New Portland restaurants typically prefer to open before Memorial Day. Once that summer sun hits, tourists show up and Portlanders emerge from their hidey-holes. But for whatever reason, a bunch of new Portland spots aiming to open this spring—or, in one case, last summer—are just now ready to crack their doors.
Here are the 17 upcoming openings we're most excited about.
Location: 930 SE Sandy Blvd.
Expected opening: Soft opening tentatively planned for June 10
The place: An enormously ambitious, massive Central Eastside sports bar and event space with a fire pit, a second-story rooftop deck, multiple public bars, a private balcony and bar, a giant painting of Johnny Unitas and mural of Jim Thorpe, retractable bleacher seating with huge projector screens for movies and sports, and—dear Lord, are we forgetting something?
Revelry/Unnamed Rachel Yang Project
Expected opening: "Late summer"
The place: Expect late-night Korean-influenced bites from high-end Seattle chefs Yang and Chirchi, with a DJed soundtrack. They're being extraordinarily tight-lipped with details so far, but Yang's previous spots Trove, Joule and Revel have included Korean parfaits, rotating noodle dishes, and French-influenced Korean fare (or vice versa) like konbu-cured ribsteak with sea grape and black vinegar, and Korean-spiced tartares.
Location: Central Southeast Industrial District
The players: Owner Dave Singh, chef Kyo Koo (Bluehour, Clarklewis)
Expected opening: Sometime this summer
The place: With a first, sold-out pop-up dinner planned for June 12, chef Kyo Koo—formerly of fine-dining spots Bluehour and Clarklewis—will serve Beijing-style Chinese street food like dumplings, and Chinese-style hamburgers (Ròujiā mó) and shoestring fries (Chǎo tǔdòu xiédài). While they haven't signed a lease yet, they've filed for an exploratory liquor license for a potential permanent location at Southeast 8th Avenue and Stark Street.
Location: 1565 NW 21st Ave.
The players: Besaw's owner Cana Flug, Besaw's chef Dustin Clark, pastry chef Michelle Vernier, Bull in China cocktails (Daniel Osborne pictured)
Expected opening: July
The place: Solo Club is planned as a cafe and bar to complement neighboring Besaw's, the brunch-and-dinner spot that moved from its century-old historic location to a new one on 21st Avenue earlier this year. In the mornings, it'll serve as a coffee-and-pastry way station for those waiting in the Besaw's brunch lines, happy hour begins during the Besaw's afternoon hiatus between brunch and dinner, and an amaro-heavy liquor and Asian-influenced small plates menu will be served at night until 1 am.
Location: 3033 NE Alberta St., in the former Natural Selection location
The players: Javier Canteras
Expected opening: Mid-July
The place: Chef Javier Canteras, who already runs a Basque Supper Club pop-up dinner at secret locations around Portland each month—he's also lead guitarist for Portland band Smoochknob—will open a small-plates restaurant there called Urdaneta, devoted to the food of Canteras' Basque and Spanish parents. Along with fellow chef Ryan Spragg, Canteras won $150,000 on CNBC reality series Restaurant Startup in February 2016.
Bar Casa Vale
Location: Southeast 9th Avenue and Pine Street, in the Biwa building
Players: Nate Tilden and Martin Schwartz (Clyde Common, Spirit of 77, etc.), Louis Martinez (Clyde Common), Elias Cairo (Olympia Provisions)
Expected opening: July
The place: Smoked! Food! Using a big-ass 8-foot grill, Bar Casa Vale will make smoked food and Spanish-influenced seafood plates, and so, so many sherries—because all Portland liquor is Spanish now. Following Tilden and Schwartz's longstanding habit of spinning off their chefs and bartenders into new restaurants, Clyde Common vet Louis Martinez will run the kitchen.
Location: The Central Industrial Eastside, at 304 SE 2nd Ave.
Expected opening: Anytime now
The place: A huge-ass, 110-seat brewpub devoted to the art of the German brew, with food from the people behind Sizzle Pie and Podnah's Pit, cooked on a wood-fired grill. Expect pretzels, cheesesteak, N'Orleans po'boys, prime rib, Czech pils and a Bavarian-style helles lager from a brewer who won national gold for brewing Bavarian-style helles lager.
Location: The former Levant space at 2448 E Burnside St.
The players: Ava Gene's head chef Joshua McFadden, former Ava Gene's chef de cuisine Sam Smith, former Cafe Castagna and Zahav (Philadelphia) chef Wesley Johnson, former Le Pigeon pastry chef Nora Antene
Expected opening: As early as mid-June
The place: At former restaurant Levant, head chef Scott Snyder served Mediterranean- and Middle Eastern-influenced food, including brunch, in a spot housing a big brick oven. At Tusk, head chef Sam Smith and company will serve Mediterranean- and Middle Eastern-influenced food, including brunch, in a spot housing a big brick oven.
Location: 2930 NE Killingsworth St., in the former Cocotte space
The players: Ava Gene's sommelier Dana Frank, Jane Smith
Expected opening: This summer
The place: A restaurant and wine spot with a strong focus on funky, interesting natural wines both local and European—including a list of about 20 sparkling wines—with dinner five nights a week from a menu put together by former Ava Gene's chef de cuisine Sam Smith (see Tusk, above).
