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“Historical? Yes Friendly? No”
Review of Tolly's

Tolly's
Ranked #1 of 11 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $36
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Tolly's is located in a historic brick building built in 1872. It originally housed the towns drug store and mercantile. As you walk into the restaurant you immediately feel as though you have gone back in time to another era. Local art lines the walls and there are cabinets and displays of antiques throughout the entire facility. We have an antique soda fountain circa 1901 that was recently refurbished and is functional. The bar has a back bar originally built in 1910, there is an 1885 Bosendorffer concert grand piano, 1 of only 3 not in a museum, piano music is played for diners Friday and Saturday evenings. Outside we have beautiful patio, gardens and Koi pond. Hope to see you for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Historical? Yes Friendly? No”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

We visit Oakland once a month. It's a small town with very limited choices for food and coffee. Tolly's trumpets their "history" there, going back to 1968 and over multiple ownerships. There's a gleaming soda bar, chandeliers, period furniture, and wooden carousels. Very decorative. They reopened (again) in late 2012, and we've gone in twice since then. We didn't stay the first time—no fault of theirs, we were simply in a hurry and the soup special didn't hit a chord.

This week we took a neighbor's ten- and thirteen-year-old daughters to Duchess Sanctuary (rescue horses) for a tour, and afterwards everyone agreed ice cream sounded good. So, in to Tolly's for Take 2. Let me get right to it: this was a total fail. Mom said "keep your peace unless you have something nice to say," but even she would have commented on the (lack of) service we received that afternoon.

We were the ONLY customers as we came in; the waitress (I use the term generically, with apologies to the legions of FRIENDLY women and men who serve their customers) seemed surprised to see anyone…she came out from the kitchen area saying "Hello, welcome to Tolly's," and that was it for any personality. My wife ordered a sandwich and soup (no half sandwich available, sorry), the girls split a cheeseburger, and I had a hot fudge sundae (drivers' rights). No nuts, sorry. Said waitress appeared once…still no one else in the place besides us, maybe she was helping with the breakfast dish-washing?

The girls decided they'd like to split a sundae, and as young girls and boys sometimes do they "hesitated" a bit as they talked over what they wanted on their treat; it was only later, when we were home, that my wife told me the waitress (I really hate using that word here) actually ROLLED HER EYES as they made up their young minds!! Since this woman had approximately thirty or so years on them, I would expect a dose of understanding…experience…something indicating friendliness. Not available, sorry.

After we paid the girls looked around as we walked slowly toward the front door—when I held it for them the server (there! that's what she was!) was five feet away, fiddling with the cash register, and she said nary a word as we exited, still the only people in the restaurant. I hope the dinner guests fared better than we did.

For us, Tolly's is "history"—the food is average (greasy French fries), and it avoids one star only because the restaurant appeared to be clean. The next time I'm in Oakland I'll try the bar across the street, bring a sack lunch, or drive three miles over to Sutherlin. 'Bye!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    66
    38
    13
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Junction City, Oregon
Level Contributor
43 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere, the rest average.”
Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful restaurant. Service was slow @ a slow time. Server was nice. We had steak which was very good, but kinda skimpy on the extas, which were average in taste (potatoe cake), and a reuben sandwich, which was average. The fresh cut fries were very good. For the price I think they could do better.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Julie541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, Washington
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“excellence”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Over the years I have visited Tolly's on my trips up and down I-5. Their service and food has always been extraordinary. I was told on my last visit (02/06/13) they were under new owners. I just have to say thank you for the wonderful lunch. It's such a pleasure to 'come home' to a place I know will always make me feel welcome.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Lisa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Point, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Repeat customers”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

This was the second time we have stopped at Tolly's for lunch and on both occasions found the food and service to be really good. We love the atmosphere,with the old fashion soda fountain: old brick work of the building along with the warm woodwork lends its self to a time gone by.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank 55Brenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wow!”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Traveling south on I-5 we stopped in Oakland to see what it was about. I had not used TripAdvisor in the past but came here after my visit to Tolly's. I am surprised at some of the negative comments. I guess everyone has a bad day.
We found the restaurant to be extraordinary. The service was warm, friendly and comforting. The food was great. Most impressive is the atmosphere. I cannot believe how wonderful the old historic building is inside and out. Prices seemed on par with where we live. I loved the place and cannot wait to go back in the summer to eat in what appears to be a gorgeous outdoor dining area.

Don't miss this place.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Logan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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