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French Market is open for business

The French Market, a new bistro featuring chef-prepared cuisine, has now been open for a month on Bend’s west side. Owners Phil and Judy Lipton worked with Steve Hendley and the team at Compass Commercial Construction Services (CCCS) 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.

French Market, 285 NW Riverside Blvd., Bend
French Market, 285 NW Riverside Blvd., Bend

The team at Compass Commercial Construction Services overhauled the interior of the building to take it from neighborhood dive to French bistro. The process was quite arduous and included permits delaying construction, however, the dream never died for the owners. The property and business were purchased May 31, 2016 with the representation of Compass Commercial brokers Peter May, CCIM and Russell Huntamer, CCIM.

This is not the Lipton’s first foray into the restaurant business. Judy has been in the restaurant business for a number of years. She owned a restaurant and catering business in the San Francisco area for 16 years. Since their move away from the Bay Area, they have continued to work and be involved in the food industry, even taking classes while she and Phil lived in France. 

A first impression upon walking into the newly renovated space might be that one has been transported from the east bank of the Deschutes to a Parisian café on the bohemian rive guache. The open floor plan allows diners a glimpse around a commercial glass-sided refrigerator into the kitchen as they’re seated in the dining room. Additional refrigerators line one wall; this is one of the few details that are held over from the Riverside Market on the interior.

When the Compass Construction team started work, the interior of the building showed a lack of care and upkeep. The counter upon entering had rotted and the roof was covered in outdated ceiling tiles. “Despite the rough looking interior, the structure itself was sturdy and provided the perfect space for the French Market,” says Steve Hendley, Construction Services Manager. He and the CCCS crew stripped the floors, removed the tiled ceilings, updated the kitchen to meet a head chef’s specifications, and gave the space its own unique appeal. The lace curtains in the front windows, along with other decor throughout the market that are original to the French countryside.

A conditional use permit required the Liptons to maintain 200 square feet of the restaurant as grocery/retail. Taking advantage of the large glass-sided refrigerators, in addition to the bistro dining, they offer French food items for purchase. The food is beautifully displayed adjacent to the dining space.

Philip and Judy Lipton, French Market owners
Philip and Judy Lipton, French Market owners

The French Market is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Reservations are accepted, and the space is available to book for private parties. The menu is full of decadent entrees and charcuterie plates. As for the drinks, they have a focused wine selection as well as an in-house mixologist who has crafted a varied cocktail menu using custom bitters and shrubs. If you’re not sure what to order, just ask. Recommendations are always available.

If you have questions about this project, please contact Steve Hendley at Compass Commercial Construction Services at 541.330.2449. If you would like to contact the French Market, their phone number is 541-241-2926.