Image of Carafe Bistro courtesy official site
Downtown's Carafe Bistro — the nine-year-old French restaurant purchased by Kurt Huffman's ChefStable Group in April — will officially close its doors tomorrow evening to make way for the new ChefStable project. According to a Facebook post, Carafe (which opened in 2003 as a partnership between then-couple Julie Hunter and chef Pascal Sauton) celebrated its final day of full service yesterday, and will toast regulars with two "happy hour" events tonight and tomorrow; offering final $1 wine pours and free appetizers.
Though previous reports suggested that the new ChefStable restaurant would simply "update" the Carafe concept, Huffman confirms that project will feature a new name and concept. Chef Troy Furuta, who modernized the Carafe menu in its final days, will take the restaurant in a "completely different direction," Huffman says. "I call the food that he does 'old-school Continental' cuisine. It's super-traditional, technique-based cuisine. It's not going to be [strictly] French or Italian or German or anything like that. But it's beautiful and surprising; clean, high-technique food."
After Carafe's shutter, Huffman estimates a remodel and build-out between five to eight weeks, with hopes to reopen sometime in July. According to Huffman, the space will undergo a "full and complete remodel" — which includes nearly doubling the size of the current bar, opening up the kitchen, and completely remodeling the floor, tiles, and ceiling. "The space itself is going from 45 seats to 65 seats, most of that gross is in the bar area," Huffman says. "We're adding the most delightful bathroom in Portland history — probably the smallest; but, European-sized." The spot's semi-enclosed outdoor space (which sits under a glass canopy) will be completely enclosed and heated for the colder months.
Per Huffman, confirmation on the spot's new name and menu forthcoming. Stay tuned.
· Carafe Bistro [Official site]
· All Previous Carafe Bistro Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Previous ChefStable Coverage [Eater PDX]