A bar that features ax throwing is on its way to downtown Bend, while two established businesses are preparing to move out.
Wabi Sabi, purveyor of “cool Japanese stuff” for almost 10 years, will leave its space at 830 NW Wall St. at the end of the month, owner Barb Campbell said. Crow’s Feet Commons, a ski and bike shop that helped revitalize Mirror Pond Plaza, could be in a new outdoor-themed space in NorthWest Crossing by September, owner David Marchi said.
Those businesses will very likely be replaced by others, as the vacancy rate downtown is less than 5%, said Russell Huntamer, partner at Compass Commercial Real Estate Services. Turnover downtown is low, and there’s a backlog of potential retail tenants, he said.
Compass recently helped the owner of the former Boomtown CDs building at 165 NW Greenwood Ave. lease the space to the bar that features ax throwing, which will be called Unofficial Logging Co., and Lone Pine Coffee Roasters, which has occupied a small space at 845 Tin Pan Alley since 2009.
“We had a ton of activity,” Huntamer said. “We had tenants that we turned away.”
Lone Pine owner Scott Witham said his space on Tin Pan Alley has been leased to a new business, which he couldn’t disclose.
He landed his lease in the Boomtown building, which will give the coffee shop twice as much space, after a two-year search. “There weren’t a lot of spaces that met my criteria,” he said.
Witham said he hopes to be in the new location by early summer. Unofficial Logging Co. could be open for ax throwing by October, co-founder John Heylin said.
“Think of it like a bowling alley, except instead of bowling balls, you have hatchets,” Heylin said. He and his business partner, Matt Brobak, wanted a place within walking distance of other bars and restaurants, he said. “We’re going to have food and drink, but it’s not going to be our primary draw.”
Wabi Sabi moved into its current location from Brooks Street in 2011. The lease is up at the end of April, and Campbell said via text message that she’s not sure what’s next for the business. Campbell, who is also a member of the Bend City Council, declined an interview. A representative of the building owner declined to comment.
“For us, it’s more a matter of the congestion downtown,” Crow’s Feet Commons owner David Marchi said. As he spoke outside the shop at 869 NW Wall St., Suite 4, heavy equipment tore up a city-owned parking lot next to Drake Park. “Most bike and ski shops, they have dedicated parking.”
Marchi had been a ski mountaineering guide when he opened the business in 2012 in the historic Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher house overlooking Mirror Pond. Crow’s Feet Commons leased the Craftsman bungalow from the city and combined selling bikes and skis with a cafe that sold beer and hosted live concerts on Mirror Pond Plaza.
At the time, homeless people camping and illicit drug activity on the plaza were so prevalent that the city had trouble finding someone to lease the historic house, Marchi said.
The business grew large enough that the bike-ski shop took its own space across the plaza. Then on April 1, Marchi sold the coffee shop and taproom to general manager Dan Baumann, who has renamed it The Commons Cafe.
Baumann said he plans to keep the live events going, and he has a lot of space to work with in the historic house. “The location is pretty incredible,” he said.
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