UPDATE, 4/17: A permitting issue has delayed the opening of Chapel Hill for an indeterminate amount of time.
The owner of popular Northeast Sandy bar Church is opening another house of worship—and cocktails—in Portland.
Appropriately, it'll be called Chapel Hill.
But while co-owner Steven Cook says the bar, which he's opening at 4380 SE Hawthorne with Craig Ericson, has the same church-like objective of its predecessor—"to serve certain functions that are central to a lot of religions: community, fellowship, service and unified values"—the aesthetic will be "starkly different" from that of Church, with neon elements, grain-and-tile decor and a marble bar top.
And there will be tacos.
Pho tacos, to be precise, along with Korean-style bulgogi beef nachos and a pad thai crunch wrap from chefs U'ilaniku'ulei Vele and Jake Gross.
The bar itself is designed to be communal. Everything is forward-facing, Cook says, with the liquor stored on a hanging rack over the bar and beer taps at the front. Even the entertainment is geared toward inclusiveness. Cook has plans to partner with local activist organizations for events, and the music will be "a mix of DJs and carefully curated playlists designed by various artists around town."
"We want to leave it a little bit open but have it be a reflection of the culture in Portland," Cook says.
Chapel Hill will have its grand opening on April 20—the high holy day of 4/20. Don't read too much into that, though. Cook says it's just a coincidence.
See Related: Church Turns the Witching Hour Into a Party.