If you thought we could get out of 2019 without another longstanding Portland business unexpectedly shutting its doors for good, well, bad news: After more than a decade on Southeast Division Street, wine bar and bistro Bar Avignon will close following service on Dec. 31.
The announcement was made in a newsletter over the weekend.
"Over the years, many people have worked tirelessly with us to create this wonderful restaurant and we are proud of what they have accomplished," the email read. "For all of these people we are grateful. It would not have been possible to come this far without them."
Husband-and-wife team Nancy Hunt and Randy Goodman opened the bar in 2008. It became a neighborhood-favorite date spot, with a seasonal menu, long list of French wines and low-key atmosphere.
"[Bar Avignon] performs the Mary Poppins-like feat of squeezing a lot of people into a small space without once seeming crowded, loud or rushed," WW wrote in 2016.
No explicit reason was given for the closure, though Goodman died in 2018.
"We couldn't have done it without you, Randy," the farewell letter continued. "You are the Puller of the Corks. The Changer of the Light Bulbs. Under your watchful eye, no wine glass went unpolished. Randy, if Bar Avignon is somehow greater than the sum of its parts, it's only because of you."
Hunt, the surviving owner, did not immediately return a request for comment.