Grasshoppers and tequila are coming to East Burnside.
It’s no biblical plague — just the incoming bar and restaurant from a team of Portland dining veterans. Along with agave spirits and the protein-packed insects, Bar Dune—coming this summer from Sizzle Pie creator Matthew Jacobson—will feature a full bar, a deep roster of no and low-proof drinks, and bites incorporating alternative proteins like grasshoppers.
Bar Dune’s menu is designed by seafood pop-up Gusto’s Kyle Christy, who previously spent time at the Northeast Portland wine bar Dame. Christy is still developing the menu, but he plans to serve several veggie-heavy bowls, small plates, and shareable snacks.
Jacobson said that the bar’s style is influenced by “the desert, mid-century design and a subtle hint of sci-fi.” Senior project coordinator Annie Brix is designing the space, and said that Bar Dune’s name and aesthetic grew from a chance shopping find. “The first conversation about the ‘vibe,’ of the bar was inspired by a large mid-century weaving that I saw a few years ago at The Good Mod and couldn’t get out of my head,” Brix said. “[The bar will be] warm and desert-y and perhaps/hopefully a little refined.”
Jacobson, Brix, and the rest of their team have been anxious to re-animate the space since a 2017 fire next door shuttered the previous business and saddled them with a slew of structural and permitting delays. Much remains unfinished: The team is still making decisions about menu, drinks, and design. Jacobson said that he is not yet ready to unveil drink menu specifics, but readers should stay tuned for updates. Bar Dune will open at 638 East Burnside, near B-side and the Doug Fir Lounge.