Bari Trattoria brings Italian traditions to Papa's old place

Jan 20, 2019 624

BY: Joel Gorthy

Papa's Soul Food Kitchen is dead. Long live Bari Trattoria! OK, it might be a stretch to compare the comings and goings of local restaurants to the reigns of monarchs. But it's tempting in the case of Papa's, which started out as a food cart and ultimately closed in late 2017 after 15 years in business — the final 11 of those in the 90-year-old house at 400 Blair Blvd., where Bari Trattoria now resides.

Theodore “Ted” Lee, aka “Papa,” operated his restaurant at that address until he passed away in 2009, and then his wife, Deb Lee, ran it until late 2017. Through its reign, Papa's grew increasingly popular for its Southern-inspired comfort food and homey charm, becoming one of the few Eugene spots where diners often would happily endure long Portland-style waits for a table. 

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