Former Sel Gris owner Joan Dumas has partnered with Daniel Mondok’s former sous-chef Trent Pierce to open a seafood concept called “Fin”. The restaurant in the old Sel Gris space at 1852 SE Hawthorne will be reopening shortly. As usual for a new restaurant, Trent has already hired away staff from other Portland chefs, so it seems close to launch. Joan has registered the domain name http://finpdx.com, though the site has not been built as of this writing.
Something tells me that seafood is going to be the next “big thing” in Portland. A few months ago, OregonLive ran an interview with Vitaly Paley, where he mentioned he would like to open a seafood restaurant –
I would love to do a fish house. There’s no good seafood place in Portland. And I’d like to come in and show that we do have a bounty from the sea.
Kim: And it doesn’t have to be local. We want to be able to get stuff from all over.
Vitaly: There are plenty of sustainable items we can explore from around the world. I don’t know if we would ship directly, but there’s a monopoly of seafood companies in Portland, and unfortunately they are not the best if you compare the quality of what else is out there. And the same way we have been supporting local farmers, I would like to explore new ideas with seafood. We need to look past halibut and salmon.
Updated: letter to Sel Gris customers:
Dear Friends of Sel Gris,
Nearly seven months ago, sel gris was affected by fire and smoke damage.
Although the fire originated in our neighbor’s space; our meltdown became significantly more difficult to overcome due to the prolonged repairs of our shared ceiling and adjoining walls.
Of course, the most important aspect of this incident is that no one was physically hurt, and for that, we are grateful. The real downside of this unwelcome event was watching our impressive and talented staff become instantly unemployed – we all were in a bit of shock – one day we were in business, the next day we were closed.
Close to three seasons have passed, weeks have turned into months and with mortgages to pay and families to feed, it became evident that Chef Mondok and the entire staff had to move on. Please know we tried very hard to defy the odds against us, but obstacles kept mounting, and we soon realized it was improbable that we could put it all back together the way it was. Hard as it is to let go, we had to make the decision to accept sel gris as a fond memory.
Last fall, my former partner and still good friend, Chef Daniel Mondok, joined forces with the restaurant group, ChefsTable. He co-partnered to open the successful Foster Burger in December, 09 and he continues to entertain a number of options.
If we are lucky he and his new team of partners will find the right location to launch a new fine dining restaurant so we will not have to miss his cooking talent too much longer.
It is said that with every end there is a new beginning, so I am excited to introduce you to FIN, a new seafood restaurant which is in the works for a summer opening in the former sel gris space. Chef Trent Pierce and I think this new concept will suit the neighborhood, the new economy, and hopefully bring a fresh and dynamic eatery to the Portland community – stay tuned!
On behalf of Daniel, and the entire sel gris staff you came to know, we truly thank you for all your thoughtful and encouraging emails during our closure.
Should you have gift certificates you want to redeem, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will work with you individually to see that you are reimbursed.
With kind regards,