Robot-poured coffee, bulgogi-filled “munchwraps,” and Saudi Arabian food are coming to a highly anticipated downtown food hall. Flock — opening on the ground floor of the 35-floor development Block 216, also home to the city’s forthcoming Ritz-Carlton — has locked in eight of its nine vendors, including both new businesses and well-known Portland brands.
Those who have been following Block 216 may remember the preliminary list of vendors, scooped by New School; the new, formal list includes many of those businesses, including Korean food cart stalwart Kim Jong Grillin’, beloved birria cart Birrieria La Plaza, and the collaboration between blockbuster pop-up Sunrice and Eater 38 fave Magna. The confirmed list, however, includes a few switch-ups, including a new sushi spot.
When it came to selecting vendors, owners Jae Kim and Daniel Lee sought out Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-owned food businesses based in the Portland area, considering the legacy of the block the building will inhabit. Block 216 was once home to the Alder Street Food Carts, a pod known as the original home to greats like Nong’s Khao Man Gai and the People’s Pig. The 8,000 square foot food hall will also house a 10th vendor space specifically for pop-ups, and will offer indoor and outdoor seating with garage doors that open in the summer — ideal for outdoor pop-up events.
Here’s a breakdown of the confirmed tenants of the food hall, which is now expected to open in November 2023:
Artly Coffee: Originally opening as a stand in the downtown Portland Muji, Artly uses “barista bots” to make coffee drinks with beans by Joe Yang, the award-winning barista and owner of Super Joy Coffee. The cafe also offers things like matcha and strawberry milk.
Birrieria la Plaza: Arguably the Portland area’s finest birria cart, Birrieria La Plaza will open a stall within the food hall, with standards like quesabirria, vampiros, mulitas, and more. Birrieria La Plaza has held a spot on Eater Portland’s map of essential restaurants and carts for years.
Kim Jong Grillin: This Korean food cart is a Portland legend, selling “bibim boxes” for more than a decade on Division. In a December conversation, owner Han Ly Hwang said the stall at Flock would be more Korean American in nature, with dishes like Korean fried chicken bowls and bulgogi burgers. The space will also sell “Munchwraps,” a popular special at the cart that fills its take on the Taco Bell classic with things like bulgogi or marinated pork.
Magna Kusina presents Sunrice: The name of this stall suggests a collaboration from two Portland Filipino favorites —the nationally celebrated restaurant Magna Kusina and buzzy pop-up Sunrice. Both businesses approach the cuisine with a relaxed creativity, incorporating a wide range of other culinary influences in inventive, accessible dishes. Get to know Sunrice by hitting up one of the pop-ups coming this year, often posted on Instagram.
Queen Mama’s Kitchen: Arabian food is extremely hard to find in the Portland area, but Queen Mama’s Kitchen began to change that, selling dishes like Yemeni mandi, shawarma, and syrup-soaked basbousa. The temporarily closed Hillsboro cart will also open in the food hall, making it one of the few Saudi Arabian culinary options in the city’s core.
ZabPinto Thai Kitchen: This Northwest Flanders Thai restaurant tackles the fundamentals, like pad kee mow, curries, larb, and khao soi, as well as a variety of duck dishes and seafood salads.
Prime Tap House: This Tanasbourne tap house pairs beers from the Pacific Northwest with chicken wings tossed in sauces and spice blends using Southeast Asian flavors as a jumping off point. At Flock, Prime Tap House will focus exclusively on beverage service, as the food hall’s primary bar.
Suzaku: We know very little about Suzaku, which will be a new opening within the food hall; however, the team at Block 216 confirms that Suzaku will specialize in sushi. Stay tuned for more details.
Flock will be open from morning until late in the evening, at 812 SW Washington Street.