Players Bar and Grill has new owners and they've spruced up the place while maintaining the general dive-bar appeal. Josh Maquet, owner of the Astro Lounge, is one of the new owners, so we have good reason to expect some righteous upgrades.
Production manager Jim Bull says his goal is to make sure the sound and lighting is on the "higher end," for every show at the revamped venue. Speaking of bands, Bull expects the music at the SW Century Drive bar to be "less metal and more accessible."
"We're not going to let every band come in here and murder the patrons' ears," says Bull.
The music vibe isn't the only change afoot at Players. Bull says the new owners have been adding new furnishings, fresh coats of paint and have thoroughly cleaned and refinished the bathrooms. Bull is all too familiar with Players' former reputation as a dive bar.
"I went in there once and it was kinda scary," says Bull. Those in the public he's heard from share a similar sentiment, he says.
Folks who may have previously been turned off by the place can look forward to cheap, stiff dinks and a retooled food menu that Bull calls a "work in progress."
The new Players is kicking things off with an appearance by Jerry Joseph and Friends on Thursday, December at 9 p.m. ($10). Bull, who was Joseph's road manager for five years, was instrumental in bringing the big-name act to the westside of Bend.
"We want [Players] to be a cool roadhouse- style bar. A comfortable place for people to come hang out and see some music," says Bull.
Bo Bows to the Recession
Bo Asian Bistro, owned by Typhoon! and known for its dollar-beer night and once a karaoke hotspot, is now open only three nights per week, says new manager Alyssa Tinling.
Tinling was brought down from Typhoon!'s Beaverton location to run the Bend bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Why the reduced hours?
"Unfortunately the home office believed the amount of sales just wasn't cutting it," Tinling says.
Dollar-beer Thursdays are also no more, but Tinling notes that management is working on some new ideas to keep people coming through the door.
Typhoon! has been in the news over the course of the past few months, first when the restaurant chain was accused of taking advantage of its Thai chefs (the company was cleared of human trafficking charges in July) and more recently when founder and co-owner Steve Klein died in August of a heart attack.