As you might've expected, entrepreneurial Portlanders chose not to take a post-holiday breather in January. Because of their gumption, we now have a few new bars to belly up to, as well as new spaces to get traditional Russian rolls stuffed with all things sweet and savory, small hand pies, sushi and ramen, and bacon-wrapped, deep-fried, late-night hot dogs. You can also make plans to dine on British Isles comfort food in the newly restored Ladd Carriage House, browse for a pair of frames at a new NE Alberta Street eye care center, and even buy memberships in a for-profit business with nonprofit aims.
Local Choice Market
Don and Georganne Sader's fresh foods market is more than just a place to get locally and regionally grown and farmed vegetables and meats. Like other markets, it has a deli where you can find cured meats, cold sandwiches, hot soups, and warm comfort food like mac and cheese. And it has a coffee bar too, featuring the usual roster of espresso-based drinks. But unlike other markets, the coffee bar doubles as a smoothie bar, meaning you can get a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice or something that will help you through that cleanse. Don't feel like cleansing? Belly up to the market's actual bar, which spotlights regional wines and local draft beers (that also come in to-go growlers). Plus, there's plenty of seating available, allowing you to rest your shopper's foot while you eat a sandwich and knock back a pint.
Local Choice Market, 830 NW Everett St., 971.271.6888
Local Roasting Co.
When he was living in Dallas, James Hull worked in finance. But every time he took a break at his neighborhood cafe, he found himself constantly astonished that coffee could taste so good. The secret, the owner told him, was roasting your own beans. Hull took note and, after moving to Portland in 2006 and retiring from managing local investments in 2012, he decided to give coffee roasting a go, purchasing a roaster and leasing space in NW Portland. His roasts are front and center at his new, open-spaced, 13-seat cafe where you can get light- and dark-roast coffee drinks, as well as cups of loose-leaf tea and biscotti. But that's just the start—Hull says he plans on expanding the menu to include housemade sandwiches, Basque tapas plates, and ciders produced both locally and in the Basque country as well.
Local Roasting Co., 1932 NW Lovejoy St., 541.543.5939
Tax and Conversation
Alex Linsker says his new business follows the model and methods used by food co-ops. Except, his new business doesn't sell food. In fact, it doesn't sell anything tangible. What it does sell are memberships designed to influence your future. Here's how it works: Linsker doesn't think Oregon's tax code is equitable, and neither, he says, do many, many others, whether they vote Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. His aim is to encourage state legislators to equitably reform the code by 2014. That's why he and his team are selling memberships, the costs of which are determined based upon your annual income. So, you buy shares in the company, those shares give you a vote in how the company's run as well as pay for the expenses and the marketing of the company's collective voice. If that voice is loud enough and heard often enough, it buys you a future with a fairer tax code. In other words, it's a for-profit business with what most would consider nonprofit aims. Think of it as a DIY, grass-roots lobby made of the people, by the people, and for the people. But what happens after 2014? Linsker says there remains plenty of other actionable issues Oregonians care deeply about, including accessible and affordable health care, forest preservation, and education reform.
Tax and Conversation, 322 NW 6th Ave., Ste. 200, 503.369.9174
Uncle Dick's Deep Fried Hot Dogs
Even though his downtown speakeasy has shuttered, Dustin Knox hasn't done away with crêpes or classic cocktails just yet—he still operates Perierra Crêperie in SE Portland and is working on resurrecting his bar, Central, somewhere on the river’s east side. In the meantime, he's turning his attention to that all-American staple: hot dogs. But Uncle Dick’s dogs trump the average frank because Knox and his team wrap them in bacon and deep-fry them before topping them with ingredients that extend far beyond the usual mustard, onions and sauerkraut. Among the eight to 10 dogs available daily are Sonoran dogs, chili dogs, Thai-style dogs, Chicago-style dogs, and one called the Frenchy (cream cheese, shallots and chives). At present, the dogs are available from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday, but once the Portland Saturday Market reopens, Knox says he plans to open early to serve lunchtime crowds as well as offering a prix fixe for weekend brunchers interested in fried chicken, waffles, coffee, mimosas, and Bloody Marys.
Uncle Dick's Deep Fried Hot Dogs, 220 SW Ankeny St.
Piroshki & A Pickle Coffeehouse
Natalia McCaskill was born in Siberia but moved to Portland 12 years ago. Once she got settled, she attended PSU, majored in psychology, minored in business, and, at the request of some enthusiastic friends, decided to seriously consider making piroshki, which are sweet and savory baked rolls stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and egg. McCaskill bakes hers fresh daily—using family recipes passed down from one Russian generation to the next—in her new digs across from the Multnomah County Library's main branch. And McCaskill says nothing pairs better with a piroshki than a cup of coffee or a pickle, eating hers with sour or spicy, locally produced MoonBrine Pickles. She also says to keep your ears open for occasional Russian-inspired musical performances on Friday nights.
