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Some chain restaurants have hard time in C.O.

By Wanda Moore
Published On: Apr 22 2014 11:11:54 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 02:55:28 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Wanda Moore found out why local restaurants tend to fare better than big chain restaurants on the High Desert.

BEND, Ore. -

A stroll through downtown Bend confirms that Bend residents tend to shop local. There's only one chain eating establishment downtown, and that's Starbucks.

"I think shopping locally is a conscious decision that the Bend community is making," Bend Chamber Executive Director Tim Casey said Tuesday. "They understand that the money that they spend locally stays locally. And it helps make everyone more successful."

Bend's economy is doing well. According to the Bend Chamber, 91 percent of businesses that open their doors in Bend stay open. Meanwhile, some chain restaurants are still looking for the recipe for success, as several have closed in the Bend area in recent years, even as others arrive or thrive.

"We want something that is unique. That's what Bendites are looking for," said Casey.

While local restaurants are thriving, Pizza Hut, Outback and Papa John's in Bend have closed their doors for good.

"Markets are always going to reflect the surrounding community," said Chuck Arnold, executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association. "You don't see a fried chicken outlet in downtown Bend, because that's not reflective of something that a common cuisine that people have and the culture."

Bottom line: Many Bend residents like to shop local and eat healthy. More so than the national average.

"I get a lot of requests from people: what should I eat? What healthy places do you go to downtown?" said Jenny Anderson, director of fitness operations at the Athletic Club of Bend.

"In Bend, people just know more about what's in their food," said Christina Johansen, group fitness manager at ACB.

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