Ned Ludd—a Luddite-themed restaurant with an axe inside and a woodpile out front—is becoming a very unlikely small-business incubator.
After two of its cooks split off to make a Wu-Tang-themed pizza spot called P.R.E.A.M., two more Luddites are leaving to make a Vegas-themed hot dog and tap-cocktail bar called Donnie Vegas.
Benjamin Artaiz and former bar manager Jeremy Wilson and will start Donnie Vegas at 1203 NE Alberta Street, in the space once occupied by Legend and Black Cat Cafe. The bar will be themed after the "glitz and glam and faded neon" of Old Vegas, with red-leather booths and a huge patio out back.
In a trend that's hit hard in London, New York and Seattle but has left Portland mostly cold outside of places like Imperial and Clyde Common, Donnie Vegas will serve cocktails on tap. What's the benefit? Time and money. Your bartender doesn't have to spend all their time futzing with your Negroni, and you probably don't have to pay as much for it. Alongside cider and a small selection of beer taps, Wilson will keep at least four taptails, including a Moscow Mule made with House Spirits Volstead and Rachel's Ginger Beer from Seattle.
Artaiz, who previously worked as house sausage-maker at Matt's in the Market in Seattle, will make an array of "lowbrow" hot dogs.
Donnie Vegas' owners hope to open as early as March.