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Food & Drink » Chow

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

The latest casualty on the Central Oregon dining sceneThe fallout from Bend's housing crash continues to ripple through the broader local economy, particularly the restaurant

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The latest casualty on the Central Oregon dining sceneThe fallout from Bend's housing crash continues to ripple through the broader local economy, particularly the restaurant industry.

Last week news got out that Volo, the upscale urban-style eatery on Bond Street, had quietly closed its doors. The restaurant's owner, Chris Jones, has been mum on the fate of the high end bar and eatery which opened to fanfare just this past spring in the 919 Bond Building, a mixed use redevelopment project on a former city parking lot next door to the D and D Club.

Volo is the second high-end eatery to close up shop downtown amid the national recession, which has hit particularly hard in once-booming Bend, where foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment are on the rise.

Earlier this year Bluefish Bistro, a well-established white tablecloth restaurant with a prime Franklin Street location, sold to an upstart hamburger joint with a menu filled with items under $10.

Just south of downtown, Fireside Red, another upscale eatery that opened during the high-end restaurant boom, stopped short of closing. Instead, the restaurant, which has become a popular summer happy hour destination because of its riverside deck, announced that it was taking a "winter sabbatical" The restaurant will reportedly re-open in February. In the meantime, the restaurant is open only for "booked" holiday parties.

Not every restaurateur is packing it in or running from creditors just yet. But those that are surviving are coming in at lower price point. Aloha Café, for example, recently expanded its Hawaiian mix plate approach to Northwest Crossing. The restaurant, which started serving BBQ pork sandwiches and teriyaki chicken mix plates in Sunriver, expanded to an east side Bend location earlier this year.

Aloha says it plans to keep the east side restaurant running along with its Northwest Crossing location, 745 Mt Washington Dr. Hours for the new Aloha are 10:30 am to 9 pm weekdays and weekends. - Eric Flowers


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