A Portland Bakery and Pizzeria Turned into a Vegan, Gluten Free Restaurant Without Telling Anyone

Instead of wood fired pizzas and meaty sandwiches, Stumptown Coffee founder Duane Sorenson' restaurant is now serving kelp noodles and cold pressed juices.

Foraged mushroom toast, the zen bowl and root punch juice at Roman Candle.

When Roman Candle closed last month for renovations, the bakery and pizzeria announced that the reopening would come with a new menu.

However, the Division St. restaurant did not announce that the new menu would be all gluten free and vegan health food, and would entirely forsake the wood fired pizza and meaty sandwiches it had become known for.

Owned by Stumptown Coffee founder Duane Sorenson, Roman Candle opened as a pizzeria and bakery in 2013. The abrupt menu change came as a shock to costumers and for weeks, went without out any public acknowledgement from management. But an article published yesterday by Portland Monthly revealed that the restaurant is still run by Sorenson, who recently went vegan. The restaurant will be renamed Holiday. An official announcement about the  rebranding is expected by the end of next week.

It already feels like an entirely different, airier restaurant. There's no thick-wooded pastry or pizza display cases, and a lot more plants. According to our cashier on a recent visit, angry costumers expecting pizza have mostly subsided.

The current menu is essentially a test run before the official rebranding, which is set to take place near the end of the month. Holiday's main focus will be its juice menu, though Sorenson has also hired an in-house mushroom forager.

Currently, Roman Candle's (soon to be Holiday's) offerings include bowls with kelp noodles and sprouted cauliflower, plus a few simple yet satisfying cold pressed juices. Fancy toast is still on the menu, though the avocado toast now comes loaded with seasonal veggies instead of Mama Lil's peppers, and costs $10 instead of $7.

You can view the current food and drink menus on Roman Candle's "under construction" website.

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