The staff at Hola! is enjoying serving Camp Sherman and the Sisters community. photo by Jim Cornelius
The staff at Hola! is enjoying serving Camp Sherman and the Sisters community. photo by Jim Cornelius

Visitors to Camp Sherman and diners from Black Butte Ranch and Sisters have a new option locally. Hola! has introduced its Mexican and Peruvian cuisine to Sisters Country, at the former site of Kokanee Café in Camp Sherman.

This is the sixth location for the popular Hola! concept, joining restaurants in Bend, Redmond and Sunriver. Founder Peter Lowes said the latest incarnation will maintain the relaxed atmosphere long-enjoyed at the Kokanee, while offering a fresh diversity of menu options and "Margaritas by the Metolius."

The staff has created an atmosphere that retains the casual intimacy of the Kokanee, with touches of the colorful flair of Latin America.

"The restaurant has been known for attracting diners from far afield as a special destination, and we want to maintain that tradition of providing a unique experience while also serving the local community," Lowes said.

Hola! offers a unique take on Mexican food, while also serving up the wildly eclectic mélange of flavors that makes up Peruvian cuisine.

"We pride ourselves on freshness - freshness and quality," said Camp Sherman location manager Antonio Guitron.

"It's been gluten-free from day one," he noted.

Hola! is as well-known for its cocktails as for the food. The cocktails, too, have an extraordinary freshness.

"Our cocktails speak for themselves," Guitron said. He noted that the restaurant's red margarita is award-winning.

"We boil the hibiscus flower to extract the essence, if you will," Guitron noted.

The manager lives in Redmond and enjoys the beautiful commute out to Camp Sherman. He said that the reception in the community has been most welcoming.

"Everybody is just excited that we're here," he said. "The Black Butte (Ranch) community has been very supportive, excited that we're here. They like the change."

Chef Jose Rivas waxes nearly poetic in his explanation of what makes Peruvian cuisine special. In its essence, Peruvian cuisine is truly international - with an Andean touch in everything that makes it uniquely Peruvian.

"It's got everything from Japanese, Chinese, Italian - it's moving into French cuisine these days," Rivas said. "But with Andean ingredients."

One of the most delectable dishes in Latin American cuisine, ceviche, comes originally from Peru, Rivas asserts.

Lowes, who is also a commercial Realtor, purchased the Kokanee business and real estate from original operators Tom and Connie Derry in 2002, and since has installed subtle improvements including a full bar and outside patio.

He said, "I am proud to be a part of this wonderful community of Camp Sherman and to continue the legacy of this Northwest culinary landmark. We strive to achieve the highest standards and appreciate the support and loyalty of our customers, many of whom are regular visitors and have made treasured memories here. We really want to appeal to the local community, and to all the visitors who enjoy the great recreation opportunities around this area."

Camp Sherman Hola!, located at 25545 SW Forest Service Rd #1419, at the Metolius River Resort, opened in April and will stay open to November; open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 541-595-6420 for reservations or information.