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Kurt Huffman’s Omerta to Shutter This Weekend After Just Three Months

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Was trying to turn back the clocks on American dining too much?

Dina Avila/EPDX

After just three months at 614 SW Park Ave., the “old school New York Italian restaurant” Omerta will serve its last noodle on November 18, inside the new Hotel Dossier, as first reported by the Merc. The project was the first by Microwave, a new restaurant group formed by Chefstable founder Kurt Huffman (Ox, St. Jack) and members of the Lightning Bar Collective (Century Bar, Jackknife), John Janulis and Liam Duffy.

Established by such a prominent team, Omerta’s shutter is flabbergasting. The restaurant had also seemed to be getting good.

The O named its cacio e pepe one of the best pastas in Portland just last week (the pasta is prepared table side in a hallowed out cheese wheel, which is either spectacular innovation or a gaudy gimmick depending on opinion). Also last week, WWeek described Omerta as “The Oddfather,” in a more mixed review.

What made the restaurant shutter so quickly? One leading theory: Omerta wanted to turn back the clocks, bringing back a classic form of American dining with white tablecloths and upscale service.

When Huffman first announced the news, he told Eater Omerta would not be a chef-driven restaurant, at a time when the right chef can make or break a restaurant. And when WWeek visited, it noted dim lighting and sketchy cell service pretty much prohibited Instagram: It is in no way clear whether any restaurant can survive without Instagram right now.

Perhaps bucking these trends didn’t pay off?


614 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR Visit Website