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The French Market is a charming new addition to Bend’s ever-broadening selection of restaurant options.

Well off the beaten path, yet less than a mile from downtown and only a stone’s throw from the new whitewater park, the Riverside Drive bistro has earned a steady following since opening on June 9.

Central Oregon’s first dedicated French restaurant since Bistro Corlise closed in 2009, it focuses on the Provençal cuisine of southern France, as well as Catalan stylings of northeastern Spain.

Owners Philip and Judy Lipton lived in these places in Europe for five years before settling in Bend in 2016. Veteran restaurateurs who had previously lived in the San Francisco Bay area and Idaho’s Sun Valley, they bought the former Riverside Market and Pub, a long-ago service station, and converted it to the sort of place one might find in the countryside between Marseille and Barcelona.

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Dirt Road Travels is a group that travels around, looking to meet new people and experience life from their perspective. They decided to come to French Market to see what we're all about!

"We exist to tell the stories of those who've said, "F*** it. I'm going to chase my passion." Whether that's by traveling, building a coffee shop, joining a band or launching a company - we're here to share the lessons of those who've gone their own way and to show you their city through their eyes. 

We're calling it Dirt Road Travels because sometimes, the best people, places and experiences are just a bit off the beaten path." 


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The French Market, a new bistro featuring chef-prepared cuisine, has now been open for a month on Bend’s westside. Owners Phil and Judy Lipton worked with Steve Hendley and the team at Compass Commercial Construction Services to remodel the decades-old, cultural building. The location has gone through many iterations and is known by most long-term Bendites as the Riverside Market or before that, the Taco Shop. The blue and white building sits in the middle of the Old Bend neighborhood at 285 NW Riverside Boulevard. Fresh sidewalks and driveway, pavers and new landscaping helped give this location curb appeal.

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Nestled into the Old Bend neighborhood amongst the many cottage bungalows and historic estate grand mansions of their time, originally owned by the mill owners who founded this young, now booming tourist town is a new dining destination for lovers of French and western European cuisine.

The French Market opened its doors this past June, and I couldn’t sit down in one of their classic bistro chairs quickly enough. First exploring their lunch and then having let the hours fly by during two memorable dinners with friends during the warm summer evenings, each experience has offered a warm welcome, ease afforded to simply enjoy the food, the ambiance and the leisurely pace of an everyday ritual elevated to a moment to savor either solitarily or amongst companions. 

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A decorative bicycle basket filled with flowers welcomes restaurant visitors. Inside, a large cheese wheel in a glass case draws immediate curiosity. Chefs are busy preparing food in the kitchen behind, and French music plays softly throughout the dining room.

The Liptons, who had been longing to open a European-style cafe in the Western United States while living abroad, bought the former Riverside Market and Pub in May 2016, and opened The French Market last month.

The French Market offers chef-made cuisine derived from southern France and northern Spain.

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