Nearly six months after chef and restaurateur John Gorham stepped away from his food empire, he's preparing for a fresh start far from the city he helped turn into a culinary destination.
The move was announced via a Toro Bravo, Inc. newsletter and signed by Gorham and his wife, Renee. The couple will be relocating to Central Oregon and starting a consulting company called Bull and Bee Hospitality.
"It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Portland," the email stated. "The memories and experiences we created together over 13 years will live in our hearts forever."
The announcement officially closes the book on the Gorhams' restaurant group, Toro Bravo Inc., whose undoing this year was only partly due to the pandemic ravaging the food industry.
In June, John Gorham checked into a psychiatric hospital after posting a series of social media posts threatening a transgender woman of color he accused of vandalizing company property. (Gorham later said he'd been struggling with depression and anxiety following a 2018 surgery to remove a brain tumor.) The incident led Gorham to sell his stake in seven restaurants while maintaining ownership in his well-known enterprises: Tasty n Alder, Tasty n Daughters and nationally renowned tapas restaurant Toro Bravo.
All three, however, have since shut down for good. (Toro Bravo has already been replaced by a sandwich shop.) The remaining restaurants—Mediterranean Exploration Company, Shalom Y'all, Bless Your Heart Burgers, and Yalla—are all still open, run by the Gorhams' former partners.
Through Bull and Bee Hospitality, the Gorhams will offer private dining experiences while advising other establishments working to stay afloat during the pandemic and the restrictions placed on indoor dining.