Lovely Hula Hands Restaurant will be closing in January.
Sad news from those of us who love the Portland restaurant. From the owners:
“Hello friends and fans of Lovely Hula Hands- Our new wood fired pizza restaurant, Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, should be open sometime in January. There have been a lot of construction setbacks since the beginning of the project, but we are finally awaiting the arrival of the wood oven, ice cream case and other exciting things.
Also, at the end of this month, Lovely Hula Hands will be closing. The reasons for this are many, but in the end it comes down to one thing above all. When we first opened the restaurant six years ago, a family member was our chef. As time went on and this changed, we found ourselves in the position of running a restaurant from the front of the house. That is, we relied on someone from outside the family to direct the kitchen. As you know from the loyalty of our customers and the critical reception that Lovely Hula Hands has received, we have always been lucky with the talented people we’ve chosen. But now it just makes sense for us to focus on our new venture 100 % and have more of a hand in the production of the things we serve.
We plan to have a great final month at Lovely Hula Hands and finish strong with the same seasonal menu, cocktails, etc. New Years Eve will be our last night open. We hope to see many of you this month at least one more time and we hope to keep seeing you next door at Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty. It will have a lot of things in common with LHH- a seasonal menu, buying exclusively from local farmers and ranchers, a hefty list of salads and starters, and even one or two wood fired entrees along with the pizza offerings. We will also have six flavors of seasonal homemade ice cream in a big case up front and people can get a scoop or a pint to go. Our current staff will stay with us and work next door, so no one is being put out of work in this economy.
We want to deeply thank all of our loyal customers and staff for the last six years. It has honestly been a pleasure running this restaurant.
Finally, please note that we will be honoring Gift Certificates for Lovely Hula Hands next door at Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty. If you have one and can’t get in this month, please use it there.
Sincerely, Sarah and Jane Minnick
You can find more in the coming days at our new website, www.lovelyfiftyfifty.com”
Matt Davis says
Translation: “Portlanders prefer pizza, and we were always a bunch of smug twits about our food, regardless.”
I didn’t say that. Someone else did, and I wrote it down. TRUTH.
There’s no point in being rude.
Well, THAT’S out of line.
Makes perfect sense, really, given the state of the economy. Pizza and ice cream are the sorts of foods people seek out when times get tight, and more power to Sarah and Jane for adapting to the conditions and offering up what folks need right now. Better that than to have us all turn to Domino’s and Baskin-Robbins… They’re doing what they need to do, as are the rest of us, so best of luck to them!
Chris Berg says
The problem with that Tommy is that hopefully Sarah and Jane are not just following trends, lemmings don’t make them and usually are attracted to cliffs.
But this is Portland. We have Taste Bud, Apizza, Al Forno Ferruza, and Ken’s for pizza, and for ice cream Two Tarts, Via Delizia, & Staccato Gelato. Not as if there is a glaring hole in our comfort food supply that will force us to the dreaded chains!
But none of those are on Mississippi. I’ve been wanting an ice cream place on that street for years. I think it’s going to be great.
Marshall Manning says
I haven’t been to Two Tarts for ice cream, but while Via Delizia and Staccato are okay, they both pale in comparison to real gelato. I don’t know if 50/50 is going to focus on ice cream or gelato (there is a difference), I wish them luck in whatever they choose. We’ve always loved LHH, and hope that the same excellence and consistency of food and service extend to the new restaurant.
My wife and i wish them the best of luck and are glad to have a wood fired pizza place within walking distance. However we feel a deep sense of loss with this closing. As one commenter pointed out, Portland has a dearth of amazing pizza places (Ken’s, APizza Scholls, Dove Vivi), but there was only one Lovely Hula Hands.
PS – What is going to happen to the white table at the front of the restaurant. My wife calls dibs. :)
I think you mean a wealth of amazing pizza places, rather than a dearth… I always meant to get into LHH when I lived in PDX and on subsequent visits but never did. What a pity.
There’s Junior Ambassador’s for ice cream (maple bacon mmm) and Mississippi Pizza (I’m just saying) on Mississippi.
Also, I used to be a fan of LHH when it first opened on the South end of Mississippi in the pink house. When they changed chefs and locations, it really lost something for me. I’ll definitely give Lo-1/2&1/2 a try, but yes, they’re up against some stiff pizza competition.
Nancy Rommelmann says
Junior Ambassadors has been closed since early Sept., fyi. He may or may not reopen.
LLH, with Troy MacLarty (and Michelle DeChessier) in the kitchen, was for me the best and most consistently wonderful restaurant in Portland. Sarah and Jane have always run a beautiful FOH, and I look forward to 50/50.
But I miss Troy’s salads.
Always enjoyed LHH. Under Troy MacLarty, it was definitely one of the top tables in town. Fortunately for those who dine out, other wonderful places have opened recently that will make up for LHH’s closure–Castagna and Genoa (the new versions of each) come most readily to mind.
And you can’t have too much good pizza and ice cream, fergodsakes. Only a smug twit would suggest otherwise.
A double dip recession will likely start Q3 2009 as the stimulus begins to have a pronounced negative effect on GDP. I am experiencing anticipatory schadenfreude at the prospect of watching the ridiculously over-leveraged portland restaurant bubble pop. Restaurateurs are even more delusional than home builders were.
I think you meant Q3 2010? I’ve long wanted to start a restaurant dead pool for Portland. However, since I would never have put Lovely Hula Hands in the top ten, I guess I may not do so well with that!
The second paragraph seems a bit passive aggressive, like they are implying some sort of subtext regarding the BoH staff, and it’s needlessly ponderous. They should have just said, “We are opening another restaurant next door. Yay for us! Bad for LHH. EOM.”
As you know from the loyalty of our customers and the critical reception that Lovely Hula Hands has received, we have always been lucky with the talented people we’ve chosen.
Our current staff will stay with us and work next door, so no one is being put out of work in this economy.
It sounds to me like they are just trying to give an explanation of why they are closing – they don’t say anything bad about the staff and are, in fact, keeping them all on. I assume, with such a personal restaurant they want to give their regulars some background instead of just closing without really explaining. I appreciate the extra info.
actually, the opposite of dearth is frequently plethora, as in “we have a plethora of pizza places”
Sorry about LHH. I agree that we are not in need of more caz places.
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
From a business perspective, I have to respect where LHH is coming from, but from a diners perspective I am completely uninterested in more pizza and ice cream in what is part of my “hood” in NE/North Portland. I say this “hood” part because I consider Alberta/Mississippi/N. Williams/Killingsworth and thereabouts to be the places I can easily get to when hungry.
Perhaps it is the bad economy, or perhaps it is my own personal tastes but I wish Portland had less of what elektra is talking about, or at least more of things that are lacking in my neighborhood. For example, there is no place on Miss. or Alberta to get a good quality deli sandwich – I’m talking Meat Cheese Bread or bunk persuasion, or even a real deli. If I’m missing that, then where? There’s about 12 Thai places, but only one (mediocre) Vietnamese place. And ZERO middle eastern or Indian (outside of Alladins on NE 33rd way off Ainsworth). Does the neighborhood really need more pizza? Oh, and I’m talking restaurants here, not food carts.
Still, I always enjoyed LHH while Troy was there and wish that there was more serious adult dining that could be supported in the city.
Amen! I need a real sandwich around here!
So sorry to hear that LLH will close. We have enjoyed wonderful meals over their six-year history. It was always my first choice for a birthday dinner out. Agree with many here that pizza and ice cream just aren’t the same: I’ve never had such perfect lemondrops or mojitos as those made for me at LLH.