Another Portland institution joined the list of closures over the New Year, as Russell Street Barbecue closed the doors on both of its locations on Monday, December 30. The Oregonian first reported the news, citing bankruptcy as the reason for closing.
Co-owners Diane Santucci and Sharon Senter Santucci opened the shop on NE Russell and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard 16 years ago, offering platers of tender brisket and smoky sausage long before Portland was even considered a contender for good barbecue. In 2017 the restaurant expanded, opening a new location on SE Belmont Street. On December 30, 2019, the team posted to Facebook, writing, “After 16 amazing years we have closed or [sic] doors. It was an honor to fill your bellies!”
Though the public post doesn’t cite a reason for the closing, the Oregonian confirmed that the restaurant group filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Monday. Employees, some of who had worked at the restaurant for over a decade, told the paper that while the closing was a shock, they were confident they would receive any unpaid wages.