Lake Oswego Tex-Mex Restaurant Toreados Is Closing

News that ChefStable was pulling the plug was announced the same day WW ran a mainly positive review of the Mercato Grove business.

Well, it looks like we didn’t get the good word out about Lake Oswego Tex-Mex joint Toreados Tequila Bar & Kitchen soon enough. The ChefStable restaurant has announced it will close.

The business shared the news Nov. 22 on its Instagram account, referencing the timing of the decision to shutter and a review of the place that ran in WW: Both came out on the same day.

“Well friends, it’s been a ride,” the post read. “Despite a wonderful review by Willamette Week yesterday (thank you!!), we have made the difficult decision to close our doors on November 30th.”

The statement went on to explain that business never really took off there—a problem for multiple restaurants that launched at Mercato Grove, a 2-year-old commercial-residential development at the corner of Kruse Way and Boones Ferry Road.

“Ultimately, we just haven’t been able to generate the kind of traffic and exposure in the community that we need to survive,” the post added. “This is bittersweet, because we know we’ve got a good thing going here.”

Toreados began serving Tex-Mex with a twist (Texas-style barbecue and some regional Mexican cuisine were also on the menu) in early spring of this year. It took over the location that used to house a reboot of Tasty—the restaurant originally run by chef John Gorham before his Toro Bravo restaurant group imploded in 2020. Two of his former employees revived the concept with Kurt Huffman’s ChefStable.

When it opened in the summer of 2021, the menu included many of the hits of the Tasty of old: large cuts of protein, including a smoked paprika pork coppa and a grilled cowboy steak, as well as European-inspired bites, like Catalan-style shrimp and the always-popular patatas bravas. However, there seemed to be some concern about drumming up business only about a year in.

In early September 2022, the restaurant unveiled a new menu following some unfavorable online reviews. A preview tasting attended by WW saw well-executed dishes with late summer flavors like a piping-hot tomato pulp skillet drizzled in garlic oil and sprinkled with shredded pecorino; pan-seared gnocchi in a light, sweet corn and chive sauce; and a fun but unusual skillet rice made with popcorn stock that tasted like a buttery tub from a Regal movie theater.

Around the same time, two other ChefStable restaurants at Mercato Grove ended up calling it quits: Lac St. Jack and Fills. Tasty then pulled the plug in late 2022.

We were largely pleased with Toreado’s offerings—from the blanco-style queso that reminded our former Austinite writer of the dip served at legendary Texas establishment Kerbey Lane Cafe to the smoked whole wings to the namesake chiles toreados (blistered peppers). You have a few more days to try to sample some yourself.

In the meantime, it appears that ChefStable will not open another restaurant in the same (possibly cursed?) spot. Toreados’ closing announcement said that “Mercato Grove is currently entertaining multiple offers on the space, so keep an eye out for new projects to come.” The post added that ChefStable was considering relocating in Portland—whether that is Toreados, another Tasty reboot or something else entirely remains to be seen.

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