Southwest Portland is getting a new boutique butcher shop. Erick Paulson, a food lover and former investment banker, is launching Block and Board at 8421 SW Terwilliger Blvd. later this summer, where he'll offer a full butcher case of local, naturally raised meats alongside six taps for growler refills. "You can get everything in one stop," he says. "We'll have all the cuts, and we'll have all your sauces. And we'll have charcoal and pellets for sale as well. And you can get a growler of beer."
Paulson says he'll focus on sourcing meats from local farms whenever possible, with an emphasis on animals raised without steroids and GMO feed. He'll also sell things like housemade sausages, jerkies, pulled pork, and smoked ham, turkey and brisket. The housemade items will also be available as sandwiches or rice bowls, to eat on the go or from one of the shop's counter seats or outdoor picnic tables. "We hope to have grills going outside in the summer and to expand our menu a bit then," he says.
As for the drinks, expect about six taps of Oregon-only beers. "It'll be a breakdown of more popular local beers, and some people might not know. And a tap or two for a little guy no one else has, in case you really want to dive deep into the local market," he says. He'll also offer local wines by the bottle, and wine tastings "whenever I can get someone to come out and taste wines with us," he says. "I want to try to keep a program going, especially featuring some of the little guys."
The idea for Block and Board spun out of Paulson's attempt to open a Portland outpost of Seattle's popular Bill the Butcher natural butcher shop chain. "I was trying to bring their idea down here," he says. But when the company became mired in controversy and financial issues last fall, Paulson had to change plans. "I had to scramble and come with our own project," he says. "I had to redefine it and make some changes."
Perhaps it was fate, as the delay meant he was able to find the perfect space, a former café that years ago used to be his high school hangout. "Papaccino's was there, and when I was in high school, before cell phones, my friends and I would all meet there. So this location is near and dear to my heart. When I saw it was available, I knew that's where I'd like to start. It's funny how everything lined up. Now that it's starting to come together it's really exciting."
Paulson is hoping Block and Board is just the first of many, but for now he's focusing on just getting the first shop off the ground. "I want to get one open and see how it goes. If the market demands it, we'll try to find other spots. But that's phase two and phase three."
Block and Board (opening Summer 2015): 8421 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland