The Farm Cafe will close December 31, 2015.
The old, worn-in house of local veggies and trout has stood on East Burnside since 2003, before the Doug Fir had opened the moneyed floodgates to Portland's eastside—before Le Pigeon, before the Jupiter and Ron Toms.
They had one of the city's first (and still one of its only) truly great veggie burgers, and some equally lovely baked brie alongside local-catch seafood and a literal farm's worth of produce—serving up fresh, local, seasonal and organic without even bothering to brag about it on the menu.
This year, Farm's owners sold the property to developer (and longtime Farm customer) Brad Fowler, whose firm Fowler Andrews has already been heavily involved in moving Lower Burnside toward its current status as a mixed-use residential shopping and bar district. Other nearby projects include the Central Eastside Lofts on Northeast 6th Avenue and Couch Street.
Here's the parting message from Farm Cafe's owners.
December 1, 2015
After 12 fantastic years of serving locally-sourced food to the Portland area, The Farm Cafe will unfortunately be closing its doors for the last time December 31, 2015. We cannot hope to fully express our appreciation for the thousands of you who have eaten with us during that time.
In 2003, with borrowed money and help from friends, restaurateurs, and farmers (of course!), The Farm Cafe opened in a 100-year old house on the corner of SE 7th and Burnside. We were delighted when we experienced almost immediate success. In 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis, we were able to take out an SBA loan and buy the property on the condition that we renovate, expand, and hire more staff. While initial results were promising, we have not been able to continue our former success in the new space, despite the best efforts of our staff to adjust to our clientele's evolving tastes. At the beginning of this year we sold the property to local developer and longtime Farm patron Brad Fowler. Since then, we've been leasing the building, paying off loans and continuing to operate, until the situation became untenable. Brad will bring his unmatched positivity and sensitivity to his vision of the property, and we wish him all the very best in the future.
While it's always sad to see changes to a city we love, change can be good. We're proud of what we accomplished at The Farm and hope this is an opportunity to embrace the future and make it what we want it to be. Most of all, we're thankful to our fellow friends, workers, farmers, purveyors, cooks, waiters, and of course all our amazing customers, for a wonderful 12 years. We wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Thank you Portland!
Farm Cafe Owners, Guy Weigold and Fearn Smith