Northwest Portland continues to up its game: XLB, the popular Chinese restaurant known for its soup dumplings and baozi, will open its second location in Slabtown.
As first reported by the Oregonian, XLB owner Jasper Shen will open a 45-seat restaurant in the Leland James building near New Seasons this fall, assuming the renovations go smoothly. The restaurant will be very similar to the original, with a counter-service menu of noodles, greens, and buns, as well as tap beer and wine and occasional specials.
The original XLB opened on North Williams in 2017, Shen’s solo project — the chef was a part of the opening team at Portland mainstay Aviary. The restaurant opened with massive crowds, quickly becoming the neighborhood spot for Chinese food. Now, after dialing in his menu, getting his employees health insurance, and finding a new business partner (Laura Tran, one of the restaurant’s first employees), Shen feels ready to grow.
“It was the original intention that this would be scalable,” Shen says. “We’ve been actively looking for a year now, but this one felt the best. [Slabtown] is just one of the few areas in inner Portland that’s still growing.”
Shen is hesitant to get ahead of himself, but there’s a possibly XLB will continue to expand with new locations. “If it’s not a total disaster, we’ll talk about maybe doing something else,” he says. “We understand that the first thing is making sure this works.”
• XLB [Official]
• XLB [Facebook]
• XLB will bring its soup dumplings to Slabtown [The O]
• Get a Sneak Peek Inside XLB, Jasper Shen’s New ‘Home-Style’ Chinese Restaurant [EPDX]
• Previous XLB coverage [EPDX]