There'll be a lot happening in downtown Bend in the next few months. And it's all really good news! But first, the sad thing, at least for Taylor's Deli and Pub fans.
Terry Taylor, co-owner of the Cave Junction-based sausage company, said the restaurant couldn't afford the labor costs along with the electric bills any longer.
"Mainly we just didn't get enough traffic through the store," said Taylor, whose grandfather founded the company in 1924.
A combination of factors led to the deli's demise, said Taylor. The greatest of these was a giant billboard across the street from the restaurant that drew attention away, and the very high traffic zone where the restaurant was located at the corner of Greenwood Avenue and 3rd Street.
"It's so heavy that it's pretty hard to see what's around you," said Taylor. "You're focused on the road and the car in front of you and where you're going and whether the light is gonna change."
Taylor's is locked into a multiple-year lease and is looking for a business to take over, said Taylor.
In the meantime, the company is looking for another location in Bend and will still be selling sausages and jerky at WinterFest and other annual festivals in the area. Several grocery stores in the area will continue to sell the sausages, as well.
On to the good news! Where to start, where to start?
Suppose we are tied in our excitement for the new tapas restaurant going into the old Bo restobar space in Franklin Crossing and the new diner coming to the corner of Wall Street and Franklin Avenue in the old El Jimador location. Both of these new restaurants will be run by out-of-towners with pretty great résumés.
Pure Kitchen, which is moving to the Franklin Crossing location, is owned by Krit Dangruenrat, who comes straight from New York City (that's right, I said Newww Yerk Citee!) with a history of running a pretty delicious Thai restaurant that, according to adoring fans on Yelp!, served cheap drinks and awesome appetizers.
This bodes well for Dangruenrat's new venture, where he'll be serving small plates and booze to happy locals like us.
Now for the corner of Wall and Franklin. A fella named Ted Swigert is taking the old El Jimador interior down to the studs.
"When you walk in there, there will be nothing that vaguely resembles it," said Swigert, who moved to Bend last year after several decades in managing classy places (at least that's what we learned from the light stalking we did of this guy on the Internet today).
You may have heard that Swigert is opening some kind of French diner. This is not true. Yes, the food will be diner-like, there will be a black and white tile floor, there will be stainless steel fixtures. But there's not really a lot of French there, unless you consider sitting outside at a café table for hours French.
In that case, OK. Swigert wants you to while away hours in his place. To help you with that, he's installing dark wood and deep booths. He says he won't be chintzy with the pours from the full bar, either. We're still trying to get our heads around exactly what to expect when we walk in the door, but we like how he talks about this place.
"It's gonna have that feel of being a classic neighborhood joint," he said. "It's going to buff out that corner."