New cocktail lounge highlights news from the Old Mill District in March

Also, visit Anthony’s for its Oyster Festival, take a spin through the Old Mill District via Wheel Fun Rentals, and relax and enjoy food, drink and spring weather at Center Plaza.

Visitors and Central Oregonians alike can now escape to the tropics without leaving town thanks to Bend’s newest destination bar, Rapa Nui, a tiki lounge that opened last week in the Old Mill District. They took over the space formerly occupied by Level 2, above Saxon’s Fine Jewelers.

According to co-owner Andrew Soriano, Rapa Nui “isn’t a Cheeseburger in Paradise, Margaritaville-type bar.” True to more traditional, L.A.-based tiki lounges, all their drinks are made with fresh-pressed juices and natural garnishes that are prepped daily. And, their selection of high-end rum truly sets them apart in the High Desert.

“You really feel like you’re in another place when you walk into Rapa Nui,” said Beau Eastes, marketing director at the Old Mill District. “What they did to that space is amazing. It’s like stepping straight into a tropical lounge, with fresh drinks and delicious food.”

Rapa Nui offers a small menu of Asian-fusion food selections served on shared plates. Currently, indoor and patio space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Anthony’s Oyster Festival

Visit Anthony’s at the Old Mill District during the month of March for its Oyster Festival, the restaurant’s annual celebration of the Puget Sound’s fresh, local oysters. From freshly shucked oysters on the half shell to pan-fried oysters, oyster Caesar, oyster tacos and their new oyster tonkatsu, Anthony’s is offering a little something for every type of oyster lover in Central Oregon. They’ll even pair your order with one of their hand-selected oyster wines. Reservations are encouraged, and online to-go offering is available.

Wheel Fun Rentals Opening for the Season

The Old Mill District’s top bike rental spot, Wheel Fun Rentals, will be opening for the season starting Saturday, March 20, offering a wide selection of pedal-powered conveyances for exploring along the Deschutes River trail. From surreys, coupes, cruisers and multi-speed bikes to tandem bikes, kids bikes, Norge boards and more, Wheel Fun Rentals has long ensured those visiting the area in and around the Old Mill District can see the sites in style, with a breeze in their hair and a little sweat on their brow. They also offer electric bike tours throughout Bend, from brewery tours to historical sites.

Patio Furniture is Out!

Those visiting the Old Mill District for takeout meals, coffee meet-ups and ice cream breaks can now more comfortably enjoy the fresh spring air and scenery. On Monday, March 1, the Old Mill District officially set out their patio furniture for the season, providing ample outdoor seating in the Center Plaza as well as the second-level patio above Strictly Organic Coffee Co. Like flower buds growing from the ground, Daylight Savings Time, and the district’s first rock chuck sightings, patio seating and tables in the Old Mill District represents the area’s transition from winter to spring, instilling a feeling of optimism and delight in those looking forward to a season filled with festivals, events, food, drink and music.