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.
A number of Portland-area breweries and brewpubs have closed or are closing, with announcements or otherwise. Grixen Brewing, the Southeast Portland brewery, will close its Division Street taproom after service on August 23, according to an Instagram post. “Complications, much like those of many others in the community, have brought us to the difficult decision to shut our doors,” the post reads. “Our hope is that as a community we can all get through these tough times and once the dust settles we can give it another shot.” That sentiment is similar to the one shared by Base Camp Brewing in its temporary (?) closing announcement; the team is still paying rent on the brewpub, and hopes to reopen down the line. Meanwhile, Thirsty Monk has closed its Portland location on SE 32nd, Long Look Brewing is for sale, and Ross Island Brewing is done, after a rollercoaster of a couple of years. [New School]
Botto’s BBQ Brick and Mortar
Botto’s BBQ, a barbecue cart which recently reopened in Portland, will open its own restaurant this summer. The restaurant will take over the former Pok Pok Wing space on SE Milwaukie. Owner Darren Bottinelli is known not only for his Texas-style barbecue: Bottinelli took a sabbatical from barbecue to go to prison, after he was charged with theft for stealing around $3 million from health reimbursement accounts while running AXIS Health Partners. [Oregonian]
Portland-based gin company Aviation, famously co-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, now has a new co-owner: Beverage company Diageo, which owns brands like Smirnoff and Captain Morgan, has purchased Davos Brands, which owns Aviation as well as spirits like Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake. Reynolds will maintain his interest in the brand. [Willamette Week]
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.4 percent in July, down from 11.6 percent in June, according to the Oregon Employment Department. The state has regained 38 percent of the jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic; however, Oregon’s leisure and hospitality industry remains the most affected by the economic fallout. [BizJo]