Ah, winter...that time of year when we're often stuck inside waaayy more than we'd like. Sure, those studded tires are going to get you around when the snow and ice comes around, but once in a while the weather gets so bad that there's nothing else to do besides hole up at home.
But wait! There's always the Blizzard Bar! In case you haven't figured it out yet, your Blizzard Bar is the bar closest to your home, which you can walk to even when the snow is XX feet high. In the interest of escaping cabin fever, we're publishing this list of the Source staff's Blizzard Bars. (Note: Call ahead to make sure your Blizzard Bar is open before you walk there...)
Nicole Vulcan, Editor
The Great Arctic Blast of 2009 in Portland taught me one thing: When total boredom forces you to walk to a bar in knee-deep snow, every extra step counts. So if I had to count steps, my actual Blizzard Bar would be Rockin' Dave's Bistro & Backstage Lounge, where a menu of delightful, artful cocktails (including a Chipotle Bacon Bloody) welcome me in from the cold. Still, a few steps more in another direction and I find myself at the Platypus Pub, located in a former church in the basement of The Brew Shop. In my mind, every Blizzard Bar should be in a basement, where during the dark snowy days, we can descend into more darkness and forget that the sad, frozen, un-drivable world exists. Plus, the bartenders at this Blizzard Bar are great conversationalists—and that's just what I need when I'm venturing out to escape my family and drown my Seasonal-Affective-Disorder-sorrows in whiskey.
Rockin' Dave's Bistro & Backstage Lounge
661 NE Greenwood Ave., Bend
1203 NE Third St., Bend
Russ Axon, Outside Writer
Scenario: clock's ticking down to kickoff, and a blizzardy defense blocks the route to your buddy's house (the guy with the 108-inch plasma screen and the NFL package, of course). What do you do? For me, it's a short run to Mountain's Edge. I can watch the big games on one of many TVs, or start my own game on one of many pool tables. This local sports bar is a pleasant reprieve from the Xeroxed franchises, even with the old folks there reminding you they want to play shuffleboard when you're done. The Edge also boasts a solid selection of local taps, tasty bar grub and a friendly, spacious atmosphere. Mark this spot down as a win.
Mountain's Edge Sports Bar & Grill
61303 S Hwy 97, Bend
Brian Jennings, Staff Reporter
Over the years I have enjoyed many Blizzard Bars in Bend, but when the snow flies the problem is, which one to choose? For me it's often the bar in the back of the Red Dragon Restaurant on S Hwy 97, owned by Casey Chan, a Hong Kong native, and his wife Lee, who greet us with ready smiles. Everyone knows everyone else at the oblong bar—a Chinese version of Cheers! More often than not, Casey is perched on a chair facing one of three TV screens watching a Chinese channel, which is entertaining in itself. From the menu, we usually fall back on our favorite dish: Singapore Chow Mein coupled with a generous martini poured by Chrissy, sufficiently keeping the blizzard at bay.
Red Dragon Chinese Restaurant
61247 S Hwy 97, Bend
Kevin Gifford, Beer Reviewer
I live just outside of downtown Bend, and it would be a complete lie to say I don't appreciate being able to walk home from all the amazing bars and breweries located right there. If it's snowing, though, I'm not sure anything beats Crow's Feet Commons—a nice fire, a cozy atmosphere, lots of pFriem beer and the sheer desire to stay open no matter how many inches are out there. Have a pair of cross-country skis handy? Strap 'em on, ski on over, and you, too, can be a Genuine Central Oregon Person. (Runner-up: The Lot, with its heated tables and wealth of food/beer options.)
Crow's Feet Commons
875 NW Brooks St., Bend
745 NW Columbia St., Bend
Angela Moore, Office Manager/BendTicket Maven
While I know for a fact that many have claimed to see God himself while drinking away their early afternoons at the West Side Tavern, I have not. What I have seen, however, is a double-edged sword of welcomed sadness and unadulterated drunken days that turn into equally drunken nights.
I don't know a single person who has ever eaten here, which would explain their exotic menu posted online of Spicy Ahi Tuna Tartare and a Jar of Chicken Liver Mousse served with a green apple chutney and grilled sourdough...what? WHAT? Is this a blizzard or has Hell actually frozen over?
West Side Tavern
930 NW Galveston Ave., Bend
Jared Rasic, Arts & Culture Editor
I live two blocks from downtown so technically my Blizzard Bar could be any number of liquor-filled establishments, but the choice is easy. The D&D is the only bar for me in rain or shine or zombie apocalypse. It's my safe place, my Cheers, my Winchester. Depending on the time or day of the week, the D can either be a hipster haven or a quiet place for a stiff drink where you can be alone with your demons. Bonus Points: Bartender Buck Bales is basically Wolverine. Food Coma: Eat the Baja Burger with the Sweet Potato Fries and you'll forget all about the coming apocalypse.
D&D Bar & Grill
927 NW Bond St., Bend
Hayley Jo Murphy, Assistant Editor
While the Box Factory offers a whole host of excellent beer options, when a blizzard hits, only whiskey can thaw out my chilly feet, and the closest full bar is The Brown Owl. What began as a much loved food cart has evolved into a hybrid restaurant/bar that still serves food from its food cart parked out front. If eating, I would most likely enjoy the spinach and bacon salad that one coworker's husband called, "The best salad I've every had." To warm my bones, the Wise Sage is a must. With whiskey, triple sec, OJ, ginger beer and pressed sage, it's an absolute delight!
The Brown Owl
550 SW Industrial Way Suite 120, Bend
Aaron Switzer, Publisher
My Blizzard Bar is the Tumalo Feed Company. I'll admit, I live a long trek from any alcohol when the roads are shut down, but I have managed to get a 4-wheeler to Bailey Road and slide downhill. The Feed Co. is the perfect place for slamming back one of their specialty drinks, always served in a mason jar. There are no windows in the bar so regardless of what it is doing outside, it is always dark, the cushions in the booths are soft and you know once you get your drink you're going to be there for a while. And also, Rocky Mountain Oysters are always available.
Tumalo Feed Company
64619 Hwy 20, Bend