Bend▶️ ‘Sorry, Bend!’: Pine Tavern owner reacts to reaction over April Fools’...

▶️ ‘Sorry, Bend!’: Pine Tavern owner reacts to reaction over April Fools’ prank

▶️ ‘Sorry, Bend!’: Pine Tavern owner reacts to reaction over April Fools’ prank

▶️ ‘Sorry, Bend!’: Pine Tavern owner reacts to reaction over April Fools’ prank

The Pine Tavern in Bend has been known to pull a prank or two on April Fools’ Day over the past several years.  But this year, a shocking post lit up the community and caused a whirlwind of questions. 

“We are NOT going out of business. And in fact, we’re looking forward to the new season,” Pine Tavern owner Bill McCormick chuckled Monday. 

The April 1st post included a sign on the door, saying the restaurant was “saying goodbye after 87 years of service to the Bend community.”

Hundreds of comments and reactions to the initial post expressed sadness, anger, and confusion — until the big reveal. 

“The phone calls have been very interesting,” McCormick said. “We’ve had several people that didn’t believe it, and others who did had a few words to say, but sorry- it was a prank! Sorry, Bend.”

April Fools’ pranks are a tradition that McCormick’s daughter has kept up for the past few years. 

“My daughter Sarah, she does the website. She loves April Fools’ Day,” he said. “And two years ago, she put in a picture of a timber topper, to take the tree down in the main dining room. And the caption was ‘we need that room for the tables, for more tables.’” 

He said the phone rang like crazy when it happened. 

Last year, they posted a security video of a so-called “ghost” moving a bar glass in the restaurant. 

McCormick said there’s an “enormous sense of humor with the family members.” 

The restaurant boasts a long history in town. Opened in 1936, it saw the city out of the Great Depression, becoming a popular stop for mill workers and even celebrities like John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn during the filming of Rooster Cogburn. 

McCormick bought the restaurant five years ago, and it hasn’t been without its struggles. 

“We’ve had recessions, depressions, and of course, we had COVID. We had it closed then,” he said. “And it’s been a struggle for our whole industry, not just us, but now finding people. The cost of doing business is just getting so prohibitive.” 

But despite those barriers — thankfully — that long history is here to stay. 

“It was a good spoof. But beware, every April 1st, you’re going to get something that’s going to surprise you from the Pine Tavern,” McCormick laughed.
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