St. Jack Team Partners Again to Open Heavenly Creatures, an Intimate Wine Bar Experience

More than 10 years ago, chef Aaron Barnett and Joel Gunderson launched the original French gem on Southeast Clinton Street.

A longtime Portland sommelier and a beloved local chef are teaming up for a new wine-focused project a little more than a decade after they opened French gem St. Jack.

Heavenly Creatures is the name of chef Aaron Barnett and Joel Gunderson’s bar and bottle shop that’s scheduled to open Wednesday, Oct. 26. The business will actually be located inside another: the Coopers Hall spinoff on Northeast Broadway.

The bar will be intimate, seating around 20 people within the larger event space. Gunderson, the sommelier at Coopers Hall, has used his industry relationships to curate a dynamic wine program. Guests are told to expect “glass pours that aren’t meant to be glass pours” from a diverse group of producers—from Jean-Marc Pillot of Burgundy to Chile’s Pedro Parra, as well as local favorites. An extensive bottle collection will be sold to go or opened tableside ($15 corkage fee). Glass pours range from $15 to $30.

Chef Barnett has created a menu of small plates to go with all of those wines. Initial offerings include Manila clams on toast, grilled flatbread with honey ham and young Pecorino, a fonduelike bagna cauda along with an array of vegetables for dipping, and grilled lamb ribs.

Heavenly Creatures will be open 5-9 pm Wednesday through Saturday.