A new bar is opening on Belmont, complete with cocktails named after punk bands, a Southern fried chef hawking breakfast food until 2:30 a.m., and front and back patios for al fresco dining. Set to open August 1, Blackheart will fill the recently vacated Wild Abandon space, which served brunch on Belmont for more than two decades.
Owner Justin King, who used to own the shuttered Luchador on Albina, is partnering with two longtime Portlanders, Vintage Real Estate broker Lisa Stanger and “Photobooth Chick” Jocelyn Dean. The team originally planned to open a music venue, but when the legendary brunch cafe closed, the team felt obligated to step in. “We’ve all been in Portland for years, I’ve been in Portland for two decades, and we knew we had to grab it before it turned into a townhouse or something,” King said. “We saw all the places we loved closing, and we wanted to create one final homage to old Portland.”
Part of that homage will be the music: All three came up in the ‘80s punk scene, so the soundtrack will stick to old punk and ‘80s new wave. Cocktails will be named for bands, as well. The one thing that won’t feel old Portland is likely the food: New Orleans chef Brian McKnight will man the burners, flipping flapjacks and loading Benedicts with fried chicken. “I wanted to avoid doing a repeat of what everyone is doing right now, Southern-style food, but it naturally comes out in his cooking,” King said. The chef has already planned pancakes with bourbon maple syrup, shrimp and grits, a homemade biscuit Benedict with fried chicken, and the classic Creole dish Eggs Sardou, with creamed spinach and artichokes. Pitchers of bloody marys and mimosas will also hit the bar to wash down those eggs and pancakes. For the vegans and vegetarians, the restaurant will also have tofu scrambles and other meat-free items. Blackheart will be located at 2411 SE Belmont Street.
• Blackheart [Facebook]
• Portland Will Lose Another Institution as Wild Abandon Prepares to Shutter [EPDX]
• Luchador in North Portland Hangs Up its Mask [EPDX]
• The Photobooth Chick [Facebook]