Dan Hart, owner of bars like Interurban, Stammtisch, Prost! and its exceedingly popular food cart pod, is expanding his empire across the river. This September, Hart will open Bantam Tavern in the former NW 21st Laughing Planet, his first professional foray into Northwest Portland. Bantam will revolve around accessible, polished gastropub fare and craft cocktails, provided by two of his star resources: Stammtisch chef Graham Chaney will handle the food, while Interurban bar manager Ollie Gahlsdorf has the bar on lock.
Hart has wanted to open something in Northwest Portland for a while, and when longtime friend and Laughing Planet CEO Franz Spielvogel mentioned the opening on NW 21st, Hart snatched the opportunity to move in. It’s a small-ish space with around 25-30 seats inside, which Hart used as inspiration for the name. “It comes from a bantam, like a small bird or chicken,” he says. “It’s that ‘small in stature but big in heart’ kind of idea.” The seating doubles, however, if you include Bantam’s patio — “You know how I love my beer gardens,” Hart adds.
Like many buildings in that neighborhood, the location is a brick, early-1900s build, which Hart is in the process of renovating; he plans to reintegrate the original design of the space into the incoming bar, with plenty of exposed brick. The food will somewhat reflect the space, as well — rustic but polished, mainly consisting of “casual small plates executed at a high level.” Overall, Hart says the bar is meant to be a local haunt over a citywide hotspot. “We hope it’s a destination, but we want it to be a neighborhood pub first,” he says. Bantam will open in the early fall.
• Interurban [Official]
• Interurban [Facebook]
• All Interurban coverage [EPDX]
• All Stammtisch coverage [EPDX]
• All Prost! coverage [EPDX]
• Portland’s best food cart pod adds cocktail, sandwich carts; lures Little Conejo [The O]
• Laughing Planet [Official]