A new bar with mai tais and tacos will open on NW 21st. R&R, a vacation-themed cocktail lounge and snack spot, will start slinging coconut shrimp and margaritas in September.
As Willamette Week first reported, R&R is taking over The Abbey Bar & Bottle Shop, which closed earlier this month; Abbey owner Bristol Kelley walked across the street to Twenty First Ave Kitchen & Bar handed over the space to owners Mike Reed and Scott McCulloch. (Kelley denies this account, and says Reed approached Kelley about buying the bar.) “We were watching this street grow, and we wanted to play a bigger role,” Reed says. The two took over 21st Avenue Bar and Grill in 2017, but neither of them felt like they could push the space too far into new territory. “We wanted to be true to the original 21st,” McCulloch says. “We feel honored to be those stewards, but it’s a little limited. This gave us a fresh opportunity.”
Both the drink and food menus at R&R will lean heavily on provisions spotted at vacation destinations and resorts. The kitchen will churn out coconut shrimp, poke, and beachy Baja-style fish tacos with slaw; bartenders will shake and stir mai tais, margaritas, and caipirinhas, with a wide selection of tequila, mezcal, and rum behind the bar.
As for the decor, no one should expect tiki bar vibes. “Twenty First is an extension of our living room. Now, we’re building out our front porch,” he says. For him, that means lots of porch swings within the space, as well as bright colors, tropical touches, and pops of teal and fuchsia. The two are redecorating the space now, hoping to open by September at the latest.
Update July 1, 2021, at 11:05 a.m.: This story was updated to include comment from Bristol Kelley.