When Niki's Restaurant shuttered last year after a staggering 38 years in business, reports quickly surfaced that a former rock star — Jacob Carey, of the band Caves — had snapped up the space under the LLC Dig A Pony, for use as a new bar. And along with partners Carey, Aaron Hall, and Page Finlay (vets, collectively, of Someday Lounge, Holocene, Aalto Lounge, Saucebox, and the Bye and Bye), Eater has learned that Departure chef (and recent F&W People's Best New Chef finalist) Greg Gourdet has joined the project as consulting chef.
"We will be creating a warm, inviting and entertaining space, an environment for the mature, energetic and young at heart of Portland," Gourdet says. At the bar, expect a local focus on beers and spirits, with all infusions and bitters done in-house, balancing, according to Gourdet, "between feminine and masculine." With a gastropub influence, expect dishes like an apple and cheddar salad with bacon vinaigrette; sauteed mushrooms served with shoestring potato, fried egg, and salsa verde; and of course, "a great burger as well as great vegan options."
Projected opening for the as-yet-unnamed project: Summer 2011.
· All Previous Dig A Pony Coverage [Eater PDX]
From left to right, Jacob Carey, Page Finlay, and Greg Gourdet