Piroshki & A Pickle Coffeehouse, 1023 SW Yamhill St., 503.577.8157
Raven & Rose
Thanks in part to some local preservationists and an ambitious restaurateur (with a dual background in the science of farming and helping friends across the pond open a string of successful cafe-bakeries), Portlanders can now enjoy Pacific Northwest- and British Isles-inspired farmhouse cuisine in what used to be the horse and buggy garage of one of Portland's first mayors, William S. Ladd. Shortly after the Friends of the Ladd Carriage House raised the money to save the space from demolition, future Raven & Rose owner Lisa Mygrant leased the space and set about transforming it into a two-story dining room and bar that serves seasonal dishes made from local ingredients and cocktails inspired by the spirits and recipes of the era in which the nearly 130-year-old building was built. Design highlights include a hand-hammered zinc bar top with leather-seated bar stools so comfortable that, were it not a no-no, you could easily fall asleep on them.
Raven & Rose, 1331 SW Broadway St., 503.222.7673
Valerie Schmitt spent her career teaching tomorrow's dentists and running a dental clinic for Vancouver, Wash., residents lacking dental insurance. So why would she and her husband, Doug, both longtime Portlanders, open a second frozen yogurt shop where you're encouraged to pile on as many sugared syrups and candied toppings as you wish? Because the Schmitts want everyone to be able to enjoy candy, and points out that when candy is washed down with something wet, like yogurt, it won't stick to and remain lodged in your choppers. And when she says she wants everyone to enjoy it, she means everyone—that's why TartBerry offers sugarless, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan yogurts. Here's how it works: You get your cup, fill it yourself with your favorite yogurt, top it with your preferred sweets, and then pay for it by the ounce. And since the model is one of self-service, no tipping is required. But don't feel too bad for the young people guiding you through your sundae-making process—the Schmitts pay them well above minimum wage.
TartBerry Too, 536 SW College St., 503.241.3700
Alberta Eye Care
Vernon, Alberta Street
When she was just a high school freshman, Laura Armstrong had no idea that her life was about to change course. But it did when the local eye doctor from her small Oregon town visited her school and demonstrated how peepers work by dissecting a cow’s eye. Armstrong was so fascinated that she devoted the next several years of her life to studying optometry. In fact, she was so eager to open a practice that she formed a LLC a few months before earning her doctorate degree from Pacific University, and many months before even securing a lease. But, she found a home for her business in the Vernon neighborhood because, as she puts it, the community that lives and works on either side of Alberta Street makes it "a city within a city." Not only does Armstrong conduct eye exams, fit patients for contact lenses, and work with other doctors to monitor the optical health of those diagnosed with ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure, she and her staff will even offer you a post-work bottle of beer or a glass of wine to sip on while you try on frames that make you see, look and feel good.
Alberta Eye Care, 2021 NE Alberta St., 503.384.2489
Boise, Mississippi Avenue
For years, Chris Broderick operated a restaurant, Casa Naranja, in a little orange house on North Mississippi Avenue. Even though the restaurant specialized in Mediterranean tapas, people often mistook it for a Mexican or Spanish joint. He’s since shuttered the space and redesigned it—from its interior to the menu—making his old space new. Now Bungalo Bar, the focus is on traditional pub fare, with an emphasis not only on burgers but whiskey too, which Broderick also uses to make the fried onions and barbecue sauces that top those burgers. But, it's not just a place to eat: It's a place to play. There's free pool and darts, and a covered outdoor patio that's bedecked with fire pits, hammock chairs and a Ping-Pong table.
Bungalo Bar, 4205 N Mississippi Ave., 503.459.4049
The name has nothing to do with baseball, football, birding or ecclesiastics. Rather, the cardinal in Cardinal Club refers to the primary points on a compass rose. The reason, says Tim Campbell, who co-owns this cozy new bar with Tiare Farris, is because the club occupies a building that is located at what's considered to be Portland's very center. To gain entry, you must be at least 21 years old, which gives you access to one of 40 seats, a full bar, six to eight rotating American draft beers, and eats (fish stew, roast pork sandwiches, housemade sausages) designed and cooked by chef Larry Tavernetti. And in a world of canned music and Pandora playlists, Campbell says he and Farris choose to give the space ambiance by spinning discs from their vinyl collections, comprised mostly of garage rock, soul music and "whatever feels good."
Cardinal Club, 18 NE 28th Ave., 503.348.0763
If you're looking for a comfortable, safe place to unwind and have fun, then Cully’s newest sport is what you're looking for. Crystal Maddix and Elizabeth Hanna, Mad Hanna's respective "Mad" and "Hanna," have opened a neighborhood bar with cocktails, nine taps of domestic and draft beers, and a simple kitchen menu spotlighting hot and cold tuna, turkey and chicken Caesar wraps, soups, and salads. Maddix says she also expects Mad Hanna to host special nights too, including trivia and movie nights, as well as nights dedicated to competitive karaoke. And when the weather warms, look for al fresco musical performances on the bar's outdoor patio.
