UPDATE 11:27AM: I just got the full download on the future of Dot's from owner Jennifer Ransdell. Here's the story: Dot's is definitely changing—the creators and co-owners of Dots for 20 years are out... but the diner itself will (hopefully) stay somewhat the same.
"My sister and I have owned Dots for 20 years and over the last year have been ready to be sisters and not business owners anymore," says Ransdell. The sale is on track to be finalized next week to a long-time neighborhood resident and local bar owner. Staffing decisions are up to the new owner, but it's entirely possible that some of the staff could stay. "He bought the artwork, the recipes, the name."
Phew! Though without the original owners, Dots will certainly change, it's nice to be assured that at least Dots will still be called Dots.
Back to the original post, I struck out some of the info Ransdell says is untrue:
I just got off the phone with Amy Squier, a seven-year-employee of Portland's bar and fries institution Dots Cafe and confirmed the worst: Dot's is closing.
"They're letting all of us go, so it can't really be the same. Most of the people have been working here upwards of a decade. If anyone's looking for great employees, come hire us," says seven-year-employee Amy Squier. "It's the end of an era. I've been in Portland forever and watching all these amazing institutions close their doors. I'm devastated. My daughter has grown up here. It's been a long-time family. It's been more than a restaurant-bar, it's been more like a second living room for me. Monica and Jennifer have gone out of their way to foster creativity. They're the godmothers of a pretty incredible scene. We're all going to go on to wonderful things."
What's going to happen to all those velvet paintings? They're being sold, says Squier. "If anyone wants to make an offer on a longtime favorite, I bet that'd be welcome."
Dot's last day is Saturday, June 30th, when they'll be closing their doors at 10:30 pm. Go get your last plate of cheddar fries. And salt it with your tears.
UPDATE 10:37 AM — Dot's just posted on their Facebook page that "closing" is not the right term. Here's their post:
No! Dots is not closing down!!!! In fact, Dots is going strong! Changes, yes. We have sold the business and are excited to pass Dots on. After 20 years we are ready to do something new. We will be rockin' it until June 30th at 10 P.M. Monica and Jennifer's last night working is Friday, June 29th. The new owner's are keeping it the same in addition to changes. We have had so much support, had so much fun and have worked so hard! Can not put into words what the people who have come through those doors mean to us.
I had a conversation with the potential buyer—I don't want to publish his name because he says the sale is not yet final. But he says that his plan is to keep Dot's relatively the same, but update or change some of the menu items. He says there will be no massive overhaul of the bar itself (Dot's isn't going to get bistro-ed), but maybe source ingredients differently and nix or add menu items. Other details including staff issues are still up in the air. More updates when we have them!