| NOBLE ROT’S NEW DIGS |
IMAGE: Joshua Cohen
• DINNER SHUFFLE: Noble Rotwill pour its last glass of wine in the building at Southeast 28th Avenue and Ankeny Street on Valentine’s Day. Kimberly Bernosky and Courtney Storrs’ wine bar is moving into the fourth-floor space at 1111 E Burnside St. last occupied by Rocket, the midcentury schmaltz-meets-fine dining restaurant operated by Storrs’ husband, Leather. Rocket failed, but Leather will be back in the kitchen as chef when Noble Rot reopens Feb. 20. The troubled space in the Belmont Dairy building that housed Salvador Molly’s, Calypso and Edge of Belmont in the past two years has a new tenant: Hobnob Grille, a “neighborhood-friendly” restaurant owned by bartender Jason Heller, will open Feb. 24. Sean Herron of design and consulting firm Big Idea Group describes the menu, which will include fried chicken and braised short ribs, as “American classic food with a little bit of a twist.” Nate Lind, a Clarklewis vet, will head the kitchen.
• PEOPLE LAIKA THE MOVIE:Laika’s stop-motion animators had better prepare themselves for more work—Coraline is a hit. Early box-office reports show that Coraline, Portland cartoon studio Laika’s expensive, oddball fantasy, rode the strength of stellar reviews to a $16.8 million opening weekend, far exceeding expectations. Even more impressive were the movie’s per-screen numbers. Opening on 2,299 screens nationwide, it averaged a whopping $7,105 at each location. “It wound up playing very broadly,” Focus Features distribution head Jack Foley told Variety. “It didn’t just settle into the family niche. It did extremely big business at night.”
• BIG-TICKET ITEM: Tuesday saw the announcement of a long-rumored merger between Live Nation, America’s biggest concert promoter, and Ticketmaster, its largest ticket-sales company. The move creates a behemoth called Live Nation Entertainment that can control every aspect of a concert tour, including ticket prices. That’s got local promoters nervous: “I don’t think it’s good for the fans” says local Mike Thrasher, who was named 2008’s 58th-biggest promoter by trade publication Pollstar last month. “I think that monopolistic practices are bad for any industry. It gives them more leverage to increase fees....” Live Nation doesn’t have much of a local foothold (the giant doesn’t have a Portland office), but U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) shares Thrasher’s concerns, calling for a federal probe into Ticketmaster last Sunday after the company redirected Bruce Springsteen fans to a ticket reseller where they’d pay inflated prices for tickets, even before the show had sold out.
• GIMME SUGAR: Deal alert! Local distillery House Spirits will give away liquor-filled chocolates created by Jeff McCarthy, pastry chef at Ten 01, to anyone who buys a bottle from the distillery’s Apothecary at 2025 SE 7th Ave. on Saturday, Feb. 14.
• CORRECTION: In last week’s “Live Not-So-Nude Girls” (WW, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009), we noted that PDX monthly burlesque revue Big Top Bottoms Up starts at 8:30 pm the first Wednesday of every month at Kelly’s Olympian. The show actually starts at 8 pm.