When I walk into Looney Bean in Downtown Bend, I am greeted with smiles and the smell of coffee. This never fails to bring me as much joy as my cup of locally roasted coffee will as soon as I consume it.
Looney Bean is housed in an old converted cottage on the Deshutes River. This makes it feel like you are visiting an old friend when you go there. In the Winter, the fire is roaring in the fireplace and in the summer the dogs and the kids are playing in the back yard by the river. It's so homey, in fact, that the only thing missing is my dad with his bad jokes and my mother in her mom jeans.
My first choice is meeting up with friends here for lively caffeinated conversation, but I also use it as a I-work-from-home-please-help-me-escape second work location. Because it is an old house, there are lots of different rooms to hide away in with your laptop to complete some quality work.
We have a ton of great cafes in Bend, but (for me), Looney Bean is a stand-out.
This post was submitted anonymously
Share what you love about Downtown Bend for a chance to win up to $150 in Downtown Dollars!
March is National Women's Month, and we are celebrating all of our female-owned businesses in Downtown Bend. For our final post, we are featuring the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA). The Downtown Bend Business Association is run by a female Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, a female Board of Directors President, Jen Steigman and Board Vice President, Sarah Jordan.
Mindy Aisling is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, both parents and both sets of grandparents all owned and operated small businesses. Mindy grew up working at her mom's photo lab and her dad's auto repair and auto body shops. As an adult, Mindy has owned and operated 3 different successful small businesses. Mindy is passionate about entrepreneurship, creativity and communication. Her values also include a strong belief in volunteerism and giving back to the community. She previous served as a volunteer mediator at the Deschutes Court House and Community Soulutions of Central Oregon.
Mindy brings decades of expertise in leadership and small business management to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015. In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
Dudley’s Bookshop Café, an independently owned bookstore in Bend, Ore., has become the first U.S. bookstore to join 1% for the Planet. Dudley’s is donating 1 percent of its annual gross sales to local environmental nonprofits approved by the organization, a worldwide nonprofit based in Burlington, Vermont.
“As booksellers, our mission is not only to provide entertainment but to educate,” says Tom Beans, Dudley’s owner. “Aside from extensive fiction titles, we feature books about the outdoors, adventure and exploration, and the natural sciences. These books reflect the interests of both our residents and visitors to Bend, one of the Pacific Northwest’s premiere outdoor destinations. “So, aligning our mission with 1% for the Planet seems a natural fit. I’m sure that our customers will be pleased to know that 1 percent of their purchases will go towards conserving and protecting our local environment, which we all really value.”
The 1% for the Planet network that Dudley’s is joining consists of more than 1,800 member businesses, hundreds of individuals and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries. Since its founding in 2002, its members have given more than $200 million back to environmental nonprofits. The group was launched by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, the founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, a fly-fishing guide service based in West Yellowstone, Montana, that is dedicated to preserving wild trout habitat.
“We’re excited to welcome Dudley’s Bookshop Café to our global network,” says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. “Currently, only 3% of total philanthropy goes to the environment and, only 5% of that comes from businesses—which is not enough to solve the most pressing issues facing our planet. “Our growing network of member businesses, like Dudley’s, is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on-the-ground outcomes.” Williams contends that 1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual membership and everyday actions.
The group advises members on giving strategies, certifies donations and amplifies the network’s impact. 2 Dudley’s direct donations will support nine local nonprofits certified by the 1% for the Planet organization: the Central Oregon Environmental Center, the Coalition for the Deschutes, the Conservation Alliance, the Deschutes Land Trust, the Deschutes River Conservancy, the High Desert Museum, the Oregon Blue Project, the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
For more information, visit Dudley’s Bookshop Café at 135 NW Minnesota Avenue in Bend, Oregon, or go to its website: http://www.dudleysbookshopcafe.com/. To learn more about 1% for the Planet, visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.
I am a born and raised Central Oregonian with 20 years experience as a clothing boutique owner, seamstress and alteration specialist. I discovered my passion for design from my grandmother who was a professional seamstress and tailor, she taught me everything she knew! So in 2013 I took the leap and made A Better Alteration my main focus with its own location and brand.
A Better Alteration is a premiere tailoring and alteration boutique located on Wall St. in Downtown Bend. A Better Alteration is a professional and contemporary sewing studio. We raise the bar and provide every client with a personalized experience specific to them. Our contemporary staff has an eye for what’s on trend and will collaborate with each guest to make their vision come to life.
I take pride in my modern approach to tailoring. With an eye for what is on trend, I have a talent for seeing what a garment can become. I have filled a niche in my local community and currently work with multiple stores, dry cleaners, and hotels around town.
Outside of the shop I am a mother to a college student, a Superhost on Airbnb, and I enjoy Crossfit to start my days. I am driven by creativity, challenges, and hard work. I love living and working in beautiful Bend!
Grab your friends and jump up for joy, because it's the first weekend of Spring, folks. We've made it through an *interesting* winter and it's time to look forward to daffodils and tulips.
