Bend's king of burgers, Pilot Butte Drive-In, which also happens to feature a mean breakfast menu, is tentatively planning to open a new location on Bend's westside. Owner Bill Falconer told The Bulletin that the eastside dining stalwart is in the process of negotiating a lease somewhere near South Century Drive and could have a deal in hand soon that would allow Pilot Butte to begin serving its popular burgers, fries and shakes soon on the westside.
Falconer declined to say exactly where the new location would be and couldn't be reached for comment before this issue went to press. However, it was speculated by one person with early knowledge of the deal that the new location could be located in the Ray's complex in the space recently occupied by Tony's Delicatessen. Falconer told the paper that, if all goes according to plan, Pilot Butte could be open its second location by Memorial Day. That would be just in time for the summer crowds along the well-trafficked South Century Drive that serves as the gateway to the Deschutes Forest and the Cascade lakes area. In other openings news, The Pine Tavern reopened late last week after a roughly two-week remodeling project that the restaurant undertook as part of its 75th Anniversary celebration. General Manager Rob Ramaker said patrons won't have any trouble recognizing the Pine Tavern that they have come to know over the course of its many decades on Brooks Street, however, he said that the remodel allowed to the owner to update and appropriately modernize the restaurant. In addition to new upholstery and carpeting, contractors removed several booths that will allow the staff more flexibility in the dining room.
"We feel as though it's a lot brighter and a lot more warm. We tried to take what people have loved about us - that homey feel, but make it a little more contemporary," Ramaker said.
Ramaker said also that the restaurant is planning a formal 75th Anniversary party in April with details to come soon.