Portland’s next hostel restaurant will be have a Michelin-starred powerhouse running the show. Kex Hostel, a high-end “social hotel” in Reykjavík, Iceland, is opening its second location in Central Eastside, with a restaurant, bar, and rooftop patio bar with Iceland’s Ólafur Ágústsson at the helm, along with a yet unnamed Portland chef. Ágústsson is the food and beverage director of both the original Kex location and Iceland’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Dill. Sean O’Connor, the general manager at Portland’s lauded French/American restaurant Le Pigeon, will be taking over floor operations.
The incoming Portland Kex is going into the historic Vivian Apartments off of the Burnside Bridge. The building was recently purchased by Kex Iceland founder Kristinn Vilbergsson, Portland’s restaurant group Chefstable, and local real estate company Green Light Development, and will be getting a serious renovation for the new venture. Portland partners Hennebery Eddy Architects and R&H Construction will be working with Kex’s Icelandic designer, Hálfdan Pedersen, to create a space that blends Scandinavian design with Pacific Northwest style.
The hotel is still a long way out, with an estimated arrival of late 2019, though if it follows Portland’s trend of restaurant openings we might not see it until 2020. So far, there are no details on what the menu might look like, but if it resembles the Reykjavík location, expect fish, root vegetables, salads, burgers, and fried chicken.
Update Monday, September 10, 2018, 4:20 p.m.: Additional details added about kitchen staff.
Update July 30, 2019,