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ChefStable and Iceland's KEX Offer Grove Hotel Proposal

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Photo of the Grove Hotel courtesy Mark S. via Yelp

Old Town's long-stalled hostel project the Grove Hotel once made many promises: The "Asian-themed" youth hostel was supposed to bring everything from a Lonesome's Pizza brick-and-mortar to a PDX outpost of celebrity chef Eddie Huang's Baohaus to Chinatown. Development stalled last spring, and now, the Portland Development Commission has accepted five new proposals for the Grove Hotel space, including one co-submitted by ChefStable head honcho Kurt Huffman and the Iceland hostel KEX, which operates a property in Reykjavik.

According to the proposal — uploaded in its 92-page entirety by the Oregonian — the KEX/ChefStable version of the Grove would include a Nordic gastropub by chef Gunnar Gislason, who operates three restaurants in Iceland. Huffman confirms the restaurant project would be Gislason's first in the United States; Gislason's Sæmundur í Sparifötunum restaurant in Reykjavik offers burgers and "other bread stuff," plates like grilled beef salad, and bar snacks like dried catfish with butter.

Two other proposals, which also call for the space to remain a hotel/hostel, involve culinary components: Backers of City Hostel Seattle propose a hostel featuring a ground-floor coffee shop, while Portland's Naito Development and NYC's Eagle Point Hotel call for three culinary concepts within the space, a "full-service destination restaurant," a coffee shop, and a "speakeasy lounge with signature cocktails and mixologists."

According to the Oregonian, the commission will review all five proposals and make a "recommendation" by the end of April. Most projects plan a timeline of opening by spring 2016.
· The Grove Hotel: Five Finalists Vying for Portland Development Commission's Blessing [OregonLive]
· All Previous ChefStable Coverage [Eater PDX]

The Grove Hotel

421 W Burnside St., Portland, OR