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Higgins Has Opened an Open-Air Bistro, Piggins

Plus, a fire ravaged a Verde Cocina location and Riot Ribs transfers to new leaders

Higgins new mobile kitchen, Piggins

As the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon continues to impact the local restaurant market, stories are popping up across the city, from food cart owners giving away free meals to chefs starting Instagram cooking classes. In this new version of AM Intel, we dive into different ways the state’s food service industry has been responding to the global pandemic. For more COVID-19 stories, check out our larger story stream.

Pigs Can Fly

This weekend saw the opening of Piggins, the open-air satellite bistro in the South Park Blocks from the historic Higgins restaurant. Those at the plaza near SW Park Avenue and Madison Street last Thursday would have seen the ivy-green and cedar-paneled modular kitchen, complete with a piggy logo, flown in via crane.

The bistro’s menu consists of salads, charcuterie, wine, and cocktails, with a lunch menu of sandwiches and burgers and a dinner menu of entrees like ravioli, hanger steak, daily fish specials, and fava bean cakes with tabouleh. Reservations are strongly recommended, and the bistro is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fiery Tragedy

Verde Cocina, the family-owned group of Mexican restaurants that specializes in providing options for all kinds of dietary restrictions, is having a hard year. Besides losing its Pearl District location due to the coronavirus back in May, last Thursday a fire broke out in the Sylvan Highlands location, the Oregonian first reported. The fire broke out around 2 a.m., and emergency services quickly extinguished it, but the damage was extensive, especially to the roof, patio, and bar. Investigators have not determined a cause yet.

While the future of this location is uncertain, Verde has set up a GoFundMe account, looking to raise $30,000 for its restoration. Until then, diners can visit its location in Hillsdale for patio seating, takeout, and delivery.

Riot Ribs’ Expansion

Riot Ribs, the mutual aid kitchen offering barbecue and other meals to protestors, houseless folk, and all others has transferred its leadership to Don’t Shoot PDX, a nonprofit activist group. Riot Ribs’ spokesperson Beans told the Willamette Week that Don’t Shoot was “better equipped” to provide permanent mutual aid.

Additionally, Riot Ribs has developed Revolution Ribs, a pair of vans that will be traveling the country to cities with protests.