BJ Smith of Smokehouse 21—the barbecuer behind the best ribs in Portland, according to our June rib burn-off—has filed a liquor license application to open a bar called Smokehouse Tavern on 1401 SE Morrison St.
The space had previously been occupied by Lightbar, a lamped-up light-therapy bar that served spicy mac and cheese.
The planned Smokehouse Tavern has a notable minority partner signed on: fashion designer and Project Runway champ Michelle Lesniak, who is Smith's girlfriend. The bar has a third partner, Joel Hansen.
The Tavern will be a bit larger than the Smokehouse 21 location in Nob Hill. Smith wrote on the application he'll seat 50 inside—with 10 additional seats on the patio during warm months, and plans to keep the bar open till midnight, with daily lunch service.
Update 10:23 am: Smith says the bar will serve pretty much the same menu as Smokehouse 21, with the addition of some bar snacks with smoked elements, as well as—of course—a brunch menu for the breakfast-crazy eastside. "We are building out a full kitchen," Smith writes, "which will give us more room to play." The goal is an opening date of March 1, if permits go through.