Deciding where to eat with friends can be an arduous process. Someone may be craving Italian, while another has a taste for Indian, another for Mexican, etc. The decision can take up to an hour to make.
No Nations is about to end the debate once and for all.
The new ethnic fusion eatery will open at 230 N.W. First St. in October. Brendan Murphy, who co-owns the business with Peter Martin-Clift and Sebastian Letelier, can hardly wait to cook up global cuisines for hungry customers in a restaurant of his own.
“I've worked in Corvallis restaurants since I left high school,” Murphy said. “After the pandemic, I wanted to have my own place. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing because this place was available. It's been an enormous undertaking.”
Murphy said he and his business partners noticed a changing climate around food and health consciousness throughout the Willamette Valley.
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No Nations will primarily serve vegetarian and vegan food, with meat and gluten-free options as well. It will have a farm to table theme, drawing on fresh produce from local farms and rotating the menu as the crops change. Murphy sees this as a way to keep things interesting in the kitchen and out in the dining area.
“Anything that you cook 1,000 times is going to come out really nice,” he said. “But then you kind of lose the excitement of making something. Always making something new is really enticing to me, especially if I'm going to be cooking for 50 hours a week for the next 10 to 15 years.”
The No Nations menu will include about 15 options at any given time, always rotating and always farm fresh. For the grand opening, Murphy plans on offering a teriyaki, curry or Chilean stir fry with three different kinds of rice. Meat lovers will have the option of ordering a prosciutto and caprese sandwich on a baguette.
The restaurant is also going to have a full bar with drinks as diverse as the food. Diners can expect to sip on Pisco sours and other worldly cocktails at the pagoda-style bar as they listen to live music or crowd around one of the four fire tables as part of the outdoor seating.
Murphy plans to build an outdoor stage so people can listen to live music every night of the week. He also wants to continuously hold fundraisers for grassroots movements as a way to give back to the community he grew up in.
“We've done pretty much everything by hand,” Murphy said. “They say there's no such thing as a happy owner, but I'm incredibly excited to open.”
The three partners were hoping to be open much sooner than October, but obtaining building permits and an Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission license have taken longer than they expected.
Although Murphy enjoys cooking international dishes, he has actually never left the country. He learned to cook from other chefs who studied in India, or who came over from Mexico as immigrants. These are the people who inspired the idea of No Nations.
“It's upsetting to me that these people could have a very fruitful life just by working all the time if there wasn't so much red tape around coming over to work and raise your kids,” he said. “It's very upsetting seeing what they've had to go through, and they're the people who taught me how to cook.”
Murphy is looking forward to creating a positive work environment and training people to become great cooks and servers. He is not necessarily looking to hire people with the most experience, but those who want to learn and be a part of the No Nations community.
“It is an unbelievable amount of work and money,” Murphy said. “But I'm starting to get excited.”
Joanna Mann covers education for Mid-Valley Media. She can be contacted at 541-812-6076 or Joanna.Mann@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @joanna_mann_.