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Downtown French Spot Bistro Agnes Will Not Reopen

Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton, who also own the celebrated wood-fired steakhouse Ox, have decided to close their French restaurant after a long, COVID-19-related hiatus

Steak tartare is topped with a fat yellow yolk, with cornichons and chips, at Bistro Agnes.
Steak tartare at Bistro Agnes
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

In the beginning of 2018, Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton opened their little French restaurant, Bistro Agnes, in downtown Portland. Ox, their celebrated wood-fired steakhouse, had just won a James Beard Award, but their experimental restaurant Superbite wasn’t working in that space. So, they swapped the porcini marshmallows and cuttlefish noodles for filet mignon au poivre and cassoulet, focusing on fine-tuned, comforting French standards.

However, the restaurant has been closed for around half its lifetime, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Dentons reopened Ox in 2021, Bistro Agnes stayed closed, and, according to an Instagram post on the restaurant’s website, it’s going to stay that way. “The last two years have been challenging for many restaurants and small businesses, and in this case, we just don’t see a path forward without drastically changing the concept to something that is not the restaurant that we built and love,” the announcement reads.

The Dentons indicate that they have passed on the space to new owners, as opposed to opening yet another Denton restaurant there; it’s unclear who will take over the space, however. The Dentons have not responded to requests for comment beyond their official statement; this story will be updated with more information.

“We named Bistro Agnes in honor of Greg’s grandmother, and her warm hospitality and love of good food will always be a part of us,” the statement reads. Read the full closing announcement on Instagram:

Bistro Agnes closing statement [Instagram]
Ox’s Greg and Gabrielle Denton to Replace Superbite With Bistro Agnes [EPDX]
Previous Bistro Agnes coverage [EPDX]