Ten01 Restaurant in the Pearl District has closed.
I remember when I went to the restaurant for the first time I was struck by the amount of money they must have spent in developing the space. Even the kitchen equipment was plentiful and pretty high-end. Though they opened in the height of the economic boom, the economy began to fall shortly thereafter. I am sure they had very expensive overhead and needed to get a lot of people through the door to cover expenses. In 2009, several key employees left, which made me wonder if the foundation was starting to crumble. About the same time, the menu was split into high-end food in the upstairs area, and bar food/smaller plates downstairs. It appears the new formula wasn’t enough to save them.
The big question now is what will happen to some of these large vacant spaces that are appearing around Portland. Will a new restaurant move in, or will it sit empty for years, as Olea has? It will be interesting to see if anyone takes the spot.
Back in 2008 under chef Jack Yoss, Ten01 was one of my favorite Portland restaurants, and it received my Restaurant of the Year. That review was one of the best I’ve written, so I will leave it up for a bit longer.
I’m sorry to see them go. Best of luck to the staff.
There was an upstairs?
Dan Welch says
Good on them for honoring the Gift Certs. Too many would simply not do the right thing. Sorry to see it close as well. Went there for Bday dinner recently and was great. Best of luck to the staff and all involved.
I’m so sorry to hear this (although I suspected it was coming). Ten01 was one of my favorite places in Portland.
Whoa. I can’t even say that I’m sad or not sad; it had been too long since I had been there. But I’m surprised because Portland restaurant closures seem to fall into two (over-generalized, I’m sure) categories: 1) smaller restaurants in troubled or challenging locations and/or that just never got a lot of attention or popularity but soldiered on for a respectable stint (think Alba Osteria), and 2) big, expensive, hype-magnets that resemble an MTV reality show and die early and dramatically (think Lucier). Ten-01 fits neither category; yes it was expensive and got a lot of hype (whether or not deserved, I refrain from commenting), but it had been around long enough that it just seemed like it was past the point of failure. More like Bluehour, lots of money, lots of hype, declining reviews over the years, but it just seems invincible. So what happened here?
Food Dude says
Many restaurants make the bulk of their profit in the Fall and holiday season. I have a feeling they just weren’t doing enough covers to be able to support such a big operation. I thought it interesting that I haven’t gotten much PR from them over the past 4 months. It seems like they used to do much more self-promotion.
I’m one of those covers they never got. I hit up their happy hour, which was one of the best in town, on a fairly regular basis, but like many, I suspect, I’ve just never had the expense account to blow on their dining room. Shame, though… they really seemed to turn themselves around after that rocky first year. I’m thinking the loss of Jack, combined with the downturn in the economy, was just too big a blow. And I’m sure it won’t take long for Jeff land on his feet…
Well, I for one am very sad to see this. We thought the food and service over the last 6-8 months had improved significantly and they were a pretty regular haunt of ours. Guess we didn’t see this one coming, so this was a bit of a shock. Tabla remains another of our favorites, so we’ll be happy to shift some of our business there, but this really is a shame. Nuts.
Any idea what will become of my Groupon?
Food Dude says
I’d call Tabla and ask them, but usually that is between you and Groupon
Questionable Ethics says
Ten01 was a great restaurant that had difficulty finding its place in a town that loves cheap happy hours as much as it hates foie gras — I’m pointing at you PETA. It’s hard to pay the overhead on a huge operation in the Pearl District on revenue from hamburgers and happy hour food. Ten01 was a great restaurant with an even better staff. Unfortunately, the level of quality and refinement brought to the kitchen by Chef Michael Hanaghan was not enough to save Ten01 from closing its doors. Is Portland not ready to support a “fine dine” restaurant that seats more than a handful of people (i.e Le Pigeon, Castagna, etc.)?
That being said, I take issue with the way Ten01 handled its closing. I know several of their employees very well. I am told that everybody came back from New Years Day off and the restaurant was essentially cleaned out. The staff wasn’t given so much as a days notice. As far as I understand, this includes the management. Many of these people have families to support. Is this common or acceptable? Should we expect more from the people who own business in out community? Please share your knowledge, thoughts, and opinions
Food Dude says
If you are talking about the food, I think Portland can support fine dining restaurants – we have quite a few. However, I don’t think prices can be high enough to support restaurants with overhead like Lucier and Ten01. There is to much competition from restaurants that may not be as fancy, but have food that is excellent.
It is pretty normal for any business not to give employees notice before a layoff or closing. Lots of reasons for this, and I think it is regrettable, but acceptable.
I agree, QE, I am sad to hear this news and I wish they would have sent some notice before this happened. Nonetheless, I have really enjoyed Ten01 in its many phases, particularly since they started doing vegetarian-friendly small plates and Erica Landon came back for special wine tastings on Wednesdays. I hope their staff are able to find fulfilling work at other nice places in Portland.
auntie mame says
I am not surprised by this. I never had a meal there that wasn’t over-salted. The menu was good, but it never knocked my socks off. Meals there never lived up to the prices charged, and the atmosphere can only compensate for so much.
last table to leave says
no wonder they’re out of business, i just asked for
the dessert menu and they said the kitchen was closed! harrumph.
again I say harrumph! they will not get my business again!
Questionable Ethics says
What time did you ask for the desert menu?
Questionable Ethics says
My partner and I had just moved here from San Francisco a
month and a half ago. I worked at some of the top restaurants in
San Francisco. That being said we are eating out a lot as site
inspections for a possible job for me. We ate at Ten 01 two weeks
upstairs and the food was delicious. Very sad to see it close. We
were the only diners at 7pm on a Thursday. A quick comment about
eating out at Nostrana, Gruner, Higgins, Paley’s Place, Fin and Le
Pigeon, is that upon dining they only get about a turn and a half
of customers. We were surprised!! I think the majority of
Portlanders in a recession think that most of these restaurants are
still very expensive. I pass by PF Changs and brew pubs in the
Pearl or ate at Pok Pok, Tasty n Sons, Nells, and Screen Door and
the price is more frugal and they are packed. One of the common
denominator in restaurant reviews is price for all of these higher
end restaurants, which in San Francisco would be a bargain for the
quality. Being that higher end dining is a relatively new thing for
Portland it begs the question can Portland sustain all these great
restaurants. Are there enough “diners” here or are you and I in the
minority? Do Portlanders renowned for casualness want to eat at
these restaurants or are they happier in a casual less expensive
One more note to support my claim is the happy hour
situation. As a diner I am delighted about happy hour here. It’s
cheap and some places it’s very good. However, I think restaurants
need to stay competitive and more importantly in business that’s
why happy hour exists in this city. I can’t imagine how restaurants
make a profit with food and labor costs. I’m sure restaurants are
doing it to survive. Portland is unique to most other cities in
that there are Food Carts and Happy Hour. I just feel most
diners are sent the wrong message that this is the norm. It creates
a climate where the clientelle is unwilling to pay more because
they feel that they are being ripped off because they are used to
paying less. There is a disconnect between actual food costs of
quality organic or biodynamic ingredients and what the customer
feels they should be paying.