Canard Aaron Lee

Who says December’s a slow news month? This week, the Mercury had lots of news to report. First, the folks behind the Lay Low Tavern are taking over The Vern on SE Belmont. We learned that Teote is opening up a spot in downtown’s Pine Street Market. Hollywood’s Hit the Spot burger cart will serve breakfast come January. And we reported on a pair of closures, too: Hawthorne’s Chapel Hill bar abruptly shuttered under what still seems like weird circumstances, and Rae’s Lakeview Lounge up in Slabtown also closed its doors—or had them closed for them. We’re still trying to find out the reasons behind both closures. Then, we visited Outrage, the new esports bar, and it’s either your jam (yay, you’re young!) or it’s definitely not (yay, you’ve grown up!), and our food critic rattled off her best bites of 2018 (big ass soup at Stretch the Noodle, all the squash at Oui Wine Bar + Restaurant, and everything at Canard).

The O brought the good news (Portland is the best city in the US for beer drinkers—with Bend coming in at fifth place, so get bent, California!), and it poured one out by reminiscing the city’s top 25 painful restaurant closures of 2018. Ciao, Accanto. So long, Dub’s in St. Johns. Thanks for the decades of memories, Overlook Restaurant.

PoMo got in on the reminiscing action, too, by recapping this year’s saddest closures (Woodsman Tavern, Alma Chocolate) and its happiest openings (OK Omens, Super Deluxe, Holiday).

The folks at Eater had lots to report this week, too, starting with the fact that this town’s getting what’s believed to be its first proper Indonesian brick-and-mortar joint that will be called Wajan once it opens on East Burnside. It did a sit-down with Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker about his newest outlet, SW Barbur’s Pok Pok Wing, why his businesses are going cashless, and why he’s over full-service restaurants. It wrote that the SF-based Montesacro, acclaimed for its pinsa, is now open on NW Hoyt. And it reported the news that we all somehow missed—namely that the folks running downtown’s Duck House Chinese restaurant opened a new restaurant in Vancouver called Szechuan Brothers...all the way back in October.

Finally, on the “What’s your deal?” Jeffrey Morgenthaler Twitter beat, the iconic bartender asks, “Tiny clothespins that hold orange peels on the side of a glass: What’s your deal?” before turning on his own, asking, “Bartenders who hire PR agencies to ‘promote their personal brand’: What on earth is your deal?” Two very, very excellent questions.