BEND, OR -- After months of construction and anticipation, Central Oregon’s first Cracker Barrel opened Monday morning on the north end of Bend. Steve Rudd, General Manager of the Bend location, says Friday’s ribbon cutting and “soft opening” was a chance to highlight their home-style southern cuisine and unique atmosphere, "We executed as if we’re opened, and fed the general public, which was good. And, we’re ready to open on Monday. We’re open every day 6 in the morning to 10 at night, 11 o’clock on Friday and Saturday, and we serve breakfast all day."
Rudd says the new location is part of the Tennessee-based company's westward growth, "It’s just been in recent years that we’ve started expanding toward the western part of the country," he tells KBND News, "It just seemed like a natural match between our great company’s brand and this really cool, unique community that there is here in Bend. We feel like we’ve got a great location on 97; we expect to be pretty busy." Cracker Barrel will employ about 175 people at the local restaurant and country store, which is its fifth location in Oregon. "Cracker Barrel’s got a great niche in the family dining segment," says Rudd. "So, come into Cracker Barrel and you can expect a warm welcome, a great shopping experience, a great dining experience and then hang out on the front porch in our rocking chairs and play checkers or do whatever you want."