When it comes to the retail community, this summer may be most notable for the swan song of a Sisters’ institution –- Leavitt’s Western Wear –- which is ending its 40-year reign as the area’s premier purveyor of high-end Western attire and accessories (owner John Leavitt is retiring). The iconic outpost will be missed, no doubt.
Meanwhile, an impressive array of new businesses has sprung up across town since the winter lull. Here’s a rundown of the new, the revamped and the returning.
1. The Cottonwood Café (403 E Hood Ave.) –- Many fans of Jen’s Garden owners Jennifer and TR Mccrystal were thrilled to hear about the noted restaurant’s recent conversion to a more family-friendly (and affordable) local hangout that has been dubbed The Cottonwood Café. The former “special event destination” dining establishment also has a new focus: breakfast and lunch.
Open from Wednesday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., the Cottonwood is the sort of casual, comfortable diner that every small town should have. The breakfast menu, which features an innovative cross-section of savory and sweet options, is served all day (I tried and loved the “Cotton Cristo,” egg-battered Texas toast, ham, prosciutto, gruyere with Dijon, jelly and maple syrup). Lunch options range from a pulled-pork sandwich and veggie flatbread wrap to a grilled-romaine salad and meatloaf burger. The Cottonwood will also offer occasional wine dinners and special-event evenings, and will be available for both private parties and fundraising events.
2. Dandelion Ranch (208 S. Elm) –- This fun, funky shop had been open less than a week when I spoke to owner Lisa Vanderbrink, and she and her husband had made the move to Central Oregon just a month ago (“We were ready to get down to business!” she says.) Originally from Missouri, Vanderbrink has a background in floral and interior design; she and her husband had spent the past 40 years in Colorado, until the pull of grandchildren in Bend brought them here. The shop is a nostalgic mix of vintage-style home and garden accessories, plus whimsical wall art and antique-inspired jewelry. Vanderbrink makes the boutique’s signature aprons from vintage fabrics that she embellishes.
3. Cascade Street Distillery’s Tasting Room (261 W. Cascade Ave.) – I gotta admit, I was a bit skeptical about this one. A spirits-tasting room in Sisters? Seriously? Then I sidled up to the bar inside this unimposing storefront and shared some conversation and a jigger of Wild Roots marionberry-infused vodka with owner Nick Beasley. Now I’m a fan.
Beasley and his partners have big plans for their spirits (which, along with the Wild Roots brand of flavored vodkas includes their Cascade Street Distillery brand North Sister Vodka, and, down the road, CSD’s South Sisters Gin and Broken Top Bourbon). They’re in the process of acquiring the historic Barclay Barn, which will be reborn as their distillery.
For now, the tasting room is open from Tuesday-Sunday from noon-6 p.m., proffering $5 flights and $5 fresh-fruit-laced cocktails. In addition to the more tourist-focused front room, Beasley and co. are adding a back room hangout designed for the local Sisters community (which, as Beasley pointed out, doesn’t really have a place to enjoy an evening cocktail).
4. ‘Sup Dog? (223 E Hood Ave.) – At last (and not without great debate), Sisters has its first food cart. Located in the parking adjacent to Eurosports, ‘Sup Dog? is the first of several hoped-for carts here. Owner Darrick Phallon exclusively uses Portland-based Zenner’s Sausage Co. meats in his ‘dogs (which are priced between $4-$5.25), and so far they seem to be a real hit.
5. Grizzly Ridge Upcycle (123 E. Hood Ave.) – Merging an artist’s eye with a recycler’s mindset, owner Rhonda Barney has opened a gallery filled with interesting wares, created by a variety of artisans who incorporate materials others have used and/or discarded. The result is an eclectic assemblage of unique pieces that have transformed everyday items into one-of-a-kind pieces –- ranging from the witty to the rustic to the refined.
6. Déjà Vu Interiors (625 Arrowleaf Trail, in Outlaw Station) – Fans of this upscale Bend-based furniture consignment store won’t be disappointed: There’s 6,000 square feet of floor space here. Because the store draws from local consignees, you’ll find a good selection of Western-inspired furniture pieces and accessories. But that’s by no means all that’s here; there’s something for just about everyone.
7. Hop ‘N Brew (523 East Hwy 20) –- Formerly the Hop ‘N Bean, the popular growler-stop/pizza shop is now under new management. The menu and hours have been tweaked a bit; it’s now open daily from 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
8. Yo Bean (281 W. Cascade) -– We were sorry to see Cuppa Yo go, but glad to see another fro-yo spot take its place. Its menu also includes an espresso bar, daily soups, and fresh juices.
9. Slick’s Que Co. (442 E. Hood Ave.) –- This seems like a can’t-miss combo: A nationally known barbecue outpost that first made its name in Sisters relocates from Bend and lands in one of Sisters’ most iconic locales (the former home of Papandrea’s). After a flurry of activity, the new Slick’s opened on Father’s Day. Just don’t stop by on Tuesdays (it’s closed).
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.