The news was first reported by the Mercury's Chad Walsh, who called the news "very surprising" and quotes Chefstable Kurt Huffman, who managed the project for Sondland, as "enormously gratifying for all of us on the team to see Portland embrace" the restaurant.
Though Huffman reported a busy Saturday night to Walsh, buried basement spot Omerta was not busy on either of our visits; on one occasion, we spent nearly two hours there and encountered only two other parties.
Still, there is something shocking about such a high-profile flop in an era where restaurant money tends to be cautious. The dim-to-dark, clubby, deeply strange red-sauce Italian restaurant was a partnership with Kurt Huffman's ChefStable group (Ox, St. Jack) and the Lightning Bar Collective's John Janulis and Liam Duffy (Century Bar, Bye and Bye).
Named after the Mafia's code of silence, Omerta revealed its closure just five days after its first major review, in which WW called the spot the "Oddfather" of restaurants that was "refreshingly anti-Portland," with bizarre brigade service that amounted to a "tornado of sleeves," inconsistent plates and pasta that was for some reason mixed inside a cheese wheel.
The last day of service is Saturday, November 18. The adjacent bar, Opal, will remain open.