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Changing plates in Central Oregon

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The restaurant business is notoriously fickle, with venues opening and closing in a New York minute. However, Central Oregon seems to have another "problem." That is, restaurants are growing, changing and expanding. We grabbed our fork and spoon, and chased down some of the recent—and upcoming—changes in the area's food scene.

Groovy Grindz

After the eastside Dutch Bros moved into a massive space near the library branch (with drive-through and walk-in service), a new coffee cart stepped in to serve the bustling block on the corner of NE 27th Street and Highway 20. Groovy Grindz channels the flower-powered, free-loving '60s and '70s with a colorfully decorated vintage VW bus (swoon) parked out front. The hip new joint serves Sisters Coffee with retro-themed drinks like "Dead Head," "VW Push Start," and "Righteous Raspberry" in tie-dye cups, as well as non-coffee items such as smoothies and pretzels.

Open now near the Shell Station

62077 NE 27th St.

5 am-10 pm daily

Craft Kitchen and Brewery

Billing themselves roots revival movement to produce hand-crafted beer and food, Craft Kitchen and Brewery aims to open its doors in early April in the former Old Mill Brew Werks location near the Old Mill. Providing exclusive, small batch brews from its 3.5 barrel system that will be available primarily in-house, and a menu of charcuterie and more, co-owner Courtney Stevens says Craft Kitchen and Brewery will try to be "as local as possible with an emphasis on the community."

April 1 scheduled opening date.

803 Southwest Industrial Way

Jen's Garden/The Cottonwood Café

For the past decade, Jen's Garden has been a standout restaurant—big-town sophistication in a small-town setting (and with service as equally refined as it is neighborly). Yet in spite of their success and rave reviews, the proprietors have decided to recalibrate—well, actually, to bring the restaurant back to their original down-to-earth intentions.

"While we are happy to offer a lovely meal in a beautiful environment, we did not set out to become exclusive or a place mainly frequented for special occasions," explains Jen McCrystal. "We wanted to be accessible and our food enjoyed by many."

Jen's Garden will continue on its current course of French-inspired locally-sourced dishes through mid-February (ahem, make Valentine's Day reservations now), and then will close for an overhaul. "As of mid April," says McCrystal, "Jen's Garden will reopen as The Cottonwood Café, a breakfast and lunch restaurant serving a menu of creative, affordable, high quality, house-created fare." The venue will be available for special events and private parties in the evenings.

403 E Hood Ave, Sisters

Café Yumm! Eastside

Officially opened on January 12, Bend's second Café Yumm! storefront offers up health conscious and simply delicious, fresh ingredient-topped black bean and rice-based bowls, wraps and more. To celebrate the chain's 14th location, it will be giving away free Yumm bowls all day on Friday, Jan. 23.

Now Open Near St. Charles Medical Center.

Neff Place, 1500 NE Cushing Dr., Ste. 130

Mon-Sun: 10 am-9 pm

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