This last week was a busy one in Portland restaurant and bar news, so let’s get to it and dig in on what’s gone down.
Omerta Closes This Sunday After Just Three Months
On Sunday afternoon, the Mercury broke the news that Omerta, the finer dining old world Italian restaurant from ChefStable and Lightning Bar Collective will shutter this weekend after just three months. No word yet on what will replace it. Its sister bar, Opal, will remain open, and here's our review.
Widmer Brothers’ Pub Goes Dark
According to Brew Republic, Widmer Brothers has permanently closed its brewery-adjacent restaurant effective immediately. The space will be renovated in the coming weeks for a new brewery tasting room that will offer suds and light snacks.
So Long, Miho Izakaya
On Tuesday, the Mercury reported that Miho Izakaya, the small-plate restaurant on North Interstate will close at the end of the month after eight years in business. The owners, Michael and Megan Miho, said the choice was a personal one and that they’re taking time to devote to their family and to brainstorm on a future project.
Shalom Y’all to Open in Taylor Railworks Space
This week Willamette Week noted that John and Rene Gorham have applied for a liquor license at the just-shuttered Taylor Railworks space at 117 SE Taylor Street. The location, the story indicates, will be home to Shalom Y’all, the Israeli-inspired food counter that helped inaugurate Pine Street Market. The Gorhams also operate Plaza del Toro, an events space adjacent to their upcoming restaurant.
Kingsland Kitchen Opens Downtown Brick-and-Mortar
Eater PDX reports that Kingsland Kitchen, a counter-service British restaurant, has softly opened at 319 SW Pine Street after it noticed another journalist had taken an Instagram photo of his breakfast there on the restaurant’s first official day in business. The restaurant got its start as a food cart and will serve breakfast and lunch.
Goodbye Food Carts, Hello "Lifestyle" Hotel
The Mercury was the first to report that Moxy, a "lifestyle" hotel from the Minneapolis-based Graves Hospitality, will break ground next April on the downtown food cart pod that’s home to Nong’s Kao Man Gai, among others. If all goes according to plan, the hotel would open by late summer or early fall in 2018.
Roe Readies to Re-Open
Eater PDX also reports that chef Trent Pierce has finally chosen a re-opening date for his restaurant, Roe. Pierce will once again fling the doors open to his seafood restaurant on December 1 at 720 SW Washington.
Clear Creek Distillery is Moving to Hood River
The fruits that go into Clear Creek Distillery’s line of brandies come from Hood River, and come this spring, those brandies will be made and bottled there, too. On December 31, Clear Creek will host its last night of tasting events and will wrap up distilling in its present Northwest digs in January, according to an email from the advertising agency that represents the company. The distillery, Oregon’s oldest, will fire up the stills in Hood River in the spring of next year. Go in and say goodbye before the end of the year.
Chin’s Kitchen Temporarily Closes To Upgrade Kitchen After Media Praise
The Oregonian reports that Chin’s Kitchen has closed due to a surge in business following positive reviews from the Merc’s Andrea Damewood and others. The 70-year-old restaurant was purchased by in July and Wendy and Cindy Li and the media took note, praising the sisters’ Northern Chinese cuisine. The closure is designed to buy them time to upgrade their kitchen and hire more staff to meet the high expectations of their new customer base.
Stoopid Burger Jumps the Cart for its First Brick-and-Mortar
The Willamette Week has the lowdown on Stupid Burger, which has left its North Williams food cart behind in favor of a brick-and-mortar at the Ocean space where Slow burger used to be. And, according to the story, they’ve upped their game of creating burgers that will scandalize the most sensible eaters. Stoopid burger’s “ignorant burger” comes with, get this, “[t]hree patties, three cheeses, bacon, ham, hotlink, 2 eggs, steak, grilled onions, jalapeños, mushrooms, pineapple mango habanero chutney, onion ring and either a chicken strip or fried fish. Plus fries.”
Reverend Nat’s Solidarity Party for Old Town Brewing
Cider-maker “Reverend” Nat West is throwing a solidarity party for—and at—Old Town Brewing (5201 NE Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard) on Sunday, November 19, from 1 to 4 pm. Why exactly? We’ll let West explain it from his Facebook event invite: “Join me this Sunday for a pint (or two!) to show our support for a member of our Portland beer community. The City of Portland is attempting to sell the rights to the leaping stag logo to Anheuser-Busch InBev, to market beer-not-made-in-Portland to Portlanders. The only trouble is that Old Town Brewing has an "incontestable" trademark to that logo, in conjunction with beer, as granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office, and confirmed three times over the last five years by the USPTO. The City knows they have no legal avenue to sell these rights, but they keep dumping thousands of our taxpayer dollars into their effort to defeat Old Town. The City is siding with the world's largest brewery against one of its own, choosing foreign beer over our local beer economy. Let's show our love for Portland beer!”
The Side Yard Farm’s Online Commissary Kitchen Fundraiser
Urban Farmer Stacy Givens is hoping to put another feather in her already teeming farmer’s hat. Side Yard Farm is already home to a commercial garden and a kitchen that hosts pop-up dinners, bike-in movie nights, and grief groups. Today, she’s launching a Kickstarter campaign with the aim of opening a commissary kitchen in the old Delphina’s Bakery space that will serve as an incubator lab for nascent artisan food makers.
The Racist Sandwich Podcast’s New Kickstarter Campaign
Speaking of Kickstarters: Even though the Racist Sandwich podcast’s three original co-founders have left town, they’re still reporting on Portland, as well as topics, trends and intersectionality in other cities. And come December 15, they’re starting a Kickstarter campaign of their own to raise the dough it takes to do more in-person interviews in cities like Detroit and Mexico City, as well as finding—and paying for—more segment producers. So start saving your pennies if you want to hear more stories about food, race, class, and gender.