Photo of Fish Grotto courtesy McD22 via Flickr
One of Portland's oldest restaurants shuttered its doors this week: According to sources, the Fish Grotto Seafood Restaurant quietly closed on Tuesday night and has not been open since. A call to the restaurant confirms that the Grotto is currently closed, but that they are still serving dinner next door in the new-ish Sand Bar. When asked when the Fish Grotto might re-open, no date was given, but an employee said that "they were re-inventing" the business.
UPDATE: In an email sent to employees, Fish Grotto's general manager announces:
"After careful consideration, we have decided to close the Fish Grotto indefinitely to retool the business. This change has taken effect as of 1.7.14. Please note, we are closing the Fish Grotto only. The Sand Bar is NOT closing, the Sand bar will remain open. We will be posting updated hours of operation for the Sand Bar soon."
Established in 1891 as Zack's Oyster House, the Grotto has been a downtown mainstay for 100-plus years. An old-school seafood house that has seen its share of up and down markets, the Grotto also served as the kitchen for various gay-friendly Stark Street and Burnside bars that were attached to it (the now closed RedCap Garage, Panorama, and Aura) as well as the still-open tiki-ish Sand Bar, which is dedicated to a variety of different rum cocktails.
As for the closure, the rumor earns more weight due to talk floating around that this part of the block is being considered for another "top-secret" project from some of the folks associated with the Ace Hotel. Updates as they become available.
· Fish Grotto [Official site]