This past week was one of the most eventful restaurant weeks in recent history. Multiple restaurants closed, sold and changed hands. And if the musical chairs-style rotation of restaurant owners is any indication, this was also one of the most confusing. Let us try to catch you up.
Last Tuesday, Giuseppe's Ristorante, the long-standing (20-plus years) Italian institution on Bond Street, served its last meal. While we're sad to see this perennial favorite go, it seems to be another casualty of Bend's changing dining scene, going the way of Ernesto's and Bella Cucina. We don't know if newer chain Italian eateries are to blame, or if pricy fine dining is becoming less popular with the economic downturn. Either way, we'll miss Giuseppe's and its lounge, Goomba's.
But the Giuseppe's storefront won't remain empty. The restaurant sold to yet-to-be-named owners and reopened Tuesday, Dec. 7. The new owners were planning on changing the name to Bond Street Bar and Grill.
But across the street, the Decoy Bar and Grill was also undergoing changes by altering its menu and changing its name to Bond Street Grill. According to the owners, this change has been in the works for quite some time. After hearing of the Decoy's name change, the old Giuseppe's will now be called Caldera Grill. Two of Giuseppe's favorite front-of-house staff, Nancy and Hydie, will likely remain at the location. Are you confused yet?
Lastly, Spork, the street cart in an Airstream that serves one of the best pork belly sandwiches in Bend, will take over the Café Sintra space on Bond Street next week. No, Spork is not buying the Sintra space - the Portuguese breakfast spot isn't going anywhere instead, they are serving a seven-course meal for two nights only this Thursday and Friday. This trend, known as a "pop-up restaurant," has been popularized most notably by Ludo Bites in Los Angeles. The temporary restaurants usually serve more eclectic and risky fare and while Spork isn't employing ingredients like offals (internal organs) that many pop-up restaurant chefs play with, they do have a creative, eclectic and absolutely delicious-looking menu. Tickets are $44 including gratuity and can be purchased online through brownpapertickets.com. We'll be featuring the dinner in next week's Chow section. (SR)