Happy Hour Drive-by: Currents at the Riverhouse


A crisp and brisk autumn day consisting of a long list of to-dos completed, my companion suggested a happy hour stop at Currents, the lounge attached to the venerable Riverhouse hotel across from the mall. 

I remember back in the 80s when this was the very edge of Bend. I hadn’t even looked at the Riverhouse since not long after that. I figured, why not? 

What an amazing spot! The river dances over rocks just outside, and the inside is a flashback to an older, simpler time. It is hard to tell what percentage of the crowd are locals grabbing an after-work tipple or which are out of towners staying at the hotel. Some are already a few cheap happy hour drinks in, and getting a bit loud, but thankfully the lounge is arrayed along the east bank of the river and provides quiet nooks for those seeking a quieter spot. 

We sit at a table for two, and order some specialty cocktails. I go for a Manhattan, as I’ve been searching in vain for one that will match a mindblower served to me at a famous restaurant in Seattle last year. My companion tries their “Apple from the orchard” – an interesting cocktail for sure. (So good she orders another later.) 

We order some nibbles. Lamb meatballs for me. Some flatbread for her. (See photo above). Very tasty on both counts. 

The decor is what strikes me most about this place. It perfectly captures an “old Bend” zeitgeist. The Pacific Northwest vibe I recall from my youth. Looking around you can’t really tell if this building was built in the 1970s, or last year. It truly is a timeless design, very much at home here in our little mountain town. 

Our waitress is awesome and we’re not really ready to go, so we order the meat and cheese board, and another round. 

While the Manhattan was good, I switch to a Pinot Noir for the second course. My companion sticks with the delicious apple orchard cocktail, and scoots her chair around next to mine. Partially to be close to me, but primarily so we can hear each other better. The crowd is getting loud and the jazz ensemble is warming up for their evening performance. 

Overall great impressions. We will be back.