had his own business in fabrication of plastic for 13 years before entering the “bar scene” in Mount Angel.

He has plans for the future of the premises he rents.

“This will be a family oriented establishment. I plan to have a tea and coffee room in the house (adjacent to the bar). If I can get it approved, I will have live music and a smoking area outside in the  rear,” he said, “I have some more plans but that’s all more than a year off.

“This has always been a meeting place since it was Frank’s Place before I moved in,” Borchers said. “I plan to keep it a friendly gathering place.”

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