Mad Hanna, 6129 NE Fremont St., 503.288.2944
Pie Spot Bakery
Rounding out The Ocean micro-restaurant development in NE Portland is Ashley Ragsdale's and Jessica Woods' pie spot, appropriately dubbed just that. In addition to offering espresso drinks, scones, muffins and cookies—items they didn't previously offer at their shuttered Division Street food cart—Ragsdale and Woods are sticking with the thing that made them famous: the small hand pies they call pie holes. And now instead of getting your pie to go, you can have a seat in one of the spot's 14 chairs and enjoy both sweet and savory pie holes—including grasshopper, year-round brown butter pecan, savory pot pies, and a breakfast pie made with eggs, cheese and sausage prepared by the butchers at the neighboring Tails & Trotters. Have an important event coming up that deserves a full-sized homemade pie? Ragsdale and Woods can whip one up, as long as you give them 24-hours' notice.
Pie Spot Bakery, 521 NE 24th Ave., 503.913.5103
Vernon, Alberta Street
In 2009, Tonya Mayhew and Kevin Reynolds began selling deep-dish pizza by the slice to hungry wanderers from their tent at the PSU Farmers Market. Now, they've taking the whole operation brick-and-mortar, building out a 40-seat dine-in and carry-out pizzeria and bottle shop in the heart of the Alberta Arts District. As the name implies, the pies are made deep-dish Chicago-style—it was in the Windy City that the husband and wife first met—and are available by the slice or in three different whole pie sizes, with starters, soups, salads, sandwiches and homemade cannoli rounding the menu out. Mayhew notes that her staff can also accommodate those with dietary restrictions, by baking up vegan and gluten-free pizzas. Via Chicago leans heavily on wine and beer, too—in addition to enjoying pints poured from as many as eight rotating taps, you can also take home a bottle of vino or a sixer with your carry-out pie.
Via Chicago, 2013 NE Alberta St., 503.719.6809
Montavilla, Montavilla-East Tabor
According to Austin Putnam—who runs this new restaurant with former Broder and Savoy chef Susie McWilliam—Redwood is a comfortable, relaxing space where you can enjoy from-scratch comfort food with a pint of craft beer or one of 11 signature cocktails based on subtly tweaked classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned and martini. Putnam says he and McWilliam want to provide their guests with a warm feeling that's both rustic and sophisticated. That's why you should expect Sunday family dinner-style entrées (pot roast, pork shoulder, chicken stewed with tomatoes and root vegetables) alongside other not-so-traditional options, like chicken liver pâté and a beef tongue sandwich topped with pickled vegetables and a schmear of caper-tarragon aioli.
Redwood, 7915 SE Stark St., 503.841.5118
White Owl Social Club
Buckman, Central Eastside Industrial
From the minds of Mikey McKennedy and Matt Jacobson, the men who brought us east and west side Sizzle Pies, comes a new bar, smack dab in the middle of Distillery Row. Gustatorily, they aim to serve the needs of everyone of over the age of 21—from omnivores to vegans to those with gluten-free diets—with a full bar, a list of Portland-centric draft beers, and a host of burger and salad options. And while the bar is open to the general public, it sells memberships too, and $25 buys you a yearlong one that entitles you to one White Owl decorative patch, VIP access (allowing you to reserve tickets to upcoming concerts long before they go on sale), and two dozen wooden nickels that you can trade in for $6 cocktails. In the words of general manager Sam Ott, that's $25 for almost $150 worth of drinks alone. She also says to keep your eyes glued on the monthly calendar for upcoming events, including those aforementioned concerts, queer nights, tattoo conventions, and motorcycle and muscle car shows.
White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., 503.236.9672
Juniper & Rye at the Central Hotel
You might remember Chris Bollenbacher and Julie Waldman—they're the team that, until recently, respectively ran the bar and the kitchen programs at Cathedral Park Kitchen. Now, the duo has brought their pre-Prohibition cocktails and small plates concept to a 120-seat space on the ground floor of what will be the future Central Hotel, located along St. Johns' main drag. And while the hotel isn't expected to open until 2014, you can belly up to Bollenbacher's bar now and order a cocktail crafted with freshly squeezed juices and poured over hand-cut ice. And don't expect solely small plates for too long. Waldman's testing out daily specials with the aim of expanding her menu to include a healthy roster of entrées. And it doesn't end there. There's not only room to eat and drink, but room enough to play pool and table tennis, or dance with your partner to the tunes of bands performing swing, old-time and reggae music.
Juniper & Rye at the Central Hotel, 8692 N Lombard St., 503.477.5489