The latest, and perhaps saddest (to inhabitants of this office, anyway) casualty in the Battle for Old Restaurants to Stay Open in a Changing Portland, is Guild's Lake Inn, the old-school, tray-on-counter diner in Northwest Industrial District that we named "Best Lunch in a Time Machine" in this year's Best of Portland issue.
In that piece, we described the friendly 30-year-old lunch spot—home to egg salad and pastrami sandwiches and a lot of Beaver mustard— as "the kind of cafeteria where Peggy Olson spent her lunch breaks…. Guild's Lake Inn will finally make you understand what people mean when they talk about 'the good old days.'"
The restaurant's final day will be Christmas Eve.
In an email Tuesday, owner Brian McAdams, who frequently works the till at the diner—and will happily explain its long history to anyone who asks—wrote:
…on Xmas Eve this year we will celebrate our final day in business after 35 years of continuous service to the Guilds Lake Industrial Community. There will be no sale of our place or a continuation of its existence by me. We have new property owners, I believe from out of state. ProLogis is their name. They decided to raise our lease by 30 percent based on futuristic projections and nothing more.
It's a sad turn of events for one of the only cheap and delicious options for people working in Northwest Industrial.
McAdams is sorriest about the impact the loss of Guild's Lake Inn will have on the community:
…a restaurant is and should be about community when possible. And ours was all about that…I can’t honestly remember in fourteen years of ownership that a day has passed where there wasn’t at least one group of folks here for something much more soulful than food. It’s sad for this community that the day has arrived like so many displaced lives recently.
You have approximately two more weeks to get over to Guild's Lake Inn on your lunch break. Get a burger and at least one type of salad and ask McAdams about why the place is named after a lake when there clearly isn't a lake nearby.
It's a good story, and one hopes it isn't lost forever when the building turns over to its new custodians.