Bend is famous for its limitless outdoor recreation and quaint coffee shops, but at some point, the sun does have to go down. Nightlife in Bend is full of entertainment, I mean there’s even night skiing and moonlit snowshoeing! But if you’re looking for more entertainment and a fun time with friends or family, explore everything the Bend’s bars have to offer. Find out where you should stop by for some evening drinks and socializing in Bend, Oregon.
Velvet’s bar combines its premium cocktail selection with a huntsman-themed cocktail cabin vibe in Downtown Bend that’s beautiful in the summer and suitably cozy in the winter, when there are also sidewalk fire pits outside to keep warm when things are crowded indoors. Velvet specializes in using fresh ingredients for its cocktails along with its great craft beer selection, and the team will be happy to give advice when choosing what to drink. There are snacks here too, notably Aussie pies from Jackaroo, if you start feeling hungry. Note that like many bars in Bend, no minors are allowed (pubs tend to allow kids, though).
Seven is a downtown restaurant and nightclub where there’s always something happening (literally, since every day of the week is scheduled for different events), but it’s the weekend DJs that will really help get the party started. It’s one of the favorite spots for afterparties and late night celebrations in Bend, but that also means that it can fill up fast. Get there early if you can, and if you plan on eating, expect to reserve a table weeks in advance.
This indoor/outdoor club in Downtown Bend has been around for 16 years and is still slinging some of the best cocktails in the city. They claim to have one of the largest spirit selections in Oregon, and after a visit you’ll find it easy to believe. Weekends are typically filled with special DJ hosts or bands to check out, and there are plenty of lunch and dinner options to if you feel like making a meal of it. The outdoor seating area is also private and comfortable when the weather is right.
San Simón’s tagline is “Sophisticated Debauchery” and the organic, rustic space with high-class drinks and eats may remind of your favorite Portland or Seattle hole in the wall. The eclectic experience is made far better with the excellent cocktails and well-sourced ingredients, plus a number of snack boards and small plates to choose from. There are also some alleyway tables if you and your guests prefer to sit out on a pleasant evening. San Simón is all about taking it easy and enjoying your drinks: If you’re hitting bars in Central Oregon, make sure it’s on your list!
The Capitol is an underground bar and music venue (300 people max) in Downtown Bend that’s one of the most fun places to party in town. In addition to the frequent concerts and events, there’s also a full bar and a full restaurant with a fine dining menu that specializes in seasonal, organic foods with locally sourced ingredients. When bands aren’t playing, the space is typically set up with ping-pong tables to complement the nearby arcade section. If that’s the kind of lounge experience that you can get behind, you’ll quickly fall in love with The Capitol.
M&J Tavern is one of the oldest drinking holes in the city, a downtown landmark for 70 years. They have fully embraced the “dive bar” image in a gleefully sleazy way that doesn’t stop them from serving a masterful cocktail, especially when it comes to their 240 different kinds of tequila. There’s also plenty of food to pick from, too, plus a great happy hour. As for events, M&J’s does a little bit of everything, from game nights and band nights open mic and ladies’ nights. As with other downtown bars, it’s a quick walk from Drake Park when you’re done exploring.
The Rapa Nui Tiki Lounge is the perfect bar for going tropical: This fun Old Mill bar specializes is island-friendly cocktails, plus a select of island-style appetizers like ginger soy glazed fried chicken (and, of course, décor to match). There’s indoor seating, some private booths, and an outdoor balcony – thanks to its second story location, the lounge is treated to beautiful sunset views and overlooks the Cascades for the best bar view in all Bend, especially when sipping a West Coast IPA. Space can get a little tight, so make reservations, especially if you’re planning on eating when you’re there.
Wall Street Bar’s brick background and casual atmosphere quickly win over visitors looking for a good downtown bar that gets right to the good stuff. You’re sure to meet some locals here to chat about Bend, ask where to go next, or just chill and have a drink with. It’s another option where space is a bit limited and it can fill up fast, so be prepared for it to be a little crowded as evening goes on – but always a lot of fun. Wall Street Bar has recently moved to a new permeant location off Hwy 97.
While J Dub’s is popular for their food – including a full breakfast food menu and extra menu for dog treats – this downtown bar is also a great spot to stop by for some drinks with friends, including your pooch. The menu also makes it an excellent morning stop after a night of partying if you want a Bloody Mary and breakfast sandwich.
If billiards and pool are an essential part of your planned bar experience, Duda’s is the best place in town to look for an open table. There are eight tables, plus shuffleboard and darts – and, of course, a full bar with any drink you could want. If you’re after a pool hall, note Duda’s downtown location and plot an evening out around it.
More Tips to Enjoy the Nightlife in Bend
- Are you more interested in a sports bar where you can watch some of your favorite games and have a casual drink? Bend has plenty of options here, too. Sidelines in Downtown Bend is a particularly popular spot, while Big E’s (previously known as Kelly D’s) and River Pig are also great gathering places for catching an important game. If a game is getting a lot of attention, you may want to get there early – sports bars can quickly fill up when there’s a big event happening.
- Bend doesn’t have a lot of themed bars but there’s room to explore if you feel like something new and interesting. The Cross-Eyed Cricket is a southern country-focused bar with food to match that’s an experience unlike anything else in town. The Cellar is an underground brewpub with a dedicated British vibe (and imported décor). Dogwood Cocktail Cabin is a more unique, forest-themed experience. They aren’t quite nightlife bars in the traditional sense, but they’re fun options when it’s time to try something else.
- Feeling like something a little fancier? Make plans for The Stihl, Bend’s best whiskey bar. It’s an excellent place to try out some drinks and has a full (very good) menu for those who want to make a dinner of it or grab an appetizer like garlic parmesan tots or buttermilk chicken tenders. The cheaper whiskeys go for around $10, but prices can quickly get high so plan accordingly! If you’re looking for a wine bar, there are plenty here to, if that’s your preference.
- Hours for the most popular spots in Bend can vary quite a bit. Winter hours may be different from summer hours (frozen roads and snow can have an additional impact depending on the weather). Many places are only open for the weekend, or the weekend plus a handful of weekdays. Always look at the hours when you’re searching out a club or bar and plan a night out for the latter half of the week when spots are more likely to be open. Even late-night bars will generally close early here, around 2am at the latest.
- What about Bend’s famous pub scene? You can certainly make plans for a pub, brewery, biergarten, or food truck lot – we have lots of them, including the popular Deschutes Brewery if you feel like grabbing a Black Butte porter! But they will close earlier than bars and clubs, and while they may have live music and events, it’s really not a nightlife scene in the way you might expect, so we kept them off this particular list. However, if the clubs are full, pubs are always a nearby alternative.
- Are you looking for a place to party in the afternoon? Think about stopping by bars like Justy’s, which includes volleyball lots for playtime, or head over to Bevel Brewing, the disc golf-focused spot with its own 18-hole putting course in the back. Plenty of spots like these combine fun daytime activities with drink options – just remember to check the weather and make sure it’s not too hot!
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