Update, 10.6.17: Owner Steve McLain has confirmed Oba restaurant has closed. Here is his full farewell message:
“I am grateful to have been a part of the PDX food community for more than two decades. Oba has been a labor of love and a passion. Since 1997, I have relished opening the doors for business at Oba each day.
“What a phenomenal journey! It has been an adventure, creating a vibrant place in the neighborhood where people gather to celebrate life and enjoy good food and drink.
“I am deeply thankful for the talented and loyal staff who embraced the Oba vision and culture. Their energy and commitment allowed us to bring a vacant warehouse to life, long before the Pearl District became a hip destination.
The Oba team is composed of many outstanding people, who served in both the front and back of the restaurant. These dedicated professionals are now seeking employment in our industry. I highly recommend them.
“Thank you to every one of our fabulous guests for your love, support, and loyalty over the years. It has been an honor to serve you. To my long-time vendors, colleagues, and advisors who have helped me navigate the rugged terrain of the restaurant industry, I raise my glass. I am grateful.”
Original coverage, 10.5.17: After nearly two decades, the Oba restaurant appears to have shuttered in the Pearl District. The Portland Food and Drink blog received two reader tips confirming the restaurant had closed; Oba’s website is down; and reservations are no longer available through OpenTable. Eater has reached out to Oba restaurant owner Steve McLain to verify the news.
McLain also owned Beaverton’s Hall Street Grill, which closed overnight in February 2017 after nearly 25 years. Eater reached out to McLain at the time. The reason for the sudden closure was never established.
Located at 555 NW 12th Ave., Oba was founded in 1997 and known for playful Latin-inspired flavors. Chef Scott Neuman ruled the burners as executive chef until 2015, when Oba brought on big-time San Francisco chef Luis Contreras. Most recently, Don Anderson served as head chef. Look here for updates as details emerge.