[A sneak peek inside the remodeled Ringside Burnside, 3/8/11]
As Eater reported last December, Ringside Steakhouse will retain its temporary downtown Fox Tower location — which it's occupied as the W. Burnside mothership underwent a major, year-long renovation — in order to open the first Ringside Fish House, scheduled to debut sometime this summer. "It's turned out to be a successful restaurant on its own" says owner Craig Peterson, whose family has owned the Ringside for the past 67 years.
Chef Johnny Nunn, formerly of West Linn's Five-O-Three Restaurant, has been named executive chef of the new venture. Nunn has been working at the temporary Ringside since last summer, experimenting with seafood-based dishes that have popped up on the steakhouse's "specials" menu. "We wanted to modernize the existing menu a little bit," Nunn says, adding that Ringside's seafood venture will be a seasonal, American contemporary fish house. "We're not reinventing anything... we're hoping to be creative in other ways," Nunn says. A rough working menu features 12-14 entrees including catch from the Mediterranean and the Pacific Rim, a special "Catch of the Day" offering, and selections from a raw bar, which will be installed to complement the location's already-popular happy hour.
Ringside Steakhouse's no-longer-temporary location will close on March 18, with a grand re-opening of the Burnside space scheduled for March 28. The 3,500-square-foot expansion of the decades-old restaurant still retains its swank Mad Men ambience, only with a newly added 40-seat dining room, underground wine cellar (accessed by elevator, it holds anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 bottles), and expanded kitchen space that features an in-house dry-age refrigerator.
The Fox Tower location will undergo a "minor remodel" — mostly to install a raw bar — and shoot for an early- to mid-summer opening, reborn as Ringside Fish House. As Peterson noted, the new restaurant should add more than 100 jobs to downtown Portland.
· RingSide Steakhouse [Official site]
· All Previous Ringside Coverage [Eater PDX]