The Ristretto Roasters story just won’t go away. On Monday, the Mercury reported that the local coffee chainlet’s owners announced the abrupt closure of their NW Nicolai location at Schoolhouse Electric. The shuttering comes weeks after Nancy Rommelmann, the wife of one of Ristretto’s owners, was called out for her participation in a series of MeNeither videos and after commandeering the company’s Twitter account to settle scores with her critics. On Wednesday, we also reported that Burnside Brewing laid off its entire staff and had its doors locked after the brewery’s landlord seized control of the the property, claiming that the brewery hadn’t paid its rent for months.
This week, the Oregonian had a couple of good stories—Eem, the Thai-BBQ-craft cocktail mashup has opened its doors in the old Lincoln space on N Williams; one of Eem’s owners, the man behind Matt’s BBQ, is opening a breakfast taco cart on Hawthorne next month—but it also broke some sad news: Jim Parker, a longtime craft beer enthusiast who helped open Oaks Bottom Public House and invented totchos, the now ubiquitous nacho-tot pub fare, has died just a few months after suffering a stroke in November. RIP, Jim.
PoMo had the news that Berlu, a new modernist restaurant from Vince Nguyen (the Jolie Laide pop-up), will open on the 600 block of SE Belmont in either March or April. The magazine also celebrated Portland’s weekend drag brunch scene, rounding up with best places to pair your Benedicts with some high camp.
Willamette Week reported that Purringtons Cat Lounge, the city’s sole cat cafe, will reopen under new ownership and with a revamped menu.
Finally, Eater reported that a couple of retro video game collectors and enthusiasts are poised to open a retro game bar on NE MLK this year called… Retro Game Bar, complete with very old school consoles, hacked vintage TVs, and a weekend morning cereal bar, which is very, very neat. The site also had news that Brown Sugar's Sakile Mitchell is throwing a month of vegan pop-ups at Suzette on Belmont in March, featuring “everything from soul food to Afro-Caribbean cuisine.”