Skip to Content

‘Hurry up and open up!’: Sunriver locals excited for C.O.’s latest food cart pod, set to open this summer

Sunriver Century Commons Taps & Trucks
Century Commons Taps & Trucks set to open this summer in Sunriver

(Update: adding video, comment from Sunriver locals and Taps & Trucks owner)

SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Between food and beer, Central Oregonians love to congregate around both. Food cart and taproom pods have offered the perfect place for people to come together and enjoy both pleasures.

Sunriver is welcoming Century Commons Taps & Trucks, the latest food cart pod to develop in Central Oregon. Planning for the taproom has been in the works for the last three years and progress is being made as the July 1 opening date target approaches quickly.

Sunriver resident Mike showed enthusiasm Friday about the new food options, saying, "Hurry up and open up! Hope these guys get it done soon!"

Another Sunriver local shared frustration with the current lack of food options, saying, "You've got a sandwich shop and a sandwich shop, and then you've got a nice restaurant and another nice restaurant. So its the same food every day."

Food cart-goers can expect room for all seven trucks, seating and space for live music and other events. The taphouse will offer 18 taps of beer, cider and kombucha.

Co-owner and future general manager Shelly Leavitt said, "We're viewing it as putting people that are experts at what they do in the right places."

Leavitt and her co-owner husband have a lifetime of bar management experience, but not so much in the food side of things. They say they're ready to try the latest pod taproom business model.

"We hope to collaborate with as many of the local businesses and breweries around the area," she said.

Century Commons Taps & Trucks is located in the heart of Sunriver, where Leavitt tells NewsChannel 21 there's heavy foot traffic by locals and visitors.

Mike added, "This can bring a lot of business. I'm excited, you know? It's going to be good! Way more business into Sunriver."

There will be 150 seats in total -- 30 inside, 50 on a covered patio and an additional 70 in outdoor seating. Heated seating in the winter will accommodate up to 90 people.

Leavitt said, "My vision is to be able to collaborate with the local businesses and to create a community space that we can all be a part of and we can all be comfortable in."

The Central Oregon region has seen a dramatic increase of food cart and taproom pods pop up in recent years, with 11 in Bend alone, according to Visit Bend.

"I think restaurants will always have a place in our community," said Kenneth Bryant, co-owner of Alley Dogz, said last week. "However, I see more of this happening - and I like it."

Bryant is the co-owner of two Alley Dogz food trucks in Bend and says a food cart is more cost-effective than having a restaurant. For him, leasing a spot in a pod averages $1,500 a month.

Aaron Fass, the co-owner of P!zza food truck, said, "In general, the startup cost of a food truck is far less significant than any brick and mortar location. The barrier to entry is far less than a regular restaurant."

P!zza is located at the Midtown Yacht Club, one of 13 food truck pods in Bend, according to the city. Another three are in the approval process,

The latest to hit the food scene is Ponch's Place, at Veterinary Referral Center in NE Bend, which has 18 taps and four food trucks.

Stephen Stockdale, owner of Veterinary Referral Center and Ponch's Place, said, "It's great for our customers. It's great for people who are waiting for their pets to get treatment. It's great for our staff, who need a lunch break and just some somewhere to hang out."

"Even this area of town, there's a lot of industry, there's a lot of businesses, and there's not too many options for them," Stockdale said. "So just seeing local workers come by and grab lunch or grab a bite after work is pretty awesome,"

Food cart pods are making a mark beyond Bend. In an online search, NewsChannel 21 found just under 30 pod areas in Central Oregon, with varying numbers of food carts.

The number will increase with the opening of Century Commons Taps & Trucks in Sunriver. The pod plans include seven food cart options paired with a variety of beer, cider and kombucha in the taproom.

Bryant said, "Having multiple food carts with different menus gives people a reason to keep coming back."

The increasing number of pods doesn't seem to concern owners, who say they welcome the competition.

Fass said, "for instance, here where we have seven food trucks and the beer garden. You're looking at eight different businesses operating, and in one location. It's basically a strip mall for food. "

Article Topic Follows: Business

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content