The Woodsman Tavern is closing at the end of December.
The restaurant has seen a rotation of remarkable chefs along with some dips in food quality in between, and the Gorham restaurant empire, which includes Toro Bravo and Bless Your Heart Burgers, has quickly staked its claim on the space.
Owner Duane Sorenson told The Oregonian he's shutting down the Woodsman to focus on Holiday, a restaurant that took over the Roman Candle location and initially shocked customers with a menu that replaced the bakery's wood-fired pizzas with plant-powered juices and toasts with vegan toppings. The founder of Stumptown is also busy building a new coffee-roasting business.
"I just don't want to operate [Woodsman] anymore," Sorenson said. "I love the tavern so much. It's such a great room. But running a restaurant is tough, man. I want to put my energies into Holiday and coffee."
Early this year, the Woodsman underwent a revitalization in the kitchen under the leadership of Doug Adams. The Top Chef finalist and former Imperial chef had briefly pushed pause on cooking while waiting for his new restaurant to open inside a downtown Portland hotel. After his departure, Little Bird alum Andrew Gordon became head chef and put his own twist on the menu while maintaining its caliber.
Woodsman was sold to John Gorham's Toro Bravo Restaurant Management and Design Group—which announced Nov. 7 it would open an eatery there in early 2019.
Instead of adding a business to its portfolio, Gorham is closing one half of the Tasty duo and then reopening with a slightly new name when Woodsman shutters. The next iteration of Tasty n Sons will be called Tasty n Daughters, and you can expect much of the North Williams Avenue spot's brunch menu to remain the same. Gorham also plans to add dishes inspired by his trip to Istanbul in October.
"One thing that I like to do is offer a lot of choices. I've always been that way," Gorham said in a statement. "This new space gives us the opportunity to expand nearly every aspect of our Tasty operation. We really respect the buildout of the Woodsman and we're stoked to move into such a beautiful space. We've been asked to come to Southeast for years and so when the opportunity for this space was presented to us it was a natural fit."