Things about Bend that I miss

I miss…

  • …the statue of the of the homeless guy checking his wallet on the corner of Franklin and Wall. People used to decorate it for the Christmas season.
  • …when the Tower Theatre was an actual movie theater.
  • …when J.C. Penney used to be downtown. This is old school, it used to be on the corner of Wall Street and Oregon Avenue, the location of the (not-coincidentally-named) Old Penney’s Galleria. We used to buy our shoes there, and it was the only place in town I knew of that had a bomb shelter.
  • The Juniper Café. Okay, I didn’t eat there that often, but it’s been in Bend my entire life.
  • …Book & Game. Before Barnes and Noble moved in, it was the coolest bookstore we had in town, out at the Mountain View Mall… I even have some bookmarks from there, still.
  • …hell, the Mountain View Mall itself, during its heydey, when the cinemas was there, and K-Mart, and the Emporium, and the arcade…
  • …Café Paradiso. The original coffee shop, with couches, lounge chairs, chess, a small stage… It was big, too, much bigger and more comfortable than the other places in town currently. Soba Noodles is there now.
  • …the Mexicali Rose. It was the lava rock building on the corner of Franklin and 3rd, where Bella Cucina is now. It was a neat little restaurant (when it was Mexican), even if parking was a little tight and weird. Now, with the awkward signage (like the banner hanging where the actual sign used to be), it just looks… wrong somehow.

More as I think of them.

5 Replies to “Things about Bend that I miss”

  1. I thought I read that the homeless guy (who actually has a name, I think) is coming back, after all the construction down there is done.

    I remember all of that stuff, too, and how we used to drive into Bend from Sunriver to go to Penny’s to do our school shopping. I remember the cushy couches at Paradiso. I remember going down to Book and Game and playing chess with guys there like I knew what I was doing.

    I’ve got a rant coming, too, about how malls in Central Oregon have slowly become crap (after I heard that they’re going to bulldoze most of the Bend River Mall and make it an outdoor mall like the other crappy malls in Bend).

    Heck, I’ll post a "Things I miss" post sometime, too — maybe we can get a local meme going? 😉

  2. Oh, and the Tower: I remember going and playing "Pole Position" at the theatre on one of their two video game machines (I think the other was Ms. Pac Man). The cool part about it was you didn’t have to have a ticket to play the game, and you could actually watch most of the movie through the window of the theater door while you were playing.

  3. The homeless guy is coming back? Rock!

    The whole "outdoor mall" thing is just the trend of Bend becoming more strip-mall-box-store-homogenized like the ugly parts of California… malls aren’t the greatest thing–I remember this same debate when the mall first went up, consider how we gradually accepted it–but they were certainly more conducive and friendly to small business and unique shops. The strip malls going in aren’t.

    And the Tower Theater, quick bit of local history: used to be the X-rated movie house–on the smaller screen, apparently. Before my time, though.

  4. Yep, everything in Bend that we used to have to drive over to the valley to enjoy is now here and aint it grand?

    Remember A&W (where Pilot Butte Drive-in is now)? What was…oh wait, i like PB Drive In better! Except for those damn short hours now.

    Movie theaters are better now. Remember when it was between the Tower Theater, The Tri-Cinemas and the Mall, and nobody bitched about the quality?

    I miss Mexicali Rose. My parents are friends with the owners. They moved down to New Zealand and opened a restaurant there. I miss Rolaines too. Mexican food here went downhill a bit.

    Pizza has changed a lot. Remember when we had the Pizza Peddler, Papandrea’s, Pietros? Remember when Stuft Pizza was downtown and it was GOOD?

    Remember when Frozen Yogurt was the rage? Then it went healthy (fat free) and it sucked.

  5. I remember A&W, barely. I can’t say as I miss it since it’s back again, out on the east end of town 😉 And yeah, Pilot Butte cutting their hours sucks. I miss that.

    The movie theater that used to be at the Mountain View Mall–the Mountain View 4 I think it was–really sucked in its later years. They really let it run down.

    Papandrea’s in still in Sisters, I believe. I’d never classify Pietro’s as anything other than average, run-of-the-mill pizza. Stuft Pizza, when downtown, was very good.

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