Clyde Common, the beloved and lauded gastropub serving downtown Portland since 2007, reopened in July with street and sidewalk dining. With the reopening came the return of Chis DiMinno as executive chef, making it the first time that he and star bartender Jeffery Morgenthaler have teamed up at Clyde Common since DiMinno left the position in 2014.
The duo had propelled the gastropub to its role as a Portland institution when they joined the team in 2009. Morgenthaler quickly gained national attention for his cocktail program which included barrel-aged drinking, attracting James Beard nominations for Outstanding Bar Programs consistently from 2012 to 2018. DiMinno, who later went on to run the kitchen at the now-closed Trifecta Tavern, earned praise at Clyde Common for his upscale American tavern cooking, including a famed happy hour burger.
Back in early May of this year, there was some momentary confusion about whether or not Clyde Common would be permanently closing — the Willamette Week initially reported that the restaurant would shutting down for good, before clarifying that it would only be doing so for its current, 100-seat form. Instead, it would reopen as a more casual tavern and as a market. While the market aspect isn’t open yet, owner Nate Tilden plans on a late September opening; for now, Tilden has been able to hire back five bartenders — including Morgenthaler — DiMinno, and a cook.
With DiMinno’s return also comes a refocus on more casual cuisine, rather than some of the more formal dining that Clyde Common had transitioned to over the years. The current menu includes some bar snacks; entrees like crab spaghettini, crispy hot chicken with creamy kale, and a burger; and chocolate chip cookies made with Morgenthaler’s home recipe. “I brought Chris back when this whole [pandemic] thing went down because I thought his food was the best representation of comforting, tavern food,” owner Tilden says. “Handmade pasta, I think the most amazing burger in town... it fills the soul.”
That tavern cuisine and cocktail program lends itself to the restaurant’s new model as a more straightforward bar — at the moment the seating is available only outside, with a plexiglass window at the door for orders and options for online ordering via phone, and masked bartenders bringing drinks and food to picnic tables and upright, empty whiskey barrels. Eventually, the indoors will be reopened with the bar side sectioned off with the banquette seating from the dining room having been moved to the new bar section. Tilden describes it as having much of a cozy, wooden, tavern feel. While these two spots will be known as Common Market and Clyde Tavern, Tilden isn’t ready to get rid of the name Clyde Common yet.
- Clyde Common [Official]
- Ken Forkish’s Iconic Restaurant Trifecta Tavern Will Close December 31 [EPDX]
- Downtown Dining Staple Clyde Common Has Informed Staff It Will Not Reopen [Willamette Week]
- Clyde Common Will Transform, Turning Half of Its Dining Room Into a Casual Market [EPDX]
- All Previous Clyde Common Coverage [EPDX]