Robin Williams said, "Spring is nature's way of saying Let's Party". We couldn't agree more.
Here is the line-up for all that is hip and happening in Downtown, the heart of Bend!
Yak Attack at The Common's Apres Ski Series
Parallel 44 Presents is excited to present another installment of the Apres Ski Series at The Commons with the electronic jam vibes of Yak Attack! This is a FREE & ALL AGES event and will feature Deschutes Brewery on tap all night. Sponsored by the amazing Mt Bachelor, Dr. Jolly's, Subaru of Bend, The Source Weekly, Deschutes Brewery & Bend Cultural Tourism Fund .
Embrace your Inner Foolishness Improv Show at The Capitol
Come, watch, laugh as Shane, Heather, Eric, Susan and maybe Shaun create stories based on audience suggestions! You too can be a fool if you join in the Jam at the end. $10 @ Door.
#mydowntownbend Contest (win $$!)
Join the My Downtown Bend contest and share all about your favorite things in Downtown Bend!
We all know that the best recommendations come from family and friends. In Downtown Bend, we are all friends, and now we can share our best recommendations with each other & you can win a great prize! WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED ON 4/21/2019.
There are TWO ways to enter the contest!
#1 Enter via the website
-Fill out the form here: http://www.downtownbend.org/mydowntownbend.html, including 1-3 paragraphs on what you love about Downtown Bend.
-Include a photo and/or a bio with your post and feel free to include a link to your business (if applicable).
-After your entry is posted on our website and social media, you will be sent an email with a link to repost, please repost with the hashtag #mydowntownbend.
#2 Enter via Instagram
-Take a picture of your favorite place in Downtown Bend
-Post the picture on your Instagram Feed
-Post the picture on your Instagram Story
-Use the hashtags #downtownbend and #mydowntownbend
-Tag a friend in your post
-Follow our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/downtownbendor/
The fine print:
*Downtown Bend is defined by the boundaries of this map: http://www.downtownbend.org/eidmap.html
*All entries must include appropriate content, and the DBBA reserves the right to delete any inappropriate entires.
*After you enter the contest, make sure to vote for Downtown Bend in Americas's Mainstreet 25K Contest. Cast your vote for Downtown Bend here: http://www.downtownbend.org/americans-main-streets-25k-contest.html
-$150 in Downtown Dollars
- $100 in Downtown Dollar
- $50 in Downtown Dollar
ALL entries will be posted on our website and shared via our social media channels.
If you own a local business, we are happy to tag & promote your business in our listings.
More info: http://www.downtownbend.org/mydowntownbend.html
Event photo provided by: https://migueledwardsphotography.com/
The World We are Creating Presentation & Dialogue at Deschutes Library
Presentation and dialogue by Dr. Ruth L. Miller, internationally known futurist and metaphysician, with degrees in anthropology, environmental studies, and systems sciences.
Dr. Miller has studied, practiced, and taught courses on new paradigms, systems thinking, futures research, and much more. Building on her stunning presentation last spring, Dr. Miller, shares some of the many signs of an emerging culture that individuals and groups around the world have been creating. Outside of mainstream media and beyond anything governments can affect, people are discovering and implementing systemic advances which can lead to a sustainable future for all. The World We Are Creating looks at the choices we and millions of others are making, and how those will play out in the years ahead.
Bend Comedy Presents: Todd Armstrong & Elaine Johnson at Seven Nightclub
Bend Comedy Presents:
- TODD ARMSTRONG -
Todd Armstrong has done the Bridgetown Comedy Festival a couple times, he was featured on VICELAND's Bong Appetite' and played Max on the Season 7 Finale of Portlandia. His comedy has represented Portland, OR by hosting Comedy Central's "Comics to Watch". Audiences from Portland to Maui to New York City have been shown his unique wit, energetic charm, outlandish truths and stranger than fiction stories. Todd has worked with many of best comedians; Dave Chapelle, Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Amy Schumer, Iliza Shelsinger, Jay Mohr, Nick Kroll, Dave Attell, Chelsea Peretti, Steve-O, Ron Funches, Todd Barry, Jon Lovitz, Tommy Chong. Rob Schneider and many more.
He has a few themed shows including "Jury Duty" for Comical Debates as well as "Permanent Comedy", a web-series and that follows Todd as he interviews Comedians, Artists and Friends about comedy, life and making permanent choices in both. View it at www.permanentcomedy.com or on e360TV.
- ELAINE JOHNSON -
Elaine is the co-owner of Bend Comedy, and produces shows throughout central Oregon. She co-hosts Fuzzy Logic, an interactive panel show. You can also find her every Monday on Twitch hosting Veg Curious, her vegan cooking show that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Hosted by: Ryan Traughber
Showcase: $8 Online / $10 at the door
Do you want to see your event on this list? Email us!
At last night City Council meeting, Downtown Bend Business Association's Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, urged City Councilors to collaborate for the good of Downtown Bend business and building owners.
"I'm looking for that next level of communication and care for Downtown Bend." said Aisling. "I think that by working together we can really improve what we do for the next snow event in Downtown Bend."
