Where Old Meets New
Tucked in the Bond and Greenwood area of downtown Bend, Citizen Bar and Kitchen is the new kid on the block. With a sleek bar, low lighting and soft vintage interior décor, Citizen adds a speakeasy element to the ever-evolving Bend food scene by offering a full bar with prohibition-style cocktails and a menu with rotating seasonal appetizers, entrees and desserts.Taking over High Tides Seafood Restaurant, an old Bend institution, Gene Soto and Sanda Costello are experiencing a homecoming. Soto spent many cooking and teaching years in Washington and Central Oregon and Costello has done it all—from serving to bartending to managing restaurants in various locations. After meeting in the same area of downtown, then starting and successfully running Bowtie Catering together since 2014, the two had always talked about owning a restaurant in a central location. With a deep passion for fresh and rich international cuisine, they created the menu for Citizen and it was one of their favorite parts of the process. “Gene and I wanted to offer an intimate and casual spot with a little European flair,” says Costello. After finding the location and agreeing on a theme, things began to flourish. Costello, an expert mixologist, loves creating new cocktails with old world style recipes and fresh ingredients. Spicy Margaritas, Raspberry Moscow Mules and a perfect Manhattan will be featured amongst several other delicious drinks.
As an owner and head chef of his own restaurant, Soto spends a lot of time searching out fresh and local ingredients for his dishes. “It’s very important to me to do business with local purveyors and serve what they provide us on our guests’ plates,” says Soto.the other main theme of Citizen is the idea of tasting and sharing. The staff at Citizen suggests guests order small plates so that they can experience different flavors, textures and ingredients of their signature dishes.