It's deja vu all over again: Southwest Second Avenue downtown will soon be home to a huge new indoor food hall with a bar and at least seven different restaurants from all over Portland, including a spin-off of Hapa Raman and Zaatar Lebanese.
If that sounds familiar, it probably is: Pine Street Market opened this spring with ramen-spot Marukin alongside spin-offs of Olympia Provisions, Ken's Artisan Pizza and Toro Bravo.
Then, the folk Koi Fusion opened Cart Lab, first reported on by Willamette Week here, a just-opened Southwest Portland bar with indoor food carts.
Now as early as February 2017, a huge eight-vendor Portland Food Hall is planned up the street at 827 SW 2nd Ave. The people behind Hapa Ramen and Zaatar Lebanese restaurant are minority partners on the project, which will seat 117 and span 3,000 square feet.
The project is being spearheaded by Andres Ochoa of Rogue Development and Interurban Development (the latter company was also one of the partners on Pine Street Market). Alongside Kevin Cavanaugh, the main developer behind eastside food mini-malls the Ocean and Zipper, Ochoa was also a principal behind the graffiti-wrapped Fair-Haired Dumbbell building project now under construction at the Burnside Bridgehead.
Sarah Littman of Hapa Ramen, a minority partner on the Portland Food Hall project, says she and Hapa partner Michael Littman plan a new ramen concept called Aiko in the space, which will likely offer a pared-down menu with a couple bowls and possibly kara-age, Japanese-style fried chicken.
The Portland Business Journal first published a whisper about the Portland Food Hall back in June in a piece on the new Q Restaurant rising from the ashes of Veritable Quandary.
On December 19, however, Ochoa filed a liquor license showing Andre Karam of Old Town Lebanese spot Zaatar as a minority partner, along the partners on Hapa Ramen.
Written onto the license application as an equal partner, then tantalizingly crossed off, was All-Way. All-Way was the In N Out-style burger project of the people behind Broder, which closed last year in downtown's Red Coach space.
The project has been in the works for more a year, with multiple shifts in the line-up over time.
Six months ago, PFH minority partner Emma Pelett, director of Produce Row's Portland Night Market and a former Miss Oregon USA, hosted an online design contest for the project. At that time, it was conceived as an indoor food court with "8 food-based tenants, including a coffee shop, ice cream bar, sushi bar, wood fired pizzas, indian food, a bar, a ramen & poke shop and a butcher in the basement called Basement Meat."
This was the branding winner on that contest, for the record:
The line-up has shuffled considerably over time, however, says Littman: Bagels, coffee, a juice bar, and a Whole Bowl project are currently planned.
We've reached out to other partners on the project, and will update as more information becomes available.