By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Demolition of an iconic building on North 3rd Street in Bend began Wednesday.
It marks the end of a former brew pub, restaurant and church and the beginning of a new drive-thru restaurant and commercial development.
Recent Bend arrivals will remember this building at 1203 NE Third as Platypus Pub and The Brew Shop.
Folks who’ve been here longer may recall the Italian and French restaurants that occupied the building for 30 years.
But it started as a Nazarene Church in the 1950s.
“To see some of our historic buildings go down to get replaced by something like Starbucks is very infuriating,” said Jennifer Sawyer of Bend.
The old church and two adjacent buildings will be replaced with a development titled 3rd Street Marketplace.
The new 7,000 square-foot structure will have four commercial spaces, one of which will house a Starbucks with a drive-thru window – just a latte’s throw from a Dutch Bros. drive-thru.
“It’s becoming a modern city,” said Anthony Chappell, Bend. “It’s not an old town. A lot of people moved here for that. We’re losing it.”
The project underwent an extensive design review and public comment process that began in 2018 and concluded with a conditional use permit in September 2019.
Nearly 150 people commented on the project. Two-thirds were opposed but the city decided the project met all requirements.
“I hope people learn from the mistakes we made in not preserving this building,” Sawyer said. “Going forward on the next one… the next one on the chopping block I’m sure is going to be the Pilot Butte Drive-In. What are we going to do right now to save that building?”
City planner Karen Swenson says the demolition should be complete in a couple of days.
Once the rubble is clear, project managers will record a property line and building permits for 3rd Street Marketplace can be issued.
Meanwhile, farther south on 3rd Street, another long-time Bend business has closed its doors for good.
Sargent’s Cafe, across from Grocery Outlet, closed in November after the property was sold.
The breakfast and lunch spot has been a local’s favorite since the 1960s.
Current owner John Aylward said an investor from outside the area intends to tear down the building and “build something new and better for Bend.”