Bend, Oregon’s newest watering hole, Mill Works Pub, opens March 4 in the Old Mill District.

The Mill Works Pub is set to open March 4th, replacing Boxwood Kitchen on the north end of The Old Mill District. Executive Chef Eric Rud along with his wife and restaurant partner, Riane Rud, said demographics and demand for the niche dining experience Boxwood offered had changed over the last five or six years. Oh, and the couple welcomed a new baby boy 15 months ago. Funny how having kids often leads to parents rethinking a lot of things.

Photo of Eric and Riane Rud, owners of Mill Works Pub in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon

“We just got to thinking that the the places we like to go now are so approachable and casual and you know what you’re going to get,” Riane said. “So we thought – what if we had a clean slate? What would we create and do differently?” The answer is Mill Works Pub which the Ruds hope becomes folks’ new go-to gathering place where delicious food meets the warmth of community.

The pub will feature a new menu, of course, but also an entirely new vibe inside where patrons will be surrounded by memories of Bend’s unique past. You’ll find old photographs sourced from the Deschutes Historical Museum, vintage newspapers, antique crosscut saws, and Bend company Chalked Creative is working on a mural showcasing the brewing process and featuring some iconic Central Oregon locales.

Above all, Mill Works Pub, with its three new TVs and projector over the bar, will be ideal for all sports fans to come hang and watch multiples sporting events over a beer or two.

As for the menu, Riane said they plan to feature a lot of starters and apps and will rely heavily on sandwiches made from scratch. “Not your average burger,” she said. “We’re excited to have a robust menu where we think pretty much everyone will find dozens of things they’ll really like.”

Photo of an open-face prime rib and cocktail with orange twist from Mill Works Pub in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon

You’ll find, among other offerings, Baja fish tacos, pastrami pretzel sliders, an open-face prime rib sandwich (pictured above), popcorn shrimp and Eric’s version of a Cobb salad. Riane said Mill Works Pub will be very family friendly including fun water reveal pads for the kiddos and an elevated kids’ menu. They hope to incorporate wooden Montessori table top play stations in the future.

“It’ll be meals you’re used to seeing on a kids’ menu, but made by a chef,” she said. “Our fish sticks won’t be coming out of the freezer. It’s the same fish we’ll be using in our fish tacos. Real good, quality meals.” Mill Works Pub will also showcase Oregon beers and wines and a fun cocktail list with spinoffs of some of your favorites. “We hope the community embraces our ideas and our concepts,” Riane said. “We’re excited to open our doors.”

The Old Mill District is home to numerous dining options – sushi, steaks, Peruvian-Mexican, Hawaiian and more. Mill Works Pub is a perfect addition to the lineup. “We can’t wait for the community to see how Riane and Eric cultivate Mill Works Pub,” said Beau Eastes, Marketing Director for the Old Mill District and Hayden Homes Amphitheater. “Eric’s culinary creativity and expertise will certainly be front and center and give the pub-style menu a unique flare. We’re sure this will quickly become a favorite for locals and visitors alike.”