By Rachael Rees

The Bulletin

A whiskey bar and a button and magnet maker are among the half-dozen businesses to lease space in downtown Bend during the second quarter, the area’s business association announced Tuesday.

The activity leaves three vacancies among 204 restaurant and retail spaces, said Chuck Arnold, executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association.

“This is one of the economic indicators that things are going well in our regional economy, that people are investing in downtown and in businesses, and that our occupancy is at an all-time high,” Arnold said. “It means we have active businesses downtown.”

The Stihl Whisk(e)y Bar has leased the former Pure Kitchen location in the Franklin Crossing Building at 550 NW Franklin Ave. Owner Jason Gartz said remodeling has been finished and the menu is being finalized. The Stihl will be a full bar, specializing in custom whiskey drinks; he said Monday that he hopes to open soon.

Across Franklin Avenue, a new pizza restaurant, Fire in Bend, has leased 744 NW Bond St. Construction was underway inside the business Tuesday.

Angelina Organic Skin Care, which makes natural and organic face, bath, body and massage products, has relocated from NW Hill Street to 838 NW Bond St.

“We’ve grown tremendously in the last few years, and I’ve just been waiting for the perfect space,” said owner Angelina Swanson.

She said the downtown location, which totals 2,000 square feet, gives her more than three times the space of the former location. It houses both the retail operation and production facility. By August, she said, customers will be able to watch their products being made in the lab.

“One of the biggest things that we’ve been wanting to do is connect with our community more and educate our customers about why we make natural products,” she said.

Two businesses — button and magnet maker Via Delia, owned by Delia Paine, and charm and zipper-pull maker Just a Little Charm, owned by Jen Aylward — opened a shared storefront July 1 at 224 NW Oregon Ave.

High Desert Chamber Music opened an administrative office at 961 NW Brooks St. on June 1, said executive director Isabelle Senger. The nonprofit, which produces live chamber music concerts throughout Bend, signed a three-year lease for the space.

BendModern, a furniture store featuring midcentury modern furnishings and vintage watches, opened next door to Patagonia on NW Wall Street on June 6. The business previously leased an office downtown, co-owner Kelly Zimmerman said. But she and business partner Serena Christy decided to open a store.

“We were inspired by the entrepreneurial feeling that we got downtown,” said Zimmerman. “Being new to the area, we felt like we wanted to become part of the fabric in Bend.”

—Reporter: 541-617-7818,