Have a hankering for the pizza of high-school-cafeteria days? The expansive renovation of Washington High School, which kicked off with the opening of the Revolution Hall performance venue in 2015, is about to enter its final stage: the Buckman Public House restaurant will open this month, according to the O. The giant restaurant — close to 300 seats — joins the 50-seat Marthas Cafe, at 1300 SE Stark St. No exact opening date has been confirmed.
Experienced chefs Jeff Emerson (Tucci, Cafe Castagna) and Ian Wilson (Fenrir) are gearing up to serve what appears to be a Southern-spiked menu of American classics: clam chowder, macaroni and cheese, prime rib, meatloaf, a flattop burger, etc. Happy hour will feature a high-school-cafeteria-inspired pizza special, which you may or may not have to douse in single-serving salt and pepper packets to achieve optimal flavor.
Buckman Public House comes from Gregg Matteucci, David Regan, and Suzanne Regan, the restaurateurs behind Lake Oswego’s Tucci and the now shuttered Fenouil. On Tucci’s Facebook page, they write:
It is a homecoming of sorts. Tucci was inspired after our great-grandmother, Mary Matteucci, who worked at the Lido for almost 50 years, which was located just a few blocks from Washington High. In fact, our own grandmother, Elva, graduated from there. We are truly proud to be part of such a significant institution back in the Buckman neighborhood.
The bar program will definitely be something to watch: The team includes managers Beau Raymond and John Paul Longnecker (Rum Club) with bartenders Kevin Ludwig (Laurelhurst Market, Beaker and Flask) and Pete Maben (Vintage Cocktail Lounge). When the summer really heats up, look for frozen cocktails like boozy slushies and soft serve among the offerings
While an exact opening hasn’t been released, you can check out the recent state of construction on the restaurant’s Garow account.