Bar Tending: When a stool just sounds right | Dining Guide | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Special Issues & Guides » Dining Guide

Bar Tending: When a stool just sounds right

Braised short ribs with pickled vegetables at Cork. Listening to the latest rumblings, you'd think that no one goes out to eat anymore. But try



Braised short ribs with pickled vegetables at Cork. Listening to the latest rumblings, you'd think that no one goes out to eat anymore. But try to get a table at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night in Bend, and you might forget there's a recession. If your party is small and your dinner plan is flexible, it can be easier and a lot more fun to grab a seat at the bar than wait. Brewpubs and bars that serve food abound downtown, but there are also some great options for bar seating if you're in the mood for higher-end fare but don't mind eating it in a more casual setting. The bar at the newly relocated Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails (919 Bond St.) is welcoming and should be a little easier to access than the highly sought-after tables. Just down the street, Staccato at the Firehall (5 NW Minnesota Ave.) serves up northern Italian recipes with a contemporary twist in its lively bar area that comes complete with cocktail tables and bar-worthy lighting. If you find yourself in the Old Mill District and want to hunker down on a comfortable bar stool, be sure to try Fireside red (803 SW Industrial Way) for eclectic small plates served in a newly expanded bar area that's cordoned off with a bank of red booths.

Several restaurants also have separate rooms dedicated to bar seating that are distinctly different from the main dining rooms, and customers often find them preferable even if tables are available. Cork (150 NW Oregon Ave.), known for its extensive wine list and romantic setting, is a very different experience if you choose to sidle up to the bar. The massive glowing square bar at the Blacksmith (211 NW Greenwood Ave.) will shed a new light on whatever you order from the "New Ranch" menu, specializing in steaks and other hearty entrees. And Giuseppe's (932 NW Bond St.), a downtown fixture since 1985, offers up Goomba's, a lounge at the back of the restaurant that's a favorite of bar denizens. Even Bend's oldest restaurant Pine Tavern (967 NW Brooks St.) has a popular dimly lit lounge in front for those willing to forgo a view of the historic Ponderosa trees growing in the middle of the dining room. You may be sacrificing white tablecloths for cocktail napkins, but the after-dinner drink is far more convenient. - Alice Finer

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Alice Finer

  • Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Kokanee Cafe's Roscoe Roberson takes home the top honors again at this Bite of Bend
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Little Bites: Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Another Top Chef Competition at Bite of Bend has come and gone, leaving delicious memories in its wake (and for us judges the residual heartburn and sunburn that go along with them!).
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Après Ski Pub Crawl! - Eat and drink your way down the mountain for a song

    There are pros and cons to situating a ski resort on National Forest land, but one of the biggest cons for Mt. Bachelor - that last call for food and alcohol coincides with the last chair at around 4 p.m. - can also be a huge pro. Since après ski up top lasts only a few minutes, local businesses all the way down the mountain and into town roll out some excellent happy hour options to lure in passers-by looking for post-play refreshments. Whether you're a vacationer or a local, a hungry winter sportsman or simply a bargain hunting day-drinker looking for a deal, there's après ski merriment to be found around every corner. Set yourself up with an appetite and a designated driver and embark on your very own après pub-crawl down the hill - a must for any winter in Bend. Here's one possible route, in geographical order:
    • Dec 30, 2009
  • More »

Latest in Dining Guide

More in Dining Guide

  • The Year in Restaurants: Dearly Departed and New Arrivals

    Times are tough all over, but the local restaurant industry has certainly been taking more than its share of punches. This year saw the passing
    • May 28, 2009
  • Chef's Choice: James Malone, Staccato at the Firehall

     Hola! Enchiladas Queretanas What makes your favorite dish taste so good? Is it only the quality and freshness of the ingredients? Is it the presentation? Does the service and ambience affect your palette? I feel it takes multiple elements working in a symbiotic fashion to create a great experience, i.e.
    • May 28, 2009
  • Sorry, We're Open

    The only question about La Rosa's late-night scene is whether you can get a seat.Bend's reputation as a town of early birds is slowly but
    • May 28, 2009
  • Don't Worry, Be Happy

    Playing hooky at the BlacksmithLet's be honest, the recession hasn't been any easier on Central Oregon's restaurants than it's been on our furniture businesses. We've
    • May 28, 2009
  • Chefs Choice: TR McCrystal, Jen's Garden

     Zydeco's Grilled Redfish Favorite Central Oregon dish? Tough choice. There are many great restaurants and chefs in Central Oregon.
    • May 28, 2009
  • I've Got Your Freshies Right Here

    Off the beaten path and right up our alley, Bend's Produce Patch.In winter, the word "fresh" is core to the Central Oregon vernacular. For example:
    • May 28, 2009
  • Chef's Choice -- Gavin McMichael, The Blacksmith

    Sparrow Bakery's Croque Monsieur Believe it or not, my favorite local dish is a pastry, sort of. Because I run a dinner house I don't get to go out in the evenings very much.
    • May 28, 2009
  • Chef's Choice: Ryan Barnett

    Ryan Barnett, Fireside red Barnett with Ariana's GnocchiAriana's Gnocchi and peas Since the recent closure of Bistro Corlise, my regular dining spot, I was confused as to where to take my wife for a good dinner. Then I found Ariana and their wonderful gnocchi.
    • May 28, 2009
  • More »