It’s just a metal-skin pole barn, the kind you see on plenty of Central Oregon farms and rural properties. But it’s a building that means a lot to a lot of people.
Spoken Moto, the vintage motorcycle shop turned coffee-house and outdoor food and beverage joint has been a popular gathering spot in Bend’s Box Factory area for the last seven years.
A residential and retail development will take over the property soon, so Spoken Moto has to go. And it’s going all the way across town to a new site at NE 2nd and Hawthorne Avenue, across from the Oregon BottleDrop.
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The old mechanic’s shed and warehouse will form the core of a new food truck lot, performance space and farmers market. The move is largely made possible because of a $450,000 grant from Visit Bend, supported by the city’s transient room taxes.
“It is a lot of money” says Serena Bishop Gordon of Visit Bend, “The Bend Sustainability fund is all about re-investing into our community and when this project was presented to us we looked at it as a fundamental necessity to the expansion, improvement and development of the Bend Central District.”
Architect Stacey Stemach, who designed the original Spoken Moto in what was known as “The Pine Shed,” is the architect for the new version of Spoken Moto and is the architect for the new site as well. She says it’s important to honor and preserve the city’s past and re-using the building is a way to do that.
“There are a lot of features with a building like Spoken Moto that you just can’t build today easily,” Stemach says. “There are things about the structure, about the skin, about the interior that you just can’t recreate with a new building whether it’s a building code issue or just the history, the patina that’s in the building, you know everything it has been in prior incarnations.”
For Moto manager Breezie Deese, it’s a chance to keep the good times rolling and maybe even make some improvements.
“We’re going to be able to improve on some stuff. We’re going to double our bathrooms. We’re going to have an event space, continue to build the music culture which is something we really leaned into this last year,” Deese says.
She’s hoping to be back in business by mid-June.
For developer Kurt Alexander with Petrich Properties, adding the old Spoken Moto building to plans for a new food truck lot, performance space and farmers market has been challenging. But he says the multi-partner collaboration and cooperation has made it possible.
Partners like Serena with Visit Bend agree.
“I think everyone has a common vision and a common goal and we’re in alignment,” says Gordon.
The overnight building move is currently scheduled for March 18.