If you're in Bend on a warm, sunny day, of which there have been plenty over the past few weeks and want to grab a bite to eat, you almost certainly want to sit outside. Patio dining is a popular Central Oregon pastime and one that's revered to the point that some of us would rather wait a half-hour for a sidewalk spot than settle for an air-conditioned table inside. Three new Bend spots unveiled patios in the past few weeks, and it's a safe bet that there won't be many empty seats in these outdoor dining rooms in the waning days of summer.
At GoodLife Brewing, the new pub and brewing facility showed that their big plans aren't stopping anytime soon by unveiling last week a massive (and we mean massive) "biergarten" behind the brewery's Century Center location. The spacious grass, and several thousand square feet of it, will be filled with tables and yard games for drinkers to enjoy, as well as a gas fire pit that should help the garden remain popular into the colder nights in the months ahead. One of the coolest aspects of this new spot is that it's perfectly acceptable to bring your own food... and your dog, too.
Now settled into their new Bond Street location, The Astro Lounge is doing well, thanks in part to an uber-chic patio behind the bar that's creatively enclosed with artistic fencing. The spot includes a few couches and is excellently arranged to keep the patio - which has been full the past few weekends when I've stopped by - from feeling overly crowded. In terms of downtown patios, this one is looking to be one of the best.
Finally, Amalia's, the constant mover and shaker of downtown dining for the past couple of years is also looking to get into the patio game, and given their Wall Street location, that's probably not a bad idea. While there are already tables in front of the restaurant, the new space will be behind the location. The patio is in the works, but no official opening date has been announced just yet.