Updated 9/22 – confirmed – Apizza Sholls to expand into space next door. Also confirmed Sous Chef has left Balvo.
Under the “What Were They thinking?” Willamette Week (link now bad) points out what has to be one of the worst restaurant ideas ever. Take a vegan restaurant. Plunk it down way out on St. Helens Road. Give it a website that takes a LONG time to load (don’t even try this at dialup – don’t they know many vegans use dialup?). Write the site so it will not only alienate vegans, but non-vegans alike too. Add music to the site (don’t get me started). Make most of the links not work. Finally, give it a pirate theme. Avast Ye Mateys!
In 2004, Anthony Demes and Maura Jarach transplanted Couvron, their French restaurant, to New York City. Apparently, it didn’t work out, so they closed in winter of 2005. Now I’m hearing whispers they are back in town, looking into opening a restaurant.
There are always lots of rumors going around. Sometimes, I have the most fun taking lots of little bits and pieces from different sources, and trying to put them together. Sometimes I’m right; sometimes I’m wrong. Keeping that in mind, let’s speculate.
Back in July 2006, I reported “Now that Tommy Habetz (Gotham expat) is on board, Apizza Scholls is expanding. The new endeavour will be called The Pork Store.”
Suppose Brian Spangler, owner of Apizza Scholls, decided against opening the Pork Store, and decided instead to expand the seating at Apizza. CONFIRMED What would Tommy Habetz do? I can’t see him making pizzas. I can’t imagine him being happy. Hmm…
Suppose the sous chef at Bruce Carey’s venture, Balvo, decided she wasn’t happy there, and quit. Hmm…
Suppose a week later, Bruce Carey was running around town telling people that he had found a new chef for Balvo – “a name everyone in Portland would know“. Hmm…
Certainly gives one something to think about. If it all adds up, you heard it here first. If it doesn’t, I never said a word.
In the same July 06′ news issue, I talked about 1001, the new venture by the owner of Tabla, on the SE corner of The Henry Building in the Pearl District. Peering through the door, I’d say they are spending good money on the space, with a second level being added inside. I’ve also heard they will be opening the Armory Cafe, in the Armory Building when it reopens as the Portland Center Stage. Look for 1001 to open in…
October November. Hope they aren’t getting stretched too thin. I’ve heard a few rumblings lately that the food at Tabla has slipped a bit. I haven’t been back to verify this myself.
Everyone seems to be calling themselves a “gastropub,” a British reference for a public house that specializes in high-quality food.
Now comes word that the large restaurant opening in the Clyde Hotel building on Stark Street will go by that name. Restaurant manager of Castagna, Nate Tilden is reportedly involved in the business venture, with development by the same person responsible for the makeover of the block that houses Pantenegra, and St. Honore Bakery. I detoured through the neighborhood, and got a look inside last week. It’s still a long way off. It will be called Clyde Common
The old Epicure location on NE Broadway (think Lloyd Center area) has been completely renovated, and is ready to reopen as The Old Market Pub. I peered in the windows a few days ago, and was impressed by all the changes. An old barn door replaces the old entry. The new signs are up, people are scurrying around, and it looks like it could open within the week. Judging based on looks alone, this place will be a neighborhood hit. They also advertise they are kid friendly. Thanks to our Lloyd Corespondent, Betsy, for reminding me to go by. Yes Betsy, you are in charge of making sure we don’t miss anything in that area.
While I was in the area, I walked past the old Sukhothai location, which disappeared almost overnight. It is being completely gutted. No word if it will be replaced by another restaurant.
The American Cheese Society Conference this summer was so successful, it started making people think. Should Portland have it’s own cheese festival? Apparently, the collective thinking is yes. Look for “Wedge” cheese festival, towards the end of next September.
Somehow, I forgot to mention this little tidbit from Willamette Week. Simpatica Dining Hall will be hosting “Matthew Stadler’s Back Room“. Remember him, the “In-house writer” from the late Gotham Tavern. I’m just going to sit here and be quiet.
From the same Willamette Week, comes news of Tom Hurley. He “is working up some major menu changes at his eponymous local restaurant. Chef is moving away from teeny-weenie plates toward full-sized appetizers, entrees and desserts…” There have been so many rumors about this guy over the past year. He’s closing his restaurant. He’s opening a restaurant in Seattle. He’s moving to New York. I guess not. As far as I know, he’s still on disability from his injury with the Portland Fire Department. Maybe it’s too good a thing to risk leaving town… I don’t know. I refuse to speculate.