From the press release —
The first del Forno will open in the Pearl District in December at our 25 NW 11th location.
September 19, 2011, Portland, Ore. In Italian del Forno means “from the oven” and del Fornois a trattoria where our wood-burning oven is the center of everything we do. The oven is warming and inviting. Its heat permeates and transforms our space and our ingredients. Our menu of local and seasonal ingredients is simple, satisfying and inexpensive.
Del Forno is a place to gather in the morning for great coffee, pastries and frittata. At lunch stop in, or take out our authentic Neapolitan pizza, and array of house-crafted sandwiches, salads and hot dishes from our oven. After work, drop by for a light bite and glass of wine or a great local beer. At dinner enjoy our pizza and satisfying regional Italian specialties from our oven, or just linger until late at our wine bar. And of course, del Forno will continue to offer Mio Gelato, Portland’s favorite Italian ice cream.
In mid October we will be closing our 23rd Ave store as the historic Esquire hotel building undergoes a complete renovation. We will be announcing the opening of del Forno NW as the building schedule is finalized.
The Mio Gelato brand will continue to be developed and extended through additional retail and wholesale outlets.
“Our first del Forno location will open in the Pearl District where Mio Gelato started eight years ago,” said Bob Lightman, Mio Gelato’s president and founder. “We are excited to be able to extend our Italian roots and offer Portland authentically based, locally sourced food that they can enjoy any time and any season.”
I’m a bit surprised, as these aren’t exactly huge spaces. On the other hand, selling gelato in Portland winters must be a challenge, and they pulled that off for eight years, in what must be very expensive real estate. It will be interesting to see how this all works out.