Overlook Restaurant
Overlook Restaurant Facebook
The Overlook Restaurant, a cheap and delicious stalwart for more than four decades at N Skidmore and Interstate, might be the next Portland institution giving up the ghost in favor of development.

After weeks of rumors the restaurant would be shuttering, documents filed with the city's Bureau of Development Services this month indicate an apartment building might be in the works where the Overlook has stood since 1974. A report from BDS posted last week says an early assistance request was filed for a "proposed 5-story apartment building with underground parking."

That report doesn't mention the Overlook's address, 1332 N Skidmore, but a listed state ID number for the property corresponds to the address. The blog NextPortland first noted the request on March 15 (and helped us suss out the state ID piece [thanks!]) but didn't note the project, if built, could supplant the long-time diner.

Jane Sassalos, who's run the restaurant with her husband, Jim, for the last 40 years, told the Mercury several weeks ago there were no plans or contracts in place to shutter the Overlook.

"Our business, per se, is not up for sale, but do they think we can just go on forever?" Sassalos said at the time, referring to people speculating on the restaurant's closure. "At some point we have to have an end game. Wouldn't you if you were 80?"

Asked about the public documents indicating a potential apartment complex on Tuesday, Sassalos declined to comment.

"We can't make any announcements before we have meetings with our people," she said. "I'm really not at liberty to discuss it."

Update, 4:30 pm: The apartment building is apparently being explored by local developer Lane Lowry, along with the firm Ankrom Moisan Architects, both of whom are listed as "parties of interest" in the application for early assistance filed March 11.

The document contemplates a fairly massive project, with 248 units and 75 underground parking spaces, and "anchored by a corner restaurant." The application shows the interested parties have questions about potentially vacating an alley that bisects the site for use as a courtyard, among other things.

But perhaps it's not likely to pan out. Reached by phone, Lowry said he was in a meeting and that he couldn't talk. Asked about the project he said: "I don't think that's going to happen."