The Central Oregon restaurant merry go round continues as new bars and restaurants are jumping at what they see as a window of opportunity to get in prime lease space even as others drop off.
This week is expected to bring the opening of the Old Mill Grill in the former home of Fireside Red. According to a recent story in The Bulletin, local restaurant veteran and Barney Prines alum Axel Hoch is at the helm of the new venture. Other big moves in Bend include the long awaited - at least for pool hall junkies - opening of Fox's Billiard Lounge on Newport. The business has slated its grand opening party for Aug. 1 from 8-11 p.m. Skippered by former Bo Restobar bar manager Marshall Fox, the new bar features a round-the-clock happy hour pricing approach to food and drinks with all beer at $2.75 and well drinks at $3.75. In addition to "tournament style" pool tables, Fox's will have foosball, shuffleboard and by-the-hour VIP lounge with a private table, TV, etc. In other new openings, Strictly Organic is reportedly settling in well to its second Bend location in the former Bella Cucina digs at the Old Mill. Speaking of the Old Mill, the popular Mexican/Peruvian restaurant HOLA! expects to have its new restaurant next to Regal Cinema-in the spot formerly occupied by The Hottest Dog (AKA The Shire of Bend restaurants)-open before the end of the week after a last minute mechanical setback. Finally, interesting news out of Redmond where the semi-fine dining establishment The Canyons has folded. The restaurant's former confines have been taken over by the owners of Sister's-based Chloe who picked up stakes and moved to the Five Pines conference complex in Sisters earlier this year but are carrying a torch for Redmond where they got their start and were known as a shining star on an otherwise starless horizon.
The new venture is dubbed the North Redmond Station (1857 NW 6th St.) is open this week for lunch and dinner, said owner Elaine Larson.