Nearly one year after Gigantic Brewing spun off its third location—the first one with a kitchen and full food menu—the company has finished the pub’s intimate Portrait Room, which is available for public use.
When the spinoff location at 4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd. launched last November, work was still underway in the space located in the rear of the 2,000-square-foot building. During a preview, Gigantic founders Ben Love and Van Havig described their vision for the area: an English-style gentlemen’s lounge with plenty of hardwood and leather accents as well as vintage-style paintings (hence the name) of the founders and the brewery’s full-time staff members.
So far, 95% of that description has materialized. The clubby space is lined with ruby-hued banquettes made of smooth animal hide and rare English brown oak paneling. The tables are fashioned out of the same wood, which is where you’ll notice a striking spotting pattern that was caused by a fungus while the tree was still alive. It’s a feature sought after by furniture makers because it’s so unique, and the decaying process actually doesn’t harm the lumber.
What’s yet to come, though, are those portraits of Love, Havig and the rest of the gang. The buildout didn’t leave any extra funds to commission those paintings right away, but you’ll eventually see them adorning the walls, Love told WW during a tour of the room.
Moodier and cozier than the bright blue and white restaurant, the venue is pretty much the perfect place to hunker down with a beer when the rain is coming down in sheets this fall. The paneling’s shelves are decorated with estate sale finds like massive beer steins, a glass horse head and an old-timey candlestick holder with a handle—the kind you envision on Dickens characters’ nightstands.
There is also a flat-screen TV for Timbers and Thorns matches as well as plenty of games on display that customers are free to pull down and use, though this is an adults-only affair (the Portrait Room is for those 21 and older). Love added that they’re planning on hosting cribbage nights on Tuesdays with the goal of holding a tournament involving all three Gigantic locations at some point in the future.
The Portrait room seats 30 comfortably and is open anytime the pub is (3-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday) except when rented out for private use.