Eater just received word that construction is underway for the Epif Restaurant & Pisco Lounge, a vegetarian restaurant by Nicolle Dirks and Jose Arancibia (nicknamed Pepe), located at 404 NE 28th Avenue, near the Laurhelhurst Theater. From the description provided by Nicolle, the décor will likely have DIYers taking notes: Epif Restaurant & Pisco Lounge will be built around a pre-existing tree in Nicolle and Pepe's front yard, and design elements will include skateboards, old church pews, gym bleachers, and tables brought by the owners all the way from Chile.
Nicolle and Pepe recently returned from Valparaiso, Chile, where they operated a restaurant for six years. "In Chile, we served non-South American cuisine and drinks," says Nicolle. "So here in Portland, we're going to do the opposite, and serve South American-inspired cuisine and drinks." The menu will center on traditional dishes from the Andes region made vegetarian using Northwest ingredients.
Pepe will cook, and he won't be alone in the kitchen. Joining him will be Daniel Vargas, who holds a degree from a Chilean culinary arts college and is a long-time friend and fellow musician. "For them, that same artistic expression translates into the kitchen," says Nicolle. There's one big change, however: In Chile, Daniel cooked Pepe's recipes, and here in Portland, they will collaborate in the kitchen.
And "Epif?" It's short for epiphany.
Look for more details coming shortly.