Cousins Shadi and Ramzy Hattar (the latter, an investor in Oven & Shaker and the upcoming Kachka) want to bring the working-class vibe back to the Pearl District: Their rustic neighborhood bar, River Pig Saloon, makes it official today inside NW's historic Gadsby Building (also home to the NW location of Barista). According to Ramzy Hattar, the 60-seat saloon aims to create a Cheers-like atmosphere in a space replete with 800-year-old Douglas Fir beams and exposed brick, accents left over from the neighborhood's history as lumberjack-laden loading docks. "I think [the Pearl's] gotten a little bit ahead of itself, in terms of being unapproachable to a lot of us in the industry, a lot of us down here," Hattar says. "We don't really have a place to have a drink, watch a game with friends... I think the great thing about [the bar] is it fits all demographics."
The 15-seat bar features "hearty" barstools, and three televisions — including one embedded into an upright piano, and another swaddled in Pendelton fabric — will be tuned to sporting events (especially Portland Timbers games). At the bar, six beers (not including one cask-aged option) are available on-tap, with the River Pig's "house beer" — a collaboration with Breakside Brewery — expected to roll out next week. "We felt like if we were going to have a signature beer for the bar, we were going to have a pilsner," Hattar says of the beer, which is "low on the bitter content."
Bartender Sean Hoard (most famously of Teardrop Lounge) consulted on the eight-item cocktail menu, which features a spicy margarita (the "Cool Hand Luke") and vodka/lime/raspberry "California Widow." (According to Hattar, all cocktails are $8 to "keep with the theme of the place," well drinks are $5.) On the food menu, expect renditions of bar classics — bangers and mash, a buffalo burger, and mac-and-cheese — plus some unexpected offerings (like pan-fried chicken livers and the vegetarian "Oregon's Finest Bowl," with quinoa, edamame, feta, soy nuts, etc.).