With the delta variant holding a firm grip on the country and lengthy construction and permitting delays, opening a restaurant in Portland right now has been tricky. Many business owners have pushed back their opening dates for months, a common occurrence before the pandemic only exacerbated by supply chain issues. All of that being said, many of Portland’s coolest chefs, restaurant owners, brewers, and bartenders have forged ahead, planning ambitious and exciting new businesses throughout the city. A pop-up chef is opening a restaurant dedicated to foraged and wild foods. A celebrated Thai restaurateur is planning a cool new Northwest Portland cafe. Cart owners are creating their own restaurant spaces; a football player is opening his own Hawaiian restaurant. And a number of interesting food cart pods are slated for the rapidly approaching future.
Something to keep in mind: Opening dates change often; opening concepts change often. This piece will be a sort of living document, as restaurant owners grapple with delays and unexpected hurdles. If you’re excited about something opening before the year ends, definitely let us know via the tip line.
For more than a decade, Crown Paella has been a farmers market and catering favorite, run by wife-husband team Emily and Scott Ketterman. The two came up in the restaurant world, working at late-great spots like Simpatica Dining Hall, before starting their catering business. But soon, the Kettermans will open their own restaurant, a departure from the world of paella into the pizza scene. The couple will top naturally leavened pies made with Pacific Northwestern flour with seasonal produce and Ezzo pepperonis, bottling mystery cocktails and selling wine by the bottle.
Address: 2174 West Burnside Street
Anticipated opening: September 15
Read more: The Couple Behind Crown Paella Will Open a Pizzeria on West Burnside This Month [EPDX]
Cameron Lee Dunlap, known for his time at 23Hoyt and his pop-up Origin Wild, is finally opening his own restaurant, one paying homage to foraged foods. Dunlap will often use foraged ingredients not often spotted on menus — yes, morels and dandelion greens, but also wood sorrel and oxeye daisies. The menu will include meats, but most of them will be things found in the forest, like game and freshwater fish. Morchella, alongside other restaurants coming in 2022 like Pasture, are signaling a coming renaissance in the world of Pacific Northwestern, hyper-local cuisine.
Address: 1315 NE Fremont Street
Anticipated opening: October 12
Read more: Chef Cameron Lee Dunlap Will Open a Restaurant Dedicated to Foraged and Wild Foods [EPDX]
This successful pandemic-era event series — featuring desserts, snacks, and wares from Portland artists and chefs — will soon land in its own locale, a market-meets-cafe-meets-bakery-meets-pop-up-space with a rotating set of contributing bakers, a retail section featuring Oregon-made home goods, and a pastry cases full of seasonal treats like sugar cream pie.
Address: 414 SE 81st Avenue
Anticipated opening: October 1
Read more: A Collaborative Marketplace, Pop-Up Incubator, and Bakery Cafe Is Coming to Montavilla [EPDX]
Breakside Beaverton Food Cart Pod and Beer Garden
Breakside Brewery, easily one of the city’s top breweries, has been on a bit of an expansion kick in the last year, opening a beer cart at the CORE food cart pod and a Lake Oswego taproom. The grand finale before the year ends will be the Breakside beer garden and food cart pod in Beaverton, attracting major Portland food carts like Matt’s BBQ and Farmer & The Beast. A number of Portland restaurants will also land at the pod with carts, including new projects from Afuri and Please Louise. The beer garden will host a taproom, tavern, and third indoor food business, as well.
Address: 12680 SW Farmington Road
Anticipated opening: October at the earliest
Read more: Matt’s BBQ and Farmer & the Beast Are Opening Beaverton Carts at the Incoming Breakside Pod [EPDX]
Beast by Marshawn Lynch
Despite the weirdness surrounding the name, the incoming restaurant from football legend Marshawn Lynch does sound like a cool opening in its own right. Portland’s growing Hawaiian and Filipino culinary scene has been fun to watch, and while Beast by Marshawn Lynch will be a Hawaiian restaurant first, Lynch — collaborating with restaurateurs Kevin Yamada (Kama’aina Comfort Foods of Hawaii, Two Zone Korean Fried Chicken) and Jun Park (Musashi Sushi) — will incorporate dishes and recipes from his Filipina grandmother.
Address: Within the Hotel Vance, 1455 SW Broadway
Anticipated opening: October
Read more: A New Beast Is Coming to Town — This Time From NFL Player Marshawn Lynch [EPDX]
Before he opened his breakout food-cart-turned-restaurant, Nacheaux, Anthony Brown worked behind the bar at Screen Door. Brown will get back in the world of beverage when he opens Bourbon Street, his New Orleans-themed cocktail bar within the food hall Alameda Hop. Anthony and Stephanie Brown will take over the entire food hall space, adding a dessert bar to the front room as well; at Bourbon Street, however, Brown will play with the myriad cocktails born in the Big Easy, including French Quarters, hurricanes, and Vieux Carrés.
