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Beloved Belmont Bar Sweet Hereafter Will Close at the End of February

Portlanders have a few weeks left to enjoy mason jar cocktails and vegan subs before bidding farewell to the iconic neighborhood hangout.

A photo of the buffalo soy curl sub with a side of chips and salsa and a cocktail at the Sweet Hereafter vegan bar.
Buffalo soy curl sub at Sweet Hereafter.
Waz Wu/Eater Portland

On February 5, the Lightning Bar Collective’s Sweet Hereafter announced on Instagram that it will be closing at the end of the month. The closure marks the end of the bar’s 13 year legacy as a vegan community hub in the Belmont neighborhood.

Accompanied by an evening photo of Sweet Hereafter’s Belmont block with purple and pink cloudy skies, the Instagram announcement reads:

We had a wonderful 13 year run but the last few years have been extremely difficult. We lost one of our founders, navigated Covid and weathered many other challenges. We’re forever indebted to our amazing staff, both past and present. Without them we would not have been able to last as long as we did. We are so extremely grateful to have been part of this community for so long.

Opened in 2011, Sweet Hereafter is part of the Lighting Bar Collective, along with some of Portland’s most popular watering holes over the years — such as the Bye and Bye, Victoria Bar, and Thunderbird Bar. The bar serves an entirely vegan menu of dishes like buffalo-marinated soy curl subs, Hefeweizen mac and cheese, and antipasto platters with pickled veggies and miso chive cheese, while bartenders spike Arnold Palmers in 32-ounce mason jars and top earl grey-infused martinis with aquafaba foam.

The sprawling patio of picnic tables at the hip, wood-paneled Belmont bar made it an ideal venue for community events, like vegan meet-ups, holiday markets, and fundraisers. For many, it was a welcoming and safe haven to grab a quick meal alone, catch up with friends over cocktails, celebrate birthdays by the fire pit, or navigate the awkwardness of first dates.

This news came as a shock to many, especially as the bar had been regularly posting about menu specials, trivia nights, and Dry January offerings in recent weeks. Within 24 hours of the initial closing announcement, the post garnered over 3,500 likes and over 500 comments from patrons and friends of the bar, including those in cities like Seattle and Brooklyn. “Wow, I am really sad to read this,” writes Deanna Cintas, the local real estate broker and vegan community leader with the handle @pdxveganrealestate. “Y’all have been a staple here in the vegan community for so long. It’s gonna be weird to not have you around.”

Others shared their favorite memories of the bar. “My wife and I had our first ever date at Sweet Hereafter,” writes @josephtalik. “Been together 11 yrs married for 9. Thank you for the memories, great spirits/beer, and for helping me find the love of my life.”

For vegans, Sweet Hereafter has been a quintessential part of the city’s food world, though the bar appealed to a broader spectrum of diners, as well. Sweet Hereafter opened at a time when the city’s vegan scene was more isolated from the larger dining public; however, it didn’t take long for the bar to feel like a meeting ground for Portland at large, regardless of diet. The atmosphere, comfort foods, and solid drinks won over much of the city for more than a decade.

The post invites the community to drop by for one last hurrah before the bar closes for good on February 29: “Come on in to celebrate the years of love the vegan community has given us.”