THE PIG & POUND PUBLIC HOUSE

Food: () Delicious British pub fare complemented by all-American favorites.

Service: () Friendly and homespun, with the bartender attending inside and out.

Atmosphere: () “Living-room” interior will be enhanced by completion of park expansion.

More Info

Location: 427 SW Eighth St., Redmond

Hours: 4 p.m. to close Monday to Friday, noon to close Saturday and Sunday

Cuisine: English and American

Price range: Appetizers $5 to $7, entrees $12 to $16

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa

Kids’ menu: On request

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Best choice is the hummus plate

Alcoholic beverages: Fully licensed

Outdoor seating: Elevated deck

Reservations: No

Contact: www.facebook.com

For more area restaurant reviews, visit bendbulletin.com/restaurants

The expansion of Centennial Park across Eighth Street in downtown Redmond — with its lawns, shade trees and civic plaza in front of Redmond City Hall — is an exciting project for northern Deschutes County.

But while construction is underway, it creates problems for local businesses, not the least of which is The Pig & Pound Public House. The British pub, which opened seven years ago, is flanked on its south and west sides by the park expansion. Its Eighth Street access ends at a chain-link fence directly outside its front door.

Owner Paul Mercer, a native Englishman who has been a resident of Central Oregon for more than two decades, can’t help but acknowledge the challenge it’s created for his business in recent months. But Mercer is a glass-half-full sort of bloke:

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be an island in a midtown park,” he said. “When the work is finished, it’s going to be fantastic.” Soon — completion is projected for this fall — outdoor deck seating at the Pig & Pound will overlook pedestrian walkways that lead directly between the Becky Johnson Community Center and City Hall.

Mercer, a former owner of Bend’s Victorian Café, Sunriver’s Trout House and Camp Sherman’s Kokanee Café, considers his pub to be a “neighborhood living room” for the Redmond community. The Pig & Pound has established a staunch local clientele that return time and again for the sort of simple food, spirited conversation and ambience (English football on television) that one might find in a London suburb.

Pub fare

British pubs are famous for fish and chips. I was pleased to discover that the Pig & Pound serves what may be the best in all of Central Oregon.

Wrapped in paper and served in a pair of aluminum cones that resemble matching candelabra are three thick chunks of Alaskan cod ($15), lightly dipped in a house-recipe beer batter. The batter locks in moisture and flakiness, making them far more flavorful than flat fish fillets I’ve had at other restaurants. They were served side-by-side with herb-sprinkled, hand-cut fries, tartar sauce and ketchup.

A classic starter is a Scotch egg ($6), hard-boiled and rolled in a blend of ground pork heavily seasoned with fennel. After baking, it is quartered and topped with pickled onions, fresh parsley and house-made stone-ground mustard. I found it a great way to start a lunch.

My dining companion and I had two other entrees on an evening visit. Shepherd’s pie ($16), typically made with ground lamb, has always been one of my favorite pub repasts. The Pig & Pound has made it local by replacing the sheep with bison from the Powell Butte Buffalo Ranch. Buffalo is famously lean and savory. It is stewed in a gravy with celery, corn, peas and carrots, then baked in a ramekin topped with a generous offering of mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese.

Bangers and mash ($13) are rated the most popular of all comfort foods in Great Britain. At the Redmond pub, the focus is on the plump pork sausages (“bangers”) from the Willamette Valley’s Carlton Farms. They are blended with fennel, apples and other herbs, grilled, sliced lengthwise and served with sauteed spinach over mashed potatoes in a thick brown demi-glace gravy.

No frills

Service and atmosphere are no frills. Other than the Union Jack pinned to the ceiling inside the main door, decor is minimal. Eight beer taps draw a changing selection of local and British beers (I recommend Guinness) and hard ciders.

Mercer, who grew up in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, is often the one pulling the handles and keeping up a constant banter with a stable of regulars, including many local English football fans. “Ninety% of the patrons are here 90% of the time,” he quipped.

Behind a handful of barstools with ringside television views, a half-dozen tables easily accommodate another 20-odd guests. Outside seating more than doubles the capacity.

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached janderson@bendbulletin.com .

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