Shipwreck is the walk-ins-only, island-themed pop-up bar and restaurant from bartenders Eric Nelson and Chris Abbott, with former Beast chef de cuisine Jake Stevens. Launching last month at Jacqueline, it immediately drew crowds, with waits up to two hours. Shipwreck’s next pop-up is happening May 15, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Taqueria Nueve, and Nelson shares the inside scoop on avoiding the lines, and the guest bartenders fueling the latest cocktail menu.
Giuseppe Gonzalez is a celebrity in the New York bartending scene, having worked at numerous cocktail bars, including Pegu Club and Clover Club, before opening Suffolk Arms in early 2016. He’s particularly famous for his divisive cocktail invention, the Trinidad Sour. Shipwreck will mark his first time visiting Portland.
“It’s an honor to have Giuseppe here,” says Nelson. “I’ve been following his career for the last five or six years, and the way he bartends and the way he puts his drinks together — his energy behind the bar — are all things I try to emulate here in Portland.”
Also getting behind the stick is Portland bartending vet Evan Zimmerman of Woodsman Tavern, Ava Gene’s, and Laurelhurst Market — the last of which is home to his signature smoked-ice cocktail, Smoke Signals. Emily Mistell (Rum Club, The Alibi) and Den Stephens (Hamlet, Laurelhurst Market) will likewise be joining. Chef Stevens continues to helm the burners, but this time he’s bringing in some Beast kitchen staff. New plates on the á la carte menu include a bay shrimp salad and bay shrimp roll.
For those who were not able to find a seat last time, or who waited in line for an hour, Nelson suggests showing up early, putting your name on the list, and then popping next door to Rum Club, which will be serving seafood and its own Piña Colada in partnership with Shipwreck. The Shipwreck staff will call when a table is ready. (Note Taqueria Nueve will halt service for the evening to accommodate Shipwreck.)