In Portland dining, the waiting is the hardest part.
That's true even before the lines start to form. It seems you'll hear about a hyped new opening years before you can actually eat there. A couple of big ones got in under the wire in 2018—Doug Adams' meat palace Bullard and the local outpost of soup dumpling haven Din Tai Fung, most notably—but there are still a bunch of places that have us shaking our legs and clutching our stomachs in anticipation.
Here are nine restaurants and bars we're eagerly awaiting in 2019.
4636 NE 42nd Ave.
What is it? Superstar Southern chef Maya Lovelace's long-delayed permanent home for her exalted fried-chicken pop-up Mae's.
Projected opening: Early 2019.
4546 SE Division St.
What is it? An extension of Jessie Aron's fanciful Carte Blanche cart, situated in a converted house, with a menu reportedly including Thai-spiced ribs, crispy rice salads and build-your-own tacos.
Projected opening: Sometime in 2019.
What is it? One of Portland's first major Filipino restaurants, from Clyde Common alum Carlo Lamagna, whose Twisted Filipino Dinner Series serves as an aching tease of what's to come.
Projected opening: Despite an active Instagram page full of tantalizing food porn, no opening date has been announced. But go ahead and stare at those adobos and bibingka and dream of a delicious future.
Projected opening: Sometime in winter.
215 SE 9th Ave.
What is it? A new venture from La Moule co-owner and Multnomah Whiskey Library curator Tommy Klus—replacing defunct subterranean izakaya Biwa, which closed last June—combining his love of French food and rare spirits.
Projected opening: Early January.
3808 N Williams Ave.
What is it? Is "super-restaurant" a term? If so, this incoming Thai barbecue spot definitely qualifies, given who's involved: Matt's BBQ namesake Matt Vicedomini, Earl Ninsom of the permanently booked Langbaan, and Eric Nelson of cocktail pop-up Shipwreck.
Projected opening: A proposed New Year's Eve grand opening didn't happen, but Eater reports the new goal is February.
Baby Ketten Klub
2433 SE Powell Blvd.
What is it? Call it a "hipster karaoke bar," if anyone uses the word "hipster" anymore. Certainly, that was the preferred slur back when John Brophy started hosting pop-up karaoke nights around town a decade ago, with a songbook of underground obscurities and backing tracks he often recorded himself. Finally, he's moving the concept into a permanent location in the former BC's Bar & Grill, where the first Baby Ketten party was held in 2007.
Projected opening: March 2019.
232 NW 12th Ave.
Projected opening: Any day now, though they've been saying that for a few months.
3301 SE Belmont St.
What is it? A Korean grocery chain selling delicacies like tteokbokki and jajangmyeon you previously had to drive out to Beaverton to get. The signage in the former Zupan's space on Belmont once read "Coming This Fall," now it just says "Coming Soon."
Projected opening: *shrug emoji*