Little Bites: Industry Roundup: More beer and gourmet gets closer | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Little Bites: Industry Roundup: More beer and gourmet gets closer

Jackalope Grill moves to downtown Bend.

This summer Central Oregon welcomed a new brewery into the fold. That makes, um, let's see, if you carry the two ... a lot of breweries in our region.

Located in downtown Prineville, Solstice Brewing Company opened its doors in late July and is hosting a large-scale grand opening on Oct. 1.

Owner and operator Joseph Barker is a long-time home brewer who was looking to do more than keep his friends good and drunk. When the Oregon native finished his studies in Portland he went on the hunt for a business opportunity, preferably one that would allow him to play with malts, barleys and hops.

Though Solstice doesn't have any of its own creations on tap yet, Barker said he expects to have the proper licensure (as well as a seven-barrel brewing system) by early 2012. There are still plenty of reasons to stop in at the new Prineville pub. For one, Barker has a tasty run of eight Oregon beers on tap including Hopworks IPA, Silver Moon Hop Fury, Ninkasi Oatmeal Stout and a Hefeweisen from BBC. Once operational as a brewery, Barker hopes to brew 500-600 barrels a year and create an IPA, a pale and "some nice British style dark beers," he said.

"I want to make craft brews Prineville can be proud of," Barker offered.

Solstice followed the successful "make local habit" initiative in the kitchen too. Barker gets his beef from a ranch four miles down the road and stocks local cheeses and fresh vegetables for his "pub-fare plus" menu.

Gourmet is going downtown. First Zydeco left the Third Street in favor of a downtown Bend location and now Jackalope Grill is following suit.

Come January, The fine-dining favorite will be leaving its SE 3rd Street location and moving into a vacant spot downtown next to Visit Bend on NW Lava Rd near the downtown post office (between Oregon and Minnesota Ave.).

Since 2005, husband and wife pair Kathy and Tim Garling have owned and operated the Jackalope Grill - an intimate establishment that specializes in Pacific Northwest fare and local, seasonal produce.

Kathy Garling, who runs the front of the restaurant, is excited about the 1,200 square-foot indoor courtyard and big kitchen that will come with the new space.

Chef Tim Garling recently took home "Top Chef" honors at this summer's Bite of Bend competition.

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