Boxcar Pizza opens next Sat Aug 22 in The Zipper.
Boxcar Pizza opens next Sat Aug 22 in The Zipper. Allegra Noelle

Good afternoon and welcome to Portland's Detroit Pizza Week! There wasn't an official announcement or anything, but this week sees TWO Detroit pizza parlors falling into Portland's pizza-loving arms.

Since I'm from Detroit, what you people call Detroit-style pizza—with its square shape, welcoming body of bread (with just a little fry on the bottom), and thick stripes of tomato sauce— has, to me, only ever been "birthday pizza." Square, "birthday pizza" is what you get when you've been good. So have Portlanders been good enough to warrant two new pizza spots in one week? You bet your sweet boots. Let's hit some food news!

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CLOSINGS

• Is this a closing or a switcheroo? Toffee Club, the English-themed soccer pub on SE Hawthorne, announced this week that they're closing shop on Sun Aug 23. But Away Days, the brewery sitting next door to Toffee Club—and sister company to Toffee Club—will reopen its taproom soon. And will they show soccer there? Only time will tell.

• Another brewery loss, Basecamp Brewing closed its doors on Sun Aug 9—though their social media announcement came with a somewhat hopeful "for now." We haven't heard many "for now"s from restaurants and businesses since the COVID economic wave forced so many under. So maybe there's hope?

OPENINGS AND SWITCHEROOS

• Last month the Oregonian heralded a vegan Detroit-style pizza parlor, replacing Slice Pizza on The Zipper's southern corner. The sister parlor to pizza cart Baby Blue, Boxcar Pizza was supposed to open its socially-distanced, thick pizza doors tomorrow, but yesterday they pushed their opening date back a week to next Saturday Aug 22. Boxcar will have a number of dietary restriction-friendly options on order, like coconut oil-based cheese, house made vegan meat alternatives, and gluten-free pizza whenever you want.

• There's another Detroit-style pizza place opening its doors this week and Pop Pizza—the new venture from Nuvrei's Marius Pop—has all the cheese that Boxcar isn't using. As of yesterday, Thurs Aug 13, Pop Pizza was open for takeout at its location on SE Belmont. PDX Eater reports that they hope to offer delivery as soon as next week and have their eyes on slices in the far future.

• Moving down the street—also on SE Belmont—Vietnamese fine-dining restaurant Berlu (who currently offer to-go tasting menus in the evenings and Berlu at Home kits on weekends) will try on life as a walk-up Vietnamese bakery four mornings a week, Tuesday-Friday.

• The week's installment of outdoor dining news is as follows: Departure has returned! With the reopening of The Nines hotel yesterday, Departure's rooftop deck restaurant is once again accepting reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. Checking in on their reservation site, there seem to be many spots still available (for the 100 degree weekend)!

• For even more open patios, check out the Mercury's Patio Pages. We've also been rounding up all the info on restaurants offering dine-in and outdoor dining here.


NEWS AND GOSSIP

• At the top of sad news this week is the untimely passing of chef Cameron Addy. PDX Eater penned a thoughtful obituary, quoting Hoxton hotel restaurant and bar director, Kate Berman, “Cameron was a shining light of a complete example of everything good that hospitality could be."

One of Addy's signature creations was a fried chicken sandwich called the Pretty Penny that sometimes appeared on the specials menu at La Moule. Berman and St. Jack owner Aaron Barnett have organized a fundraiser for Addy's family where restaurants—Lardo, Hat Yai, Eem, and many more are on the list—will offer their own version of the Pretty Penny in Addy's honor. Check out the Gofundme page for more details and a complete list of restaurants.

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• If you were wondering why the perennially open Small Pharaoh's gyro cart on SW 5th was closed, PDX Eater reports it was shut down by Multnomah County health officials due to a shigellosis outbreak—which causes severe gastrointestinal upset. "Don't end food news on that note!" Sorry... I did!


• Hey, we love you! We want you to eat something. So make sure to send us all your food news and tips: food@portlandmercury.com.

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