Paige Vickers

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. But here’s some cool stuff you should all know about.


The Good

There was definitely a lot to be glad about recently, including a snowstorm of new openings and announcements.

Here at the Mercury we had lots to report, including that Corzetti, a new Italian-inspired eatery, is opening in the recently vacated Muscadine space on NE Prescott, courtesy of Verdigris’ Johnny Nunn. (And psst! He’s looking for someone to run the bar program in time for its April opening, so dust off your résumés, bar people!)

We also broke the news that Canopy, Hilton’s line of boutique hotels, will be opening in the Pearl with a restaurant run by celebuchef Jenn Louis protégé Sara Woods. Think 60 seats and a chef’s counter anchored by a pizza oven that’ll cook a lot more than pies.

In addition, the Mercury reported that the Garden Monsters food cart is opening a brick-and-mortar in part of the old Pono Farms space right next door to the Hollywood Theatre. More good news? The owner is 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 takeout 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.

Portland Monthly broke two stories, reporting that popular food cart DC Vegetarian has taken over the old Mi Mero Mole space on 50th and Division. It’ll stay open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm and feature all-day breakfast, meatless lunch sandwiches, cocktails, and, most importantly, seats. PoMo also let us know that Sellwood’s Either/Or coffee shop will double its footprint when it opens a second shop in the old Tesoaria space on the 4000 block of N Williams.

DC Veg's new Po Boy Sandwich, offered at the SE Division location. Kathleen Marie

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 Café 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 also be opening a brick-and-mortar of their own in Woodlawn right near Tamale Boy. The restaurant could open by July.

Eater reported that Dos Hermanos is now baking wholesale breads as well as offering sandwiches and posole in the old Philippe’s Bread space 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 plans for five restaurants in the state, one of which will be in Portland. At this point, the company’s co-founder is fishing for locations for all five.


The Bad

We sadly learned this week that Toast & Pho, the little Vietnamese restaurant specializing in American breakfasts below the Walgreens on West Burnside at 103 NW 21st, turned off their 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 in Stumptown. So now you know. What we didn’t know until we read the Forbes story was that only 14 other actors in the whole world made more money than Reynolds last year. (Good for Ryan Reynolds—his Twitter feed seems charming enough.) We were not surprised to learn that all 15 of these rich actors are men, but there was one shocker: Mark Wahlberg tops the 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.