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Chef John Gorham Opening Plaza de Toro Event Space Next Spring

The chef/restaurateur is renovating a former furniture warehouse in the Central Eastside Industrial area.

John Gorham/Facebook

Chef John Gorham wants to get back in the kitchen, but he's not going to do it by opening another restaurant. Instead, the man behind Toro Bravo, Tasty N Sons, Tasty N Alder, and Mediterranean Exploration Company is making plans to open a test kitchen/event space, not unlike Ned Ludd chef Jason French's Elder Hall.

Gorham tells The Oregonian's Michael Russell that he plans to open Plaza De Toro in a 4,000-square-foot former furniture warehouse at 102 SE Taylor Street in the Central Eastside Industrial District next April. It'll be outfitted with a rotisserie large enough to roast whole animals, a six-foot-long grill imported from Spain, plus an oyster bar, a cocktail bar, and a DJ booth.

When the space isn't being used for recipe testing or private events, Gorham will use it for special dinners, many of which will be cooked up by Toro Bravo chefs, and apparently other chefs looking for a place to earn a following. Russell reports that "Gorham says he drew inspiration from both the gastronomic societies of San Sebastian, Spain and from his formative experience at Simpatica, the caterer and supper club that launched a dozen Portland restaurants."