Address: 4765 NE Fremont Street
Anticipated opening: November 1
Read more: The Team Behind Nacheaux Is Developing a Full-Blown Food Hall [EPDX]
Mid City Smash Burger
One of 2020’s blockbuster food carts, Mid City SmashBurger — which the Oregonian named the best smashburger in Portland — will soon own its own restaurant in St. Johns, teaming up with Eem’s Eric Nelson. Nelson will design a menu of $5 margaritas with collaborator Chris Abbott, while Mid City owner Mike Aldridge builds out a menu of burgers, hot dogs, shakes, and more. It’s a big get for St. Johns, but also an exciting, inexpensive spot that will likely become a destination for burger aficionados.
Address: 8408 N Lombard Street
Anticipated opening: November
Read more: MidCity SmashBurger is expanding with new North Portland restaurant and bar [O]
Andy Fortgang is probably one of the city’s most famous sommeliers, the man behind the wine lists at places like Canard and Le Pigeon. But this fall, he’ll be opening his own bottle shop, where wine nerds can stroll through the aisles, glass in hand, and talk directly with Fortgang to pick out a bottle of something special.
Address: 825 NW Glisan Street
Anticipated opening: November at the earliest
Read more: One of Portland’s Most Famous Sommeliers Will Open His Own Bottle Shop [EPDX]
Earl Ninsom simply cannot help but churn out hits. His restaurants Hat Yai, Langbaan, and Eem are all nationally recognized and locally treasured, with their regional — and experimental — takes on Thai food. His next spot, Phuket Cafe, will take over the former Ataula space and become the new home of his supper club, Langbaan. The food menu is still in development, but cocktail maven Eric Nelson will be covering the drink menu. The most exciting facet of the new restaurant (that we know so far) is the cafe’s outdoor dining room, modeled after a Thai train car.
Address: 1818 NW 23rd Place
Anticipated opening: Late November-Mid December
Read more: Portland’s Destination Thai Restaurant, Langbaan, Is Moving to Northwest Portland [EPDX]
Like the Breakside pod, this food cart pod coming to SE 50th will house some of Portland’s serious food cart talent, including Matt’s BBQ Tacos and Burger Stevens. It’ll also be home to a cocktail bar and taproom, with indoor and outdoor seating, run by a Portland cocktail vet: Taylor Gehrts, who has spent time at places like Trifecta, Masia, Smallwares, and more. The bar will serve cocktails meant to pair with the dishes from the pod’s various carts.
Address: 2216 SE 50th Avenue
Anticipated opening: December 1
Read more: A New Food Cart Pod and Cocktail Bar Is Opening in Southeast Portland [EPDX]
To describe the fans of this Southeast Portland food cart as a “cult following” doesn’t do them justice; Jojo has a vast constituency of devotees who love the cart’s stacked burgers, crispy smoked-then-fried chicken, and crispy-fluffy jojos as much as they love the cart’s absurdist Instagram. Those who have been stuck in a Jojo line are in for a treat: Owner Justin Hintze will open a standalone restaurant with a broader vegan menu, milkshakes, and a full bar run by Eem alum Ashelee Wells. The larger kitchen space will also make room for more sandwiches on the main menu, brunch service, and slushies.
Address: 902 NW 13th Avenue
Anticipated opening: Before the year ends
Read more: Perpetually Popular Fried Chicken Cart Jojo Is Opening a Restaurant [EPDX]
Potential Openings to Watch
This buzzy doughnut pop-up, known for its glutinous rice flour doughnuts in flavors like ube and pandan, is working on opening a storefront in the Collective Oregon Eateries food hall, though owner Lisa Nguyen is unsure it’ll be open before the year ends. The menu will also expand its fried dough offerings, including other Vietnamese snacks and waffles.
Address: 3612 SE 82nd Avenue
Read more: Doughnut Pop-Up Heyday Will Open a Shop in the CORE Food Pod [EPDX]
The veggie-centric restaurant from Arden’s Kelsey Glasser and former Tusk chef de cuisine Sam Smith was supposed to open this summer, but things have been quiet on that front recently. Here’s hoping we see it open before the year ends.
Address: 1477 NE Alberta, Unit 100
Read more: Tusk Alum Sam Smith and Arden’s Kelsey Glasser Are Opening a Build-Your-Own-Bowl Shop [EPDX]