Now softly open on downtown's famous/infamous Ankeny Alley, Tryst is a new restaurant and late-night hangout with an art deco, 1940s vibe. Partners in business and life, AdaZoe and Eric Rose own Tryst, and the restaurant serves "Asian soul food" by Ryan Hunter (Grain and Gristle, Muselet) and rocks all-vinyl dance parties into the wee hours weekends.
"I really loved Berbati's live music," says AdaZoe, reflecting on the fact that two generations of Portlanders grew up inside the former nightlife hotspot. To keep that authentic vibe, Tryst retains the old, neon Berbati's Pan sign, and the large space is a mix of hardwood and copious quantities of black leather. Berbati's epic, all-copper floor has been removed to reveal an even older hardwood floor, but you'll still find all that copper in the bar area in the form of wainscoting.
AdaZoe says she loves craft cocktails but she also wants to keep prices reasonable, so expect a cocktail menu that splits the difference. She says you'll find $5 well drinks, but also, cocktails made "old-school style" (e.g. "Martinis should be stirred unless specified otherwise"). AdaZoe managed the nearby XV club and restaurant about ten years ago; helped to open Departure; and most recently managed Conquistador. Rose is a local photographer.
Right now, Tryst is softly open for dinner and cocktails, from Wednesday to Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and it will hold its grand opening Saturday, April 2. The technical address is 19 SW 2nd Ave., but the entrance is on Ankeny Alley across from the art-bar, Valentine's. Happy hour just kicked off, with a food menu, including the Tryst Burger with hoisin aioli, Sichuan pickles, and fried shallots, and dollar-off drinks, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Once up and running, Tryst will open seven days a week.
And the ace up AdaZoe and Rose's sleeve? Opaline's. To open later this spring. Opaline's will be an adjacent cafe keeping daylight hours. "The two will never be open at the same time," says AdaZoe.