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.
After a long period closed, this Spanish restaurant has reopened for takeout, but starting today Urdaneta will also serve onsite diners in an outdoor seating area. The menus change every week, but they include everything from a Painted Hills beef burger with jamon serrano and a kalimoxo aioli to potato skin bravas with mahon cheese fondue. Urdaneta is also slinging brunch tapas on Sundays, with Spanish tortilla, croquetas with jamon iberico and hard boiled egg, and a sweet Basque pastry called a bollo de mantequilla. Order takeout or book a reservation here.
The Oregon Health Authority has proposed an increase on the state’s alcohol tax — a $150 million annual increase. Oregon Recovers, a nonprofit advocacy group fighting for alcohol abuse prevention and recovery services, proposed that the new tax increase help fund the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, which helps provide treatment and recovery services for Oregonians struggling with addiction. Oregon has the third-highest number of people with untreated substance abuse disorders, and years like 2020, when recovery services are hard to access and people are dealing with higher-than-normal levels of stress and isolation, can exacerbate the potential for relapse. However, those who oppose the tax increase say that 2020 has already been a difficult year for the local beverage industry; an additional tax may create even more challenges for brewers, winemakers, and distillers, not to mention bar owners and managers. [WWeek]
A coalition of downtown hospitality workers and business owners are cleaning up the neighborhood today, in response to damage to the area related to the nightly protests against racism and police brutality. This is the second “Hospitality With Heart” event, in which volunteers tackle litter cleanup with the help of SOLVE, the Portland Lodging Alliance, and Portland Business Alliance. The general idea is that, if downtown gets a cleanup, people may feel ready to return to businesses, despite the almost 100 days of protests and ongoing pandemic. “Businesses in downtown Portland need help right now,” George Schweitzer of the Benson hotel says. “This is an event for businesses to come together, along with Portland community at large, to show that we are a strong and resilient city; that we can come together to restore our downtown and bring business back.” [O]
Labor Day Picnics
With Labor Day weekend days away, Masia, the new Spanish restaurant from Jose Chesa, is packaging picnic boxes of charcuterie, churros, Russian potato salad, and house pickles. Each box comes with a choice of beer, wine, or mocktail kit. Reserve a box by calling (503) 595-6820.