Today the Portland location of tiki bar Trader Vic's confirmed on Facebook that it will close permanently after a March 2 fire that began in an upstairs office. The restaurant later sent the same announcement to local media via email.
"It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the decision to close Trader Vic's in Portland after four and a half years," wrote owner J. Clayton Hering on Facebook. "This is effective immediately."
Willamette Week first reported on the probable closing of the restaurant March 15, after a manager at the restaurant made a public statement on Facebook.
In those posts, front-of-house manager Justin DuPre lamented the end of an era, and also wrote that the restaurant had never made money—indeed, that it was costing its owner money out of pocket each month to keep the restaurant open. DuPre cited the high $20,000 Pearl District rent and the $6,000 it cost just to use the Trader Vic's logo, and said that while Vic's was packed on weekends it was often empty during lunchtime.
The staff at the restaurant—down to two locations in the U.S., along with really a startling number of locations in Asia and the Middle East—did not answer phone calls from WW or other media outlets about the closing.