Drink to Forget
Don't worry, everyone: The Peloton wife is safe, and she's drinking Portland-made gin. Monica Ruiz, star of the luxury fitness brand's widely mocked holiday-themed commercial, turned up in an ad for locally produced Aviation Gin over the weekend, looking shell-shocked and slamming martinis in a winking reference to her previous role as "woman enslaved by the $2,000 exercise bike her husband got her for Christmas." The ad—which received almost 4 million YouTube views in just two days—was apparently the brainchild of actor Ryan Reynolds, who acquired a significant ownership stake in Aviation in 2018.
In Through the In-N-Out Door
Oh God, it's finally happening—In-N-Out is here. Well, not here here, but close enough. The exalted West Coast burger chain announced its new location in the Salem suburb of Keizer will begin serving Animal Style 3x3s this Thursday, Dec. 12—that's just 45 minutes from Portland. Needless to say, it's probably best to wait a few weeks for the hype to subside before making the shlep. But if you're the kind of hypebeast who lives to wait in line, best bring some snacks—lunch is going to take a while.
Andy Ricker, perhaps the United States' foremost ambassador of Thai cuisine, is weeks away from opening his first venture outside the Pok Pok brand in years. As first reported by Portland Monthly, Ricker's new restaurant, Ping Yang Pow, is set to begin dinner service above Pok Pok's Northwest location later this month. The restaurant will focus on charcoal grilling, with a menu that includes roasted young chicken in turmeric coconut cream, Dungeness crab fried rice, and a daily "sundae of the day." The 24-seat space is scheduled to open around Dec. 20—reservations are not yet open, but will be strongly encouraged.
Paging Mr. Herman
A movie about an awkward man-child obsessed with his bicycle is basically a documentary in Portland, so it's appropriate the 35th anniversary tour of Pee-wee's Big Adventure would kick off here. The tour, which begins Feb. 14 at Newmark Theatre, features screenings of the 1985 classic, followed by stories about the filming from Pee-wee himself, Paul Reubens. Tickets go on sale Dec. 13.
Nearly four years after a fire tore through the ceiling at Trader Vic's, a new restaurant will finally open in that space—and it's still not Pink Taco, thank God. John Gorham, head chef and owner of well-known eateries like Toro Bravo, Tasty n Alder and Bless Your Heart Burgers, will move his private dining operation Plaza Del Toro from inner Southeast Portland to the corner of Northwest Glisan Street and 12th Avenue. The relocation will allow for bigger events, with seated dinners for up to 114 people or up to 200 for a cocktail reception. It's slated to open in February 2020.
Fest or Famine
Portland's last-remaining summer music festival is undergoing some changes. Last week, Pickathon announced it will rearrange its iconic look and layout next year, moving stages and adding new venues. It also introduced a new "patron pass" for 2020—a $1,250 ticket that grants holders free food, unlimited drinks, a backstage pass, and early access to purchase glamping spots. In a press release, organizers admitted 2019 was an exceptionally hard year for the festival financially, and that the changes were being made "to keep Pickathon sustainable into the future."
Portland grocer New Seasons has been sold to South Korean company Good Food Holdings. New Seasons Portland management will remain the same, but the company will close its Ballard, Washington location by the end of the year. New Seasons will also scrap plans to open a new location in the Central District of Seattle. A spokesperson for the company, Jacqueline Fowler, says the sale "was not related to company financials."
Stalwart Portland musician Lauren K. Newman died last week at age 41. The cause of death has not been confirmed, though Newman reportedly battled health problems the past few years. Known for her ferocious instrumental skills and captivating stage presence, Newman was a force on the local music scene for almost two decades. Her best-known projects include her solo work as LKN and the heavy post-rock duo Palo Verde. "She was so aggressively talented," Newman bandmate Nicole George wrote on her Facebook page. "She just gave and got a lot of life from playing."