Fall is absolutely the most exciting time to be a diner in Portland, and 2013 proves no exception — this year, at least 15 new spots are scheduled to open between Labor Day and the end of November. Here's a chronological guide to everything you need to know about the big fall openings this year — including some major new intel about spots like Ken Forkish's Trifecta Tavern (including what defines a "baker's restaurant"), Broder Nord (which will feature a grab-and-go marketplace in the Broder mold), and the Richmond Bar (OP exclusive meats, of course).
1) NE Alberta: The Sugar Cube
Address: 3039 NE Alberta St.
Major Players: Kir Jensen
The Situation: Jensen cultivated a following for her playful take on cupcakes, cookies, and floats (among other desserts) at her iconic food cart the Sugar Cube. After years of planning, Jensen's finally ready to open her first brick-and-mortar bakery, which will see a focus beyond just sweets: The Sugar Cube cafe will focus "on a small, well-curated breakfast menu, breakfast pastries, and all kinds of sugary goodness throughout the day," Jensen says. Also on-tap: a dessert CSA (modified here to stand for "Community Sweets Alliance").
Projected opening: early September
2) Division/Clinton: The Richmond Bar
Address: 3203 SE Division St.
Major Players: Nate Tilden (Olympic Provisions, Clyde Common), Eric Moore (Victory Bar)
The Situation: OP and Clyde empire builder Nate Tilden brings a neighborhood bar to restaurant row, and if the nearby Victory Bar leans more toward spaetzle and German specialties, the Richmond embraces English pub grub. According to Tilden, early menu drafts feature a variety of hand pies (beef tongue and root vegetable; sweetheart ham, cauliflower, and cheddar cheese sauce), a garlic burger, and "steakhouse-style" wedge salad. Unsurprisingly, OP meats will feature heavily, with a few OP products that will be exclusively available at the Richmond (they're currently in the R&D stage). Upon opening, expect a bar with 10 beers on tap and cocktails that are a mix of "spirit-driven classics... and session-able 'cafe' style drinks. We will use plenty of bitters, Amaros, vermouths and other herbaceous items."
Projected opening: mid-September [Photo: Yelp]
3) West End: Boxer Ramen
Address: 1035 SW Stark St.
Major Players: Micah Camden and Katie Poppe (Little Big Burger, Boxer Sushi, Blue Star Donuts)
The Situation: Long before he built a burger empire, Micah Camden cooked up Japanese small-plates at his NE restaurant Yakuza, and 2012's opening of Boxer Sushi showed Camden's loyalty to Japanese flavors. Details are still tightly under wraps, but the West End's high-profile retail "alleyway" seems the appropriate site for the 30-seat ramen bar Boxer Ramen, which Poppe confirms is still about four weeks away from opening.
Projected opening: late September [Photo: Union Way/Facebook]
4) NE Killingsworth: La Taq
Address: 1625 NE Killingsworth St.
Major Players: Rodney Muirhead (Podnah's Pit BBQ)
The Situation: Since it was announced in early 2013, margarita lovers had their fingers crossed that La Taq — the Tex-Mex bar by Podnah's pit boss Rodney Muirhead — would be open in time for summertime drinking. Things have been pushed back to a vague September opening, but menu details have helped tide folks over: A recent update revealed a Mexican-leaning menu of sopes and tamales.
Projected opening: September
Also in September:
· Bartender Tommy Klus and Produce Row owner Alan Davis promise 1,500 whiskies on the shelf at their West End bar Multnomah Whiskey Library.
5) West End/Downtown: Maurice
Address: 921 Oak St.
Major Players: Kristen D. Murray (Paley's Place, Fenouil)
The Situation: Celebrated pastry chef Kristen Murray will finally open her much-awaited brick-and-mortar patisserie, but as she told Eater earlier this year, the concept will apply her pastry techniques to more than just sweets. Maurice, a hybrid "pastry luncheonette," promises to combine ideas from "pastry shop, bakery, and diner" in an airy space. Earlier this summer, Murray successfully raised $40,000 via a Kickstarter campaign.
Projected opening: October
6) Northeast: Broder Nord
Address: 2240 N. Interstate Ave.
