Pix Patisserie—Portland’s emporium for decadent French desserts and chocolates, backed by an award-winning champagne and sparkling wine list—will close on August 22, 10 years from the date that it opened its East Burnside location.
Owner and pastry chef Cheryl Wakerhauser trained in Southern France under Philippe Urraca, a prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France title-holder, in patisserie. She started the business in 2001 at the Portland Farmers Market, and Pix’s original Division Street location opened later that year.
For a time, the business had two locations before shutting the doors to its North Williams Avenue space in 2012. Wakerhauser says she set her retirement date a decade ago, when she consolidated into the larger East Burnside space.
The restaurant has long been known for throwing extravagant parties, such as an annual Bastille Day celebration with a towering croquembouche, and a so-called Bubbly Spectacular, a celebration of sparkling wines complete with sabering lessons.
Portlanders will still be able to get their Pix fix — large cakes will be available for special order, and the Pix-O-Matics, the shop’s popular 24-hour pandemic-era dessert vending machines, will remain open. Under the direction of lead pastry chef Katie Roberts, Wakerhauser’s kitchen team will keep the machines stocked daily with chocolate and caramel Shazams and pretty pink Jane Avrils.
Wakerhauser will take time off to travel, but has plans to open a cooking school focused on French pastry next year. She will offer single-day recreational classes and series classes “for those interested in pursuing French pastry as a professional career.”
“The idea came from seeing so many interns and employees come through my doors over the years who attended large culinary schools that overcharged and under-delivered,” says Wakerhauser. “I want to create something small and affordable, where each student gets individualized attention and leaves feeling confident about their skills.”
Before the restaurant closes, folks can stop by and enjoy desserts from the Pix-O-Matic along with glasses or bottles of Champagne and sherry on the patio Friday through Sunday. The restaurant will finish out its calendar of summer events, which includes its Movies at Dusk series and Flamenco Fridays, in August.