Nightlife Fun

Top picks for local nightlife fun

Central Oregon’s many breweries, restaurants and bars mean that choosing where to spend your evening can be the hardest part of your day. If your hankering is for something more than just food and beverage, try one of these watering holes to sing, dance, play games, learn something or get on stage.


Cigar Bar

O’Kanes at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Cigars, whiskey, fire pits and Jerry Garcia. What more does a person need? Housed in the former garage of a 1936 Catholic schoolhouse, O’Kanes’ cozy atmosphere with the Grateful Dead-only soundtrack is a local favorite. Any given evening, guests mill about the spacious patio, sipping house or name-brand whiskey with a McMenamins craft brew back. Don’t miss the fire pits in the winter.


Open Mic

The Lot

Hosted by Bend’s hip-hop poet laureate, Jason Graham, aka MOWO (a name borrowed from his namesake hiphop group, MOsley WOtta), Open Mic Wednesdays provide the opportunity get on stage, plug in your guitar and realize your dream of superstardom—at least on the local level. Located at The Lot, Bend’s Westside food cart pod with a covered eating area, these events bring together a packed house of folks waiting to share their closet songwriting skills. Sixteen taps pouring beer, cider and kombucha keep you hydrated.


Kelly D’s

Every Wednesday and Saturday, host Rockin’ Robin transforms Kelly D’s Irish pub into a shower-singer’s karaoke paradise. On a good night, sixty music lovers wait upwards of an hour and a half to croon Sinatra, sing Adele, or rock Aerosmith. Band not required.

Dance Lessons

Maverick’s Country Bar and Grill

Country style  •


Latin  •

For those wishing to put on their cowboy hats and boots and kick up some dust, Maverick’s Country Bar and Grill in northeast Bend has country swing on Thursdays and line dancing on Fridays and Saturdays. Join roughly 30 other dancers with a free lesson, and then show off newfound moves with the DJ until closing time. For liquid courage, head to the fully stocked bar and grab a Budweiser or Pendleton Whiskey.

For those looking for a little more spice, Seven in downtown Bend has Salsa and Bachata lessons every Wednesday, followed by social dancing with the Bend Bachata dance troupe. The classes are $5, beginner-friendly and no partner is required.


Astro Lounge

If you have ever yelled an answer at the TV screen during “Jeopardy!,” Trivia Tuesdays at the Astro Lounge might be for you. Upwards of 20 teams fill the downtown Bend bar to answer a wide array of questions and vie for prizes. Friendly competition—and a little smack-talking—mixed with a cocktail and locally-sourced eats are the order of the day.


Video Games

Vector Volcano Arcade

Check out downtown’s Vector Volcano Arcade. Forty-three pinball and arcade games from the 1980s, rotated weekly, are waiting for you—protect the Earth from Space Invaders or move Pac-Man through a maze. Separating itself from the arcade of your youth is beer on tap and the fact that no quarters are required: it’s $5 for an hour or $10 for an all day pass.

Learning Environment

Broken Top Bottle Shop

On the third Thursday of each month, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Oregon League of Conservation Voters takes over this local restaurant with an event called Pints & Politics. Patrons enjoy spirited discussions led by invited guests—most recently Renew Oregon’s Susan Suffion who spoke about Oregon’s energy future—as well as beer, cider, mead or sake on-tap and in-cooler.


Cascade West Grub & Alehouse

Four widely spaced pool tables, set in a log cabin decor complete with stone fireplace, draw billiards players from around the area. 32 beers on tap, six televisions and video poker keep them there.

Photos from top: Cigar Bar O’Kanes at McMenamins Old St. Francis School  |  Open Mic at The Lot  |  Trivia Tuesdays at Astro Lounge   |  Vector Volcano Arcade 

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