Miss Dish got notice this week that Andrew Sugar's restaurant Vivid is closing, to be replaced May 1 by a cocktail lounge called Fuel. Who's behind Fuel? Apparently Sugar himself. According to Sugar's public-relations rep, Robert Volz: "Vivid was a failure. Mr. Sugar admits it was the wrong time to open a fancy-pants diner to compete with the likes of Bluehour." The plan for Fuel is affordability--they promise to price more than 40 percent of menu items at $6 or less. Volz says "a light overhaul to make the space brighter, less stuffy" is in the works. Recently, Pearl divers were abuzz that the Vivid spot, at 1338 NW Hoyt St., was on the market and one particularly saucy local entrepreneur and art gallery owner had been in serious talks to take over the lease. Sugar tells Miss D that while he did engage in discussion to sell his lease, he nixed it. "Part of it is being a Scorpio and not wanting to throw in the towel," he says. "I still think this space will work."
Bruce Goldberg, one of the classier caterers in town, is joining the ranks of other caterers with side restaurants such as Food in Bloom (The Daily Cafe) and Ripe (Gotham Building Coffee Shop/Family Suppers). Goldberg will open the Carlyle at his newly refurbished catering compound at 1632 NW Thurman St. in June. The Carlyle will be a casual cafe at lunch, serving such items as sandwiches with house cured and roasted meats with prices hovering around the $8 mark. Dinner, to be unveiled in August, will be more formal and offer a full bar with slow-braised dishes courtesy of chef Kajsa Dillger. Goldberg, who's best known for the fantastical dinner parties he's put on at the art museum, says, "It's not been a long-term dream to open a cafe, but we've got this big kitchen, so why not take advantage of it."
Lou Bank of Rogue Ales reports that the pub at Northwest Flanders and 14th (222-5910) is adding a distillery and will be serving up house-made rum starting May 22. One of the reasons? Says Lou: "We like to drink, we like to drink what we want to drink. And we're not very patient." Chin chin to that.
What have you done in the past 20 years? Two Portland eating institutions are marking their 20th anniversaries in decidedly different ways. Hawthorne hallmark Bread and Ink Cafe (239-4756) is celebrating with the tried-and-true roll-back-the-prices stunt: On Thursday, May 1, the cafe will be offering some of its original dinner entrees at their original prices from 5 to 10 pm (you'd better make a reservation for this one). Oysters al Forno will go for $8, lamb tagine $7.50 and that famed Bread and Ink burger a measly $4.25. Phil Geffner, impresario of Portland's first house of slice--Escape From New York pizza--tells Miss Dish that he's celebrating his attitudinal eatery's 20th by taking 14 of his staffers through the years to Manhattan this week, where they'll catch a Broadway show (Urinetown), take in a Yankees game (vs. the Mariners, natch) and stay in the Washington Square Hotel in the Village.
Donut fiends (and Miss D. knows you're out there) have a very specific nose for deep-fried dough. Still, she'd like to point out that there's a newish outlet you might have overlooked. Carpe Donuts! (slogan: "Seize a Dozen") is a downtown cart at the corner of Southwest 4th and Salmon that makes mini-donuts as you watch--just like that awesome stand in Seattle's Pike Place market. Get them diemly Monday through Friday, 7 am until noon.