Kate and Alex Wood, the husband and wife duo behind Aalto Lounge, are opening a new cocktail bar in the Beaumont neighborhood this winter. Wonderly is taking over the space previously inhabited by Cha Cha Cha, directly next door to their casual Thai drinking spot Bang Bang, and will focus on the staples: cocktails, draft beer, a wine program, and a kitchen putting out straightforward comfort foods.
The pair are designing the cocktail menu with Aalto’s bar manager, co-owner, and celebrated bartender Andrew Moore, who won Willamette Week’s reader’s choice awards for best bartender for two consecutive years. The team hasn’t released any details yet, but guests can expect the drinks to be generally clean, straightforward, and well-crafted, with a mix of classic drinks and newer creations. “We’ve got the impression working here for the last four years [in Beaumont] that the neighborhood needs a dedicated cocktail bar,” Kate Wood says, explaining that Bang Bang and Perlot down the street are more like restaurants that have drink programs.
The kitchen will be the biggest deviation from their earlier projects—a much larger space than Aalto’s means fewer limitations. Kate Wood mentioned the possibility of burgers and other comfort foods, but it won’t dip into Thai or other SE Asian influences, leaving that next door. The answer to the burning question of whether there will be a $3 happy hour menu like Aalto’s is “no,” but there will be a happy hour, likely an early and late night one, hewing closer to Bang Bang’s model of discounted drinks and food.
The bar’s name is a play on Brazilian pianist Walter Wanderley, whose music inspires both Kate and Alex. Like his bubbly tunes from the ‘50s and ‘60s, the bar will sport a mid-century vibe, but promises to be warmer than their flagship lounge, with more color, lots of natural light, some plants, and a horseshoe-shaped marble bar. There won’t be much of Cha Cha Cha left; even the floor has been torn up to be replaced by white hex tiles. Co-owner Mike Creighton will likely lend his signature artistic style to the space—he’s provided the paintings and some of the design for their other ventures.
The team hasn’t set an opening date, but the Woods are shooting for late December or early January. The bar is expected to open from 5 p.m. to midnight daily, with possible extended hours in the summer and on weekends.
- Aalto Lounge [Official]
- Bang Bang [Official]
- All Previous Aalto Lounge Coverage [EPDX]
- All Previous Bang Bang Coverage [EPDX]