According to the Portland Business Journal, Ruth’s Chris is moving to Pacific Center over at 851 SW 6th Avenue:
The Heathrow, Fla.-based chain will transform a 9,400-square-foot retail space into an upscale restaurant. The space originally was constructed for Zell Bros. Jewelers. Zell went out of business when its parent company filed for bankruptcy and never moved in.
Back in 2009 when I did the Steakhouse Showdown, Ruth’s Chris scored the worst on ambiance: “The first thing I noticed about Ruth’s Chris hit me before I had even opened the door. The entry seemed a bit worse for wear. Inside, it was more of the same. This is a restaurant that is clearly in need of a bit of fixing up; it is not nearly as impressive as it was 10 years ago. Neither is the crowd. As I walked to my table, I couldn’t help but notice a large number of people in sandals and casual wear. We felt like we were in the suburbs, rather than in a downtown steakhouse. As we sat down, I took in the surroundings. The inside is a bit dated and in need of a refresh. It is more brightly lit than it used to be, and with the rays of the long summer day streaming through the windows, it all felt a bit cheap. The long tacky mural painted across the back wall doesn’t help. The clubby feel found in many steakhouses is gone. This place has seen better days.”
Maybe they were saving their pennies for the move. You can read the rest of the Business Journal article here
Trader Vic’s is Returning to Portland
So says Oregon Live. Once a fairly large chain with a branch in what is now El Gaucho occupied the space from 1959 to 1996. If you look at the brickwork on the outside south wall, you can still see remnants of the old decor. When I was a kid, one of my favorite places to go on my yearly birthday dinner with my dad was the Beverly Hills TV. Good memories. Tiki Central has a nice article on the original restaurant. From Oregon Live:
A local group led by Hering hopes to put a new Trader Vic’s in the Pearl District space formerly occupied by the Manzana restaurant at Northwest 12th Avenue and Glisan Street.
Hering admits he has no restaurant experience. But his partner in the deal, Portland developer Ben Stutz, does. Stutz co-owns Kelly’s Olympian bar and grill in downtown Portland and MotoPizza, a drive-through.
Several real estate sources said Hering’s group has signed a lease for the 7,900 square-foot building, currently vacant. Hering said that’s not the case. “We have a commitment on the space,” Hering said. “But we have outs. It’s based on certain conditions being met.”
You know I’m going to say it – A location that doesn’t exactly lend itself to the theme (even with lots of work), no parking and not exactly a strong track record, being opened by someone with “no restaurant experience”, with a formula that failed 12 years ago. Has Portland changed that much? I’ve got a bad feeling about this one. Here’s a link to the story.
From Le Cordon Bleu in response to my post about the closing of Restaurant Bleu,
“Just wanted to let you know that our student-run restaurant, now called Technique, is actually open and running. You’re right, that we’ve decided to no longer enroll students in our associate degree programs beginning in February. That’s due to some anticipated federal regulatory changes. While we’re making this change to our educational offerings, we have no current plans to close our restaurants. Hope this helps clarify the situation for everyone.”