The Canteen at the Campfire Hotel is not like other hotel bars.
“They’ve really stepped it up and taken it upon themselves to support the queer community,” said Jamie Nesbitt, cofounder and vice president of OUT Central Oregon.
The trendy cocktail bar, located inside Campfire Hotel and situated just above the hotel’s pool, was concocted by owners of the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin, Doug and Phoebe Pedersen.
The cocktails are similar to those at its sister restaurant, but the food is more casual, with a focus on “toasties” — The Canteen’s version of a panini.
The most popular paninis are the Bahn Moi, a Vietnamese style banh mi sandwich with house smoked pork and pickled carrot, and the Cheese Louise, a twist on the classic grilled-cheese sandwich.
The Cheese Louise was perfectly toasted and had just a touch of sweetness. The additions of truffle cream cheese and arugula elevated the sandwich from the classic kids’ meal to an adult treat.
The cocktail menu at The Canteen is elaborate and inventive. The bar was out of lavender, so I ordered the Thai One On, a cocktail on the rocks with rum, coconut milk, matcha and soda water.
The matcha turned the cocktail a vibrant green and it tasted both creamy and light at the same time. It was decorated with a large basil leaf and a paper straw. The rum makes this cocktail taste like summer, making it the perfect mixed drink to sip poolside.
While the server didn’t regularly check in on me, she was friendly and efficient. She gladly provided recommendations and the food was delivered promptly. When I was ready to leave, I had to grab her attention to get the bill.
Late afternoon, the vibe at The Canteen was relaxed. Customers ordered drinks to enjoy poolside and others played board games inside the bar.
Thursday through Sunday, The Canteen will be exuberant. The hotel is proudly hosting its own PrideFest with a burlesque show Thursday night, a drag queen pool party and Plug-In-Pride performance by Ashleigh Flynn and The Riveters on Saturday, and a pool party Sunday.
In a press release, Heather Anderson, Campfire Hotel’s director of marketing said, “While we know the world observes June as Pride Month, at Campfire Hotel, You Are Welcome Here year-round.”
“You Are Welcome Here” is a project by OUT Central Oregon inviting businesses to display a sticker with the Progress Pride Flag representing the transgender community, BIPOC and Indigenous communities in addition to the LGBTQ+ community.
Location: The Campfire Hotel, 721 NE Third St., Bend
Hours: 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2-11 p.m. Saturday, 2-10 p.m. Sunday
Price Range: $6-$15