Danwei Canting launched its lunch-only soft opening this week at 803 SE Stark St., and the 2,000-square-foot space has taken on the somewhat Tilt-like atmosphere of a working-person’s canteen — only with Beijing twists. Industrial lighting hangs above indoor seating for 49, and the plexiglass bar facade reveals a network of copper pipes.
The main feature is a brilliant mural by artist Murphy Phelan that blends Portland and Chinese landscapes. Those intimate with China will recognize Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters building and The Monkey King from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Everyone else will recognize the Great Wall of China, Mt. Hood, and Tilikum Crossing, along with Paul Bunyan standing among terracotta warriors from Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di’s famous tomb.
And the big baby holding the trident? That’s actually inspired by the official Portland City seal used in the 1940s and 50s. Not shown in the photos is the 20-seat patio, which Danwei Canting will open when it’s warm, potentially with a shao kao grill.