RYAN REYNOLDS  The proud new owner of Portlands Aviation Gin
RYAN REYNOLDS The proud new owner of Portland's Aviation Gin Twitter

These are strange days. We wake up angry because we live in the dumbest timeline in history and go to bed inspired because teenagers and Robert Mueller are stepping the F up. There’s so much national and international news to process that it’s hard to stay focused on what happens at home, especially when it comes to—let’s face it—the pretty anodyne food and drink beat. I know I would’ve missed all these stories if it wasn't my job to recap them. But there’s some cool stuff on the horizon that you should all know about.

Let’s dig in.

The Good
There was definitely a lot to be glad about this week, which featured a snowstorm of new openings and announcements. Portland Monthly broke two stories, reporting that the popular food cart, DC Vegetarian, has taken over the old Mi Mero Mole space on 50th and Division. It’ll stay open from 11 am to 9 pm and will have all-day breakfast, meatless lunch sandwiches, cocktails, and, most importantly, seats. PoMo also let us know that Sellwood’s Either/Or coffee shop will be double its footprint when it opens a second shop in the old Tesoaria space on the 4000 block of N Williams.

The Oregonian reported that the folks who ran and then shut down Simpatica Dining Hall on SE Ash are opening a new seven-days-a-week brunch spot called La Luna Cafe in the same space sometime this spring. Expect the return of Simpatica favorites like chicken-fried bison steak, alongside healthier options like smoothies.

Willamette Week shared the news that the owners of Ranch, the deep-dish pizza delivery pop-up that will soon be running the kitchen at Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock’s upcoming bar, will be opening a brick-and-mortar of their own in Woodlawn right near Tamale Boy. That restaurant, it’s reported, could open by July.

Eater reported that Dos Hermanos is now baking wholesale breads and offering sandwiches and pasole in the old Philipe’s Bread space up on North Williams, that Adam Berger’s Broadway & Meatballs is up and running at 515 SW Broadway, and that the Seattle-based salad chain Evergreens isn’t just dipping its toe into the Oregon market—it’s planning a cannonball splash with the aim of opening six restaurants in the state, one of which will be based right here. At this point, the company’s co-founder is fishing for locations for all six.

And we weren’t asleep this week, either. The Mercury reported that the Canopy, Hilton’s line of boutique hotels, will be opening in the Pearl with a Canopy restaurant run by celebuchef Jenn Louis protege, Sara Woods. Think 60 seats and a chef’s counter anchored by a pizza oven that’ll cook a lot more than pies. We also had the news that the Garden Monsters food cart is opening a brick-and-mortar in a potion of the old Pono Farms space right next door to the Hollywood Theater. The good news? The owner’s keeping his cart up and running and plans to open two more carts once he finds a place to park them. The bad news? Since it’s mainly a commissary kitchen for those carts, as well as a made-to-order take out spot, the new Garden Monsters will have no indoor seating. The good news about that bad news? It will have plenty of outdoor seating, so you’ll be able to linger longer over your salad once the sunshine returns.

The Bad
The only closure this week didn’t even happen this week, because nobody seemed to notice it. Toast & Pho, the little Vietnamese restaurant specializing in American breakfasts below the Walgreens on West Burnside at 103 NW 21st, turned off the lights in January. If you like your neighborhood spot, there’s no better time to get out there and show them how much you care.

The Neutral
Eater reported by way of Forbes that Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds just bought a major stake in Aviation Gin, which was founded right here in Stumptown. So now you know. What we didn’t know until we read the Forbes story was that only 14 other leading men in the whole world made more money than Reynolds did last year. (Good for Ryan Reynolds—He seems nice and his “I’m a new dad” Twitter feed is charming.) Learning that fact led us to this one. Last year, Mark Wahlberg topped that list. Mark Wahlberg made $61 million dollars in 2017. Let that sink in. Mark. Wahlberg. He’s that much in demand.

Maybe we do, in fact, deserve all this.