The Overlook Restaurant on North Skidmore Street near Interstate will close after 43 years in business on January 21.
The longtime Greek-owned restaurant is a breed becoming scarce in Portland—one side a comfy lounge with lottery machines, one side a bright-lit cafe serving a bewildering variety of budget food in generous portions, whether omelettes and pancakes, unholy monte cristos, spaghetti plates, roast beef au jus or huge frosting-capped cinnamon rolls.
Rumors had hovered around the restaurant's closing for almost two years, after a developer filed an early assistance application for a five-story building on the property, first noted by the Portland Mercury. Both the property and the hallowed restaurant were owned by Jane and Jim Sassalos, who told WW at the time that they would happily consider offers that would let them retire, but had not yet received any.
A year and a half later, they finally got an offer they couldn't refuse—a different one than the original prospective project reported years ago. Overlook was also in the news recently in May, after an indictment of a former employee who allegedly hogtied co-owner Jim Sassalos and robbed him at gunpoint.
The project moving forward when the Overlook closes is considerably more complicated than the original proposal, which called for a "five story apartment building" by Ankram Moisan Architects. The current plan is for a two-building, 158-unit project designed by Holst Architecture, with 59 spaces of parking including underground parking. Both buildings will include retail space.
A Facebook group, Displaced Overlook Restaurant Patrons, has been started for Overlook patrons to "continue the wonderful relationships this venue helped us create."