Two Cocotte Co-Founders Plan Pacific-Mexican Restaurant in Montavilla

Zoe and Levi Hackett also plan cafe and commissary kitchen space.

The food scene in Montavilla North—a.k.a. Northeast Glisan Street—will be blowing up even bigger this Spring.

Zoe and Levi Hackett, two of three co-founders of Cocotte bistro, are starting a Mexican-inspired Pacific Coast restaurant, cafe and commissary kitchen in the former Tortilla Flats and Burger Barn location at 7901 Northeast Glisan Street. 

For now they're calling the spot "Ballena" (or "Ballena the Beauty") and they're planning a three-phase rollout after an extensive rehab of the run-down space. By spring, they hope to have a commissary kitchen both for Zoe's current Coco Catering business and for other chefs who want to hire out a kitchen by the hour. 

"I've been doing my own small events," she says, "and it's hard to find a kitchen that doesn't make you sign up for a regular schedule."

But eventually, by spring or early summer, they hope to have a lounge and restaurant serving food inspired by the cuisines of the Pacific Coast from Oregon down to the tip of Baja, where both Hacketts have done a lot of traveling and eating. Levi Hackett spent a fair portion of his boyhood in Mexico, says Zoe, but they remain equally interested in the local foods of Oregon. 

Despite the "Ballena" name—Spanish for whale—they don't anticipate a specifically seafood focus, although they do have plans for ceviche and a lot of bright flavors such as lime. On the boozy side, they will focus equally on bold, bright flavors with a menu centered around on big, fruity citrus cocktails.

For the third phase, the pair also plan to open out an event space that will double as a daytime cafe—perhaps by summertime. 

All plans are tentative for now, but they do know one thing for sure, Zoe says: "No tacos or burritos."