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One of the City’s Oldest Paleo Restaurants Has Permanently Closed

Cultured Caveman had its last day of service last week

The front of Cultured Caveman
Cultured Caveman has closed permanently
Dina Avila/Offical

Cultured Caveman, a paleo-focused counter service restaurant in North Portland, began its life as a series of food carts, serving a menu free of gluten, dairy, and soy, with an emphasis on meats and vegetables; owners Heather Hunter and Joe Ban claim it was the first paleo-friendly food cart on the West Coast. In 2014 the team moved into a brick and mortar location in North Portland, eventually closing the food carts to focus on the restaurant. Now, that too has closed for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunter and Ban posted a statement on social media last week mentioning the high costs on goods and the slim margins that were affecting them even before the pandemic, as well as the new hurdles the virus brought, ones that echo many of the statements from other shuttered restaurants in the last months. “The recent shutdowns have made it impossible to continue,” the note reads. “Doing dine-in doesn’t really feel right, and I don’t know that it will for a long time. Takeout only isn’t sustainable.”

The restaurant stuck around for a week for takeout, giving its fans and friends a chance to stop in and say goodbye. Its last day was July 18, though the team has remained active on social media, and encourages fans to keep up with any potential developments, like a paleo cookbook or a bone broth delivery service. For now, though, the owners say they’re going to take some time off.