Next up in this November's epic string of auspicious openings: Interurban, the casual neighborhood tavern by chef John Gorham (Toro Bravo/Tasty N Sons), the ever-ubiquitous Kurt Huffman (ChefStable), and Dan Hart (Prost) will hold its soft opening this Friday after a relatively quick build-out in the former Lovely Hula Hands space. According to co-owner Renee Gorham, the spot — which gets its name from the electric trains that ran up-and-down N. Mississippi in the early 1900s — channels that early 20th-century ethos: "It's very Art Deco meets modern saloon."
The Gorhams (John also designed his Toro Bravo and Tasty N Sons spaces) — and derived much aesthetic inspiration from New American saloons in New York. "We were really inspired by a lot of the bars in Brooklyn," R. Gorham says. "We also love those classic New York restaurants — Balthazar is one of John and I's favorites; Rye in Brooklyn was an inspiration — spaces that feel really old was something we wanted to model our design after. It definitely embodies a really Old World feel." Like Gorham's other two properties, all woodwork and tabletops come courtesy artist and designer Tim Lundholm.
And the menu? "Interurban is a bar first," Gorham says. "We'll have great food, but we really want to keep the focus on the bar... Originally, when we talked about opening Tasty at night for dinner service, we wanted to focus on a bar-type atmosphere... [but] people often dictate what they want your restaurant to be." Tasty N Sons bartender Jeremy Mielen will move to Interurban to run the liquor program, featuring a classic-inspired cocktail list, 12 beers on tap, and five wines on tap. And according to Renee, J. Gorham will serve "gastropub food" (think fish and chips and shepard's pie) inspired by a new spit rotisserie oven.
After a period for additional staff training after the soft opening, Interurban makes its grand debut on December 1. Scheduled hours moving forward: 4pm-2am, seven days a week.
· All Previous Interurban Coverage [Eater PDX]