Location: 3936 N Mississippi Ave., in the former Mac! Mac & Cheesery space
The players: Chef Bill Wallender (Clarklewis, Ava Gene's), owner Emily Everett (Mac! Mac & Cheesery)
Expected opening: July
The place: A fresh, local seasonal spot helmed by former Ava Gene's sous chef Bill Wallender. The ownership from Mac! Mac & Cheesery—which lived on Mississippi for five years—remains the same, but it appears that all other aspects of the space are being utterly rearranged and upscaled.
Double Mountain Woodstock
Location: 4500 SE Woodstock Blvd., next to the New Seasons
The players: Double Mountain Brewing of Hood River, duh
Expected opening: July
The place: Down from the New Seasons, Double Mountain will bring 20 taps of Double Mountain to Portland—so your DM will not be limited to the Hop Lava and IRA and Kolsch that seem to be on tap at…every single bar in Portland. That much-celebrated pizza will also be around—and while people who say it's better than Scholls' are sorta nuts, it'll certainly be the best pizza that Woodstock has ever seen. Oh, and apparently the bar staff was given an allowance to buy old vinyl. So let's hope the bar staff has really, really good taste.
Please Louise Pizza
Location: Northwest Quimby Street and 21st Avenue, next to the New Seasons
Opening: June 1 (today! softly!)
The players: Breakside owner Scott Lawrence and his old friend Brian Carrick, former Wildwood sous chef Brian Lamback
The place: Please Louise will enlist a Bakers Pride electric oven to make artisan-style pies falling somewhere between Apizza Scholls and New York in general—it'll start with a stock of six different 14-inch pies (we had a pleasant sample margherita while it was still working out the kinks, plus a job with sausage and fontina) and some fancy charcuterie like trout rilletes, tri-tip tartare and duck liver brulee. Expect a series of seasonal veggie small plates as well, for the meat-impaired.
Location: 3584 SE Division St., the former Eugenio's space
The players: Gestalt Haus has two other bars like it in San Francisco before the owners moved to Portland.
Opening: June 2 (softly, softly)
The place: The owners of Gestalt—a bike-obsessive San Fran bar so well-loved that bike maker Marin named a line of bicycles after it—moved to Portland this year. They brought the bar with them, which will open in the space formerly filled by Eugenio's. Expect sausages "from vegan to veal," a beer list splitting time between authentic German and local craft, German apéritifs from Underberg to Jäger, and some one-of-a-kind bicycles hanging from the ceiling that will actually be for sale on the bar's food menu. One of the two owners works at River City Bicycles, so expect plenty of bike events and bike rides to jump off here.
Location: 1435 SE Hawthorne Blvd., where Langano Lounge was
Expected opening: July 1
The players: Brent Atchley, Nicholas Hyde, Michael Chin, Colin Yoshimoto
The place: A spot devoted to poke, created by a bunch of skaters and talented chef Colin Yoshimoto, who has worked with some of the best sushi chefs in town (Mirakutei's chef Hiro, Nodoguro's Ryan Roadhouse) in addition to keeping Nong's Khao Man Gai going smoothly for years as general manager. Expect a cool-conscious hall of citrus-cured tuna bowls, beneath one of Portland's only new apartment buildings to actually be architecturally charming.
Location: 2039 SE Clinton St., former home to both Renard and St. Jack
The players: Derek Hanson (Multnomah Whiskey Library, Laurelhurst Market, Broder), Brandi Lansill (Multnomah Whiskey Library, Old Salt)
Expected opening: July
The place: Jacqueline, in the old St. Jack space, is named not after the former French restaurant but the submarine in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. The two former Multnomah Whiskey Library chefs will be trying to blur the lines between front and back of house, server and cook, with a seafood-heavy menu (life aquatic? Get it?) with farm-to-table Pacific Northwest-style food, from veggie plates to pasta to oyster crudo. "Portland is so meat-heavy, masculine," says Hanson. "We want to do something lighter."
Location: Northwest 8th Avenue and Couch Street (food cart)
The players: Andrew Mace, longtime chef at Le Pigeon
Expected opening: Any second now
The place: Andrew Mace left his post as chef de cuisine at Le Pigeon this May toserve fish. In a cart. At the edge of the Pearl. From the small-boat fishermen of Garibaldi, Ore., via Community Supported Fishery. And by fish we mean fish like, say, salt and pepper shrimp.
Location: 626 SW Park Ave.
The players: Neil Thompson, William Oben
Expected opening: First week of July
The place: The eternally closing and opening Brasserie Montmartre, the iconic Park Avenue building once home to Portland's most aged and famous French restaurant, will reopen with a different French name: Bardot. On one side, it'll be a wine shop called Park Avenue Fine Wines, while the wine bar will channel the "'60s sexiness" of French pin-up Brigitte Bardot. It'll act a bit like a hotel bar without a hotel—serving as jumping off point and concierge for the West End's various restaurants.