Major Players: Peter Bro
The Situation: Broder's sister restaurant to the Nord will be more than just a rehash of the popular SE Clinton brunch spot: The restaurant, which takes over the Gotham Tavern space, will highlight a seafood-heavy dinner menu " focusing on the traditions and preparations of Swedish cuisine," says owner Peter Bro, not to mention a grab-and-go market during breakfast and lunch. The market will offer everything necessary to re-create the Broder experience at home, from service pieces like bords and cast-iron pans to pantry items. "The market will also sell house-made products such as our lemon curd, lingonberry and pear mustards, and jams," Bro says. "I am very excited about the Market's potential, and Broder's position in the Lower Mississippi section of the city."
Projected opening: mid-October / mid-November [Photo: Gotham Tavern/Facebook]
Also in October:
· The West End's Union Way will welcome Tim Healea's mini-bakery Little T Baker, featuring a "greatest hits" menu from its SE Division location.
· According to owner Octavian Jurj, Swan Island burger joint Tilt will debut in the Pearl by mid-to-late October.
· Former House Spirits distiller Colin Howard will open a hybrid bar/bottleshop Oso Market & Bar next door to Dig a Pony.
7) Central Eastside Industrial: Trifecta Tavern
Address: 726 SE Sixth Ave.
Major Players: Ken Forkish (Ken's Artisan Bakery), Rich Meyer (Higgins)
The Situation: Perhaps one of Portland's most-watched fall openings, baker Ken Forkish branches out with what he calls a "baker's restaurant," featuring an eclectic menu that "wants you to come back to spin whatever kind of meal you want from it." While Forkish plans a return to production bread baking, longtime Higgins chef de cuisine Rich Meyer will execute a menu of mostly small plates — expect "buckets" of steamed clams and oysters, veggie plates and salads paired with breads, and "modern-day tavern usuals" like a burger, whole-roasted trout, and deviled eggs. The 90-seat restaurant will feature exclusively booths and the bar for seating, adding to a cozy, communal vibe, and Forkish hints at a possible playful Tavern touch: "I'm thinking a bread trolley rolling through the dining room would be fun. You will be able to have a warm just-out-of-the-oven baguette with dinner with fresh butter. Where else can you get that?"
Projected opening: November [Photo: @KenForkish/Twitter]
8) Central Eastside Industrial: Taqueria Nueve
Address: 727 SE Washington St.
Major Players: Billly Schumaker
The Situation: Announced just last week, it's certainly the most-anticipated restaurant resurrection of the year: Billly Schumaker's much-missed Taqueria Nueve, which closed up shop in 2008, will be reborn in the former Beaker & Flask space, with a menu combining favorites from both T9 and Schumaker's more upscale Mexican restaurant, the Pearl's D.F. Fans of the T9 original are buzzing over the return of its wild boar tacos, margaritas, and ceviches. This one's still developing.
Projected opening: November [Photo: Avila/EPDX]
9) Division/Clinton: Bollywood Theater SE
Address: 3050 SE Division St.
Major Players: Troy MacLarty
The Situation: Chef Troy MacLarty spins off his popular NE Alberta Indian restaurant with a sister spot on restaurant row — promising more square footage, as more seasonally inspired menu of Indian street food, and a 700-square-foot market offering cooking ingredients and grab-and-go offerings.
Projected opening: late November
Also in November:
· Prost! owner Dan Hart opens a sister German beer bar in the form of NE's Stammtish, promising an expanded food menu and 18 taps.
· The long-stewing NW 23rd outpost of the Aussie hand-pie spot Pacific Pie Co. plans an opening in the first or second week of November, a rep confirms — just in time for Thanksgiving pie season.
· Portland's fourth outpost of Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood's sandwich spot Bunk Sandwiches will debut on NE Alberta.
A few anticipated spots are already confirmed for December, including a new outpost of St. Jack on NW 23rd Avenue, featuring a separate bar with a Francophile food menu. One of last fall's anticipated openings, Nate Tilden and Jeffrey Morgenthaler's bar-under-Clyde-Common, Pepe Le Moko, is "back on track," according to Tilden, with hopes to open its doors before the end of the year.