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.
Burger Stevens Moves to NoPo
Burger Stevens, the food cart home to what could be Portland’s best burger, is crossing the river. Don Salamone is moving his Pioneer Square food cart into the heavy-hitter Prost Marketplace pod, which houses big-deal carts like Matt’s BBQ, Desi PDX, and Little Conejo. The menu will stick to burgers and fries, with a few variations. Logistics permitting, Salamone hopes to open the cart at Prost in late September. [WWeek]
Renata Goes on Hiatus
The beloved Southeast Portland Italian restaurant Renata is closing its dining room indefinitely after service on September 20. Instead, the restaurant will focus on delivery and takeout, with a few slots each week. “We’ve grown and learned to be resilient and even during the most difficult days we kept our hope but, sadly that’s not enough to make the restaurant financially sustainable,” the restaurant’s Instagram post announcing the closure reads. “Fall is fast approaching in the Pacific Northwest and with that we lose the possibility of outdoor dining, in addition to the capacity limitations for indoor dining all viability for us to continue to operate is extremely challenging.” [EaterWire]
The Sudra Happy Hour
Right after Eater PDX published its updated happy hour map, another restaurant reintroduced its happy hour. The Sudra, a vegan Indian restaurant with two locales in Portland and another coming to Beaverton, started serving a happy hour this week from noon to 4 p.m. daily. The restaurant is serving soup-and-salad combos and bowls filled with things like tikka masala for $9.50, which ends up knocking off a few dollars, depending on the dish. The menu also includes discounts on both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, from $7 cardamom-infused Old Fashioneds to $5 glasses of wine. Excluding the booze, the happy hour menu is available to-go. [EW]
In Other News...
• Oregon’s rampant wildfires have already created hazardous and difficult conditions for Willamette Valley wineries and vineyards, from the unhealthy air quality to power outages. For example, Bryn Mawr Vineyards near Salem lost power, which forced the tasting room to cancel or reschedule its tastings; when Cristom Vineyards lost electricity, winemakers continued to process grapes in the dark. [EW]
• Speaking of wineries, Ken Wright, the founder of celebrated Willamette Valley winery Ken Wright Cellars, is one of the state’s top 40 donors to the Donald Trump campaign. Wright clocks in as the 35th largest donor, giving $3,000 to President Trump’s campaign. Meanwhile, on the other side of things, Luke Colvin of Astoria’s Buoy Beer Co. has donated more than $3,000 to the Joe Biden campaign. [BizJo]
• Masia, Jose Chesa’s downtown Spanish restaurant, will host a free paella-making Zoom class Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. Those interested in taking the class can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a Zoom link, and even order a paella-making kit to cook along. [EW]