By Anyssa Bohanan
Central Oregon Daily
A more than 6,000-square-foot building in Bend’s historic O’Kane Building downtown has remained vacant for nearly a year.
The space was formerly home to The Summit Saloon before the popular bar closed its doors in January of 2018.
Six months later the J and J Bar and Grill took over, but it too closed their doors in December.
After sitting empty for nine months, a sign appeared on the doors this week announcing plans to turn the space in to the Oregon Street Marketplace Food Hall – an idea from local business owner Jim Bendis.
“It’s, in a sense, a food truck inside of a building but you don’t need the truck. It’s kind of like a food court of the old days but, and I hate to say it, but instead of being this cheap fast food it’s these gourmet local chefs doing what they do best,” said Bendis, owner of Bend Distillery and Ablis CBD beverages. “It’s just a perfect thing for the Bend lifestyle.”
Ideally the hall would hold roughly ten vendors of all kinds.
However, Bendis says that the plans are not yet set in stone and there are still many negotiations and discussions ahead.
But despite the early stages of the idea, Bendis says he’s already had nearly a dozen people in the food industry reach out to him for more information on how they can get involved should the plan come to fruition.
“I’ve had interest from dessert artists, excellent chefs, cocktail artisans,” he said. “We’re only at step one of the process but I love Bend and I love downtown and just the thought of it..it’s a place I’d like to go!”
If you’re interested in becoming part of the Oregon Street Marketplace, contact Bendis at firstname.lastname@example.org