The latest addition to the ChefStable restaurant portfolio will be a seafood raw bar at 1015 SE Stark St. called Cache Cache, WW has learned. John Denison, the chef de cuisine at St. Jack, will oversee the new restaurant while retaining his existing responsibilities.
Cache Cache (pronounced “cash cash”) will be a bar and preparation space with 20 seats occupying 800 square feet. It will take its place amid a much larger overall development anchored by Dos Hermanos bakery’s new 7,000-square-foot warehouse and production area, which is scheduled to open in May, and the 100-seat Lil’ America cart pod and 50-seat Fracture Brewing taproom, which have already debuted in a 6,000-square-foot area. Cache Cache will connect to the cart pod and taproom, and customers will have access to their seating.
A raw bar fills a largely unoccupied dining niche in Portland, which has long been an ironically challenged seafood town set between two rivers, 90 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
According to ChefStable’s founder and principal, Kurt Huffman, Cache Cache will operate with only one or two employees, who will prepare all the food. Diners will submit their orders using a QR code menu and, once ready, pick up their food from the counter.
The now-familiar electronic ordering system is meant to reduce labor costs, in this case allowing for high-cost seafood dishes to be priced more affordably than at a full-service restaurant. Construction costs and rent will also be minimal given the small size of the project and the much larger adjoining development.
An early draft menu reveals a compact selection of bargain-priced piscine and crustacean offerings, including a half Dungeness crab for $26; an uni bagel ($16) topped with a shmeer of crème fraiche, citrus and a sheet of lardo; poached prawns and raw scallops ($13 each); hamachi served with green apple and jalapeño ($15); and half-shell oysters with condiments ($17 half dozen, $34 full).
Those familiar with current seafood pricing will recognize that these selections are, indeed, a great value, if Cache Cache is able to hold the line. Denison says the menu is likely to expand over time and change with the seasons.
The projected opening for Cache Cache is the second week of April. Initial days and hours will be 5 to 10 pm Wednesday and Thursday and 5 pm to midnight Friday and Saturday. Huffman expects to eventually expand service to seven days.
Related: The Co-Founders of XLB And ChefStable Are Launching a Food Cart Pod With Diversity as a Priority