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Without To-Go Cocktail Legalization or Open Indoor Dining, Cocktail Bar Palomar Goes on a Winter Hiatus

Plus, Rimsky-Korsakoffee House is trying to raise money to combat the “significant financial hardships” of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ricky Gomez pours a martini into a coupe glass behind the white-and-turquoise bar at Palomar
Ricky Gomez pours a cocktail at Palomar
Dina Avila / EPDX

Cuban Cocktail Bar Palomar Is “Going Into Hibernation” In Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Palomar owner Ricky Gomez has decided to temporarily close his celebrated cocktail bar, Palomar, while he waits for either the legalization of to-go cocktails or indoor dining. Gomez has been fighting for to-go cocktail sales and had invested in safety updates inside the bar, but when indoor dining shut down in Oregon, the bar had to figure out how to stay afloat. Gomez had tried serving food to-go, but with cases rising and to-go cocktail legalization nowhere in sight, he felt like the best option was to just shut down for the time being. “We had to try something, but when we are not allowed to sell cocktails which account for 65 percent of our sales, the chances to make ends meet were pretty low,” reads a story post from the bar’s Instagram. “Thanks for all the support and see you on the other side.”
They’re not the only ones: Filipino restaurant Magna is also going to take a three-month pause on takeout and delivery service, reopening in the new year. “Starting next week, we want to do our part in keeping our families and our community safe,” an Instagram post reads. “We want to take this time off and continue to remind ourselves of how important our health is, both body and mind.” [EaterWire]

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House, A Legendary Oddball Portland Cafe, Is Using a Crowdfunding Campaign to Fight for Its Survival

There are very few places left in Portland with the same energy as Rimsky’s. Earnestly and delightfully bizarre, the craftsman-turned-cafe with the moving tables and servers delivering deadpan puns somehow avoids coming across as gimmicky, a favorite hangout for local high schoolers and lifelong Portlanders who come for coffee and desserts. But a huge part of the experience at Rimsky’s is the vibe inside; in a year when killing time in a cafe is not advisable, the cafe has struggled with “significant financial hardships.Thus, customers and staff are trying to raise $20,000 to keep the cafe alive. “Rimsky’s is more than just a business — for many of us, it’s our second home,” the GoFundMe campaign page reads. “Portland wouldn’t be the same without it, and neither would we. We hope Portlanders, and other patrons who feel touched by Rimsky’s story, contribute what they’re able to help it stay afloat during this incredibly difficult time.” At time of publish, the cafe had raised more than $17,000.

In Other News...

Deadstock Coffee owner Ian Williams made the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 List. [PBJ]
The city is distributing another round of $500 payments to people struggling under the weight of the pandemic. Eligible applicants must be 18 or older, live in Portland, and have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. [O]
Mama Bird is going to start serving weekend lunches, with everything from gochujang schmaltz wings to a burger with pepperjack, grilled onions, roasted jalapenos, and garlic aioli. The new lunch menu will coincide with an expansion of the restaurant’s hours, jumping up to daily service. Weekend lunch service will begin December 27, but the restaurant will start opening on Mondays and Tuesdays on 21st, closing on the 23rd through 26th this year. [EaterWire]

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