Aisling submitted a letter to Councilors on Monday outlining the Downtown Bend Business Association's response to the record snow storm, and sharing challenges that Downtown Bend businesses experienced due to the City's response to the snow. She also shared data gathered from businesses on the lost revenue due to the COB's snow maintenance conditions for a two week window beginning 48 hours after the storm.
Aisling's letter stated, "One of the interesting things about Downtown Bend is that it competes with other shopping districts for local and tourist dollars, but unlike other shopping districts, it is public as opposed to private. This distinction means that we rely on the City to care for Downtown at a standard that allows us to remain competitive with other shopping districts. With almost 400 businesses and 4,000 employees, Downtown Bend remains one of the largest employers in Bend, representing a significant tax base and revenue generator in our city"
The Downtown Bend Business Association's mission is to increase the economic vitality of Downtown Bend. They are located at 916 NW Wall Street in Downtown Bend. You can learn more about how they fulfill their mission at www.downtownbend.org/the-dbba.
To view Aisling's letter, download the document below. To view Aisling's comments, view the video below.
While wandering the streets of Downtown Bend on Monday March 18th, you might have seen some brightly colored bundles laying on window sills and benches, or hiding in newspaper stands and planters. These delightful little packages are the work of local group of Camp Fire teenagers called Teens in Action. As part of the Teens in Action, or TIA, club, local teens identify needs and concerns they feel connected to in the community, and then design service projects around them. This particular TIA group agreed that they wanted to "make Bend a more kind and accepting place," so the Random Acts of Kindness bundles were created!
If you were lucky enough to stumble upon a bundle, you would have opened it up to find a sticker, a heart-shaped lollipop, and an inspirational quote among other little goodies. "My hope is that a stranger will find this bundle, and it will put a smile on their face, and then they will pass the kindness on," said one of the group members. The laughter and energy of the teens filled the streets as they joyfully competed to find the most obscure spots to hide the bundles, including inside trees and on car windshields. The group celebrated after hiding all the packages with yummy gelato kindly donated from downtown bend business, Bonta Gelato. And the group certainly earned their celebration... in addition to the random acts of kindness, they pitched in at the Nativity Lutheran Church Wood Lot, cooked dinner at Ronald McDonald House, helped Brightside Animal Shelter get ready for their annual fundraiser AND volunteered at Shephard's House Ministries Men's Shelter!
Head over to Camp Fire Central Oregon's website to find out more about the Teens in Action club, as well as other summer service challenges and leadership opportunities for teens.
Or join Camp Fire at their Absolutely Incredible Kids Day Celebration on Thursday, March 21st at the Pavilion Ice Rink. From 4-6 pm youth accompanied by an adult will get FREE ice skating on behalf of Camp Fire's annual birthday celebration. During the festivities, the TIA teens will be called up for a special recognition ceremony. Come cheer on our local youth!
Forge Humanity, was founded in 2016 with the idea that “we might not be able to help everyone, but everyone can help someone!” Owners and Founders Amy Farkas and Tiphane Townley ( and their two pups, Foster & Maximus).
Giving back isn't just our passion, it's who we are. Every company we carry has a social mission. You walk away knowing that your purchase has purpose.
We believe love and charity have no borders. We work with companies from all over the world that focus on fair trade practices, environmentally conscious and affecting the world positively! We know Forge Humanity existence is not singular, it is part of a bigger system of people, values, communities, organizations and nature. We want to thank you, for believing in and being part of our conscious, sustainable business. To truly generate change, it takes a great deal of commitment and joining forces. Thank you, for being on this journey with us and Forge Humanity. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandi
Keep up to date with Forge Humanity, and their new and changing product lines by connecting with them on Facebook and Instagram, and make sure to visit their store at 126 Minnesota Ave in Downtown Bend.
If you've been to Downtown Bend this week, you might have noticed a big flashing sign in the South Mirror Pond parking lot. This sign is alerting folks that the parking lot will be closed beginning next Monday, March 25th. This closure is taking place so that the parking lot can be redesigned and upgraded.
Where is this lot located?
Why are changes being made?
This redesign will achieve the following goals:
What will the new parking lot look like?
Below is the design of the new South Mirror Pond parking lot.
With this lot closed, Where do I park when I go Downtown?
How long will this project take?
The project is estimated to be complete in early June.
Will Brooks Alley be closed?
Brooks Alley will remain open for most of the duration of the construction in the Mirror Pond parking lot. There will be a period of about 7 days that will require closure of the alley. When we know the exact dates of the closure, we will issue an update.
Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns?
Lauren Kelling, owner of Oregon Body and Bath, loves spending her days in Downtown Bend. When she’s not skiing Mount Bachelor with her family, you will find her catching up with long-time shoppers at her shop, which has been open for 26 years, or helping out-of-towners select the perfect keepsake from their visit. A proud member of the vibrant downtown business community, Lauren enjoys the sense of camaraderie she feels with other retailers downtown, all of whom help make Bend the amazing place it is.