Do chains' departures give boost to C.O. businesses?

Views vary after latest in string of restaurant, store closures

Do chains departures add to local businesses success?

BEND, Ore. - Bend has lost another national chain restaurant with the closure in recent days of the Outback Steakhouse in the southeast part of the city.

A sign on the door of the restaurant at 1180 SE Third Street, near the intersection with Reed Market Road,  said the lease on the building was up, and Nov. 30th was its last day.

"Let's not call this a ‘goodbye,' rather a ‘see you later,'" the posted notice said.

A manager at the restaurant couldn't say much more Monday.

Last month, Papa John's Pizza unexpectedly closed its lone Bend store. And earlier this year, Quizno's closed its Bend and Redmond sandwich shops

Also, the Bend Sears store, whose closure was announced this fall, has now shut its doors after a liquidation sale.

And the parent firm of Ray's Food Place in Bend and Redmond announced they are closing their doors after the holidays, though other markets in La Pine, Sisters and Prineville are among those staying open.

This recent string of chain closures has prompted a lot of feedback from Central Oregonians.

"Maybe one of the local restaurants will get more business now," one shopper said Tuesday.

"Anything that loses jobs has a major negative effect," said another.

Some say this is survival of the fittest in the retail and restaurant world. Some argue national chains suck all the profits from local businesses, while others say losing any business in Central Oregon hurts.

"People say, 'Well. if you open up a Walmart, you're running the little guy out of business.' But people that are running the little guy out of business are the ones who used to go to him -- and now go to Walmart," one Bend man told us.

"The chains do take away from some of the smaller ones around town. But at the same time, all business in town, any business helps," another shopper told us.

A few people out shopping around town Tuesday told us the chains closing show a sign of the times.

"We can't afford $40-$50  for dinner at night for two people -- and throw in a bottle of wine, you've spent $100. The places that are run efficiently and have a menu that appeals to the public, they're gong to make it," one viewer said.

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