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Next Level Burger Has Raised $20 Million in Its Bid for Nationwide Expansion

Plus, Portland Farmers Market turns 30, and more news

A fast casual burger counter with tables in front inside a store.
Next Level Burger’s Lake Oswego location.
Tada Images via Shutterstock
Janey Wong is Eater Portland's reporter.

The Bend-based vegan burger chain Next Level Burger has plans for a major expansion. The company aims to quadruple its locations by 2025, bringing its menu to vegan burgers, salads, shakes, and more to target markets on the West Coast and in the Southwest and Northeast.

Founded in 2014 by Matt and Cierra de Gruyter, the chain originally announced its intention to expand in January 2022, with a long-term goal of opening 1,000 locations — this round of capital will allow the company to move forward with those plans. Investors include natural food partners, private shareholders, and early-stage investor couple Alex Payne (formerly of Twitter and Simple Bank) and Nicole Brodeur. The restaurant currently operates three locations in the Portland-metro area: Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, West Burnside, and Lake Oswego, plus locations in Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, and New York. Read the full story here.

Portland Farmers Market Celebrates 30th Anniversary

The inaugural Portland Farmers Market took place on June 13, 1992 at the Albers Mill parking lot along Northwest Naito Parkway. The nonprofit, which operates five farmers markets across Portland, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with an all-day party at its flagship Portland State University Market on Saturday, September 17 starting at 8:30 a.m. Festivities include a Portland Farmers Market “museum” showcasing photos, videos, and other memorabilia from the past three decades; chef demos from Elsy Dinvil of Creole Me Up and Laura Bennett of Eloisa Organic Farm; and live music.

Zupan’s Market Opens a Private Dining Space

Portland’s local upscale grocery store has opened Cellar Z, a private dining venue, in the basement of its West Burnside location. Taking inspiration from CEO Mike Zupan’s 25-year career in gourmet food and wine, the venue will feature rare and fine wines paired with seasonal fare from chef John Eisenhart, who was formerly executive chef at Pazzo. Cellar Z is able to host up to 14 seated guests or up to 25 guests for a reception.