Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Oregon, an ominous weight on the food and beverage world has been the potential for permanent closures: Which restaurants will be unable to hold out until the community settled back into normalcy? Which bars will succumb to the overwhelming debt of unpaid rent?
Now, more and more business owners are coming forward, announcing that, even if Oregon restaurants could safely reopen tomorrow, they will not be opening their doors to customers again. From Southeast Portland breakfast cafes to North Portland watering holes, these are the restaurants that will permanently close as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
A Tabor neighborhood standby for cheese boards, snacks, and pantry staples, Cheese Bar announced that it would close in January 2021. Cheesemonger Steve Jones attributed the closure to the pandemic, and sold its last slabs of cheese on January 2021. Read more about the closure here.
E-San Thai Downtown
This local Thai chain’s downtown location closed in early 2021. “We want to thank our past crew members and especially our loyal customers for supporting E-San in our 22 years of being open,” the Instagram announcement, posted January 9, reads. “We are devastated to see it go, but also extremely grateful for the connections and experiences it has brought us as a family business.”
North Mississippi cocktail bar Sidecar shut down on December 23 after years selling barrel-aged cocktails and whiskey flights. The bar hinted at potentially reopening in a new location down the line via Instagram,
It appears Hak, the Broadway Korean restaurant, has closed without announcement. The restaurant’s phone has been disconnected, as well as its website; the Instagram account for the restaurant doesn’t note the closure. The team has not responded to requests for comment.
Despite its many pivots to different takeout models and a brief period of on-premise dining, the high-end steakhouse and bar Bar King was unable to weather the ongoing financial strain of operating during the pandemic. The restaurant has served its last meal, and the bakery closed January 2. Read more about the closure here.
An institution on SE Belmont Street for more than a decade, Rocking Frog was well loved for its library-like space and house-made doughnuts. The independent cafe closed its doors permanently in early December, but could not be reached for statement as the to the official reason for closing.
The Cuban restaurant and bar opened in March of 2019, and closed for good in early December of 2020. However, those looking to enjoy the chef’s approach to Cuban cuisine can still find his food cart, Que Bola, at the Portland Mercado.
To attribute the closure of longstanding coffee roaster and cafe chain Ristretto to the COVID-19 pandemic would be overly simplistic: At least two of the brand’s cafes had closed in 2019, and the team hasn’t served their own coffee in a cafe for at least six months. But Ristretto announced that it would fold altogether in December 2020, roasting its last batch December 15. Read more about the closure here.
This Hawthorne poke restaurant closed after service on November 25, according to executive chef Steven Woerdehoff. “Our lease was up,” the chef says, attributing the closure also to a drop in business related to the pandemic. Poke Mon opened in 2016 with chef Colin Yoshimoto, who went on to join the team at Eem; the shop called itself the city’s “first stand-alone poke restaurant,” with a menu of composed poke and customizable poke bowls. Yoshimoto left in 2018, which caused some conflict within the shop; still, the restaurant’s reliance on sustainable and wild fish and serious sake collection kept its devotees coming back.
MLK breakfast cafe Bridges has permanently closed after 18 years in Northeast Portland. The cafe, a neighborhood favorite, used to be a casual and quaint haunt for bowls of grits and eggs Benedict. “Thank you to all of you who graced us with your business over the years, and to all of you that made our catering business thrive (back in the days when that was possible),” the closing announcement reads. “Good luck and stay safe.”
This singular Georgian restaurant on Northeast Alberta closed for good November 22. One of Portland’s only places to find khachapuri and khinkali, the restaurant is selling frozen dumplings and take-and-bake bread boats online, for those looking to stock up.
The Northwest Portland cocktail bar Muu-Muu’s has shut down for good. In the words of the website’s closing announcement, the bar was “eaten by the COVID monster” after more than 20 years open. The cocktail bar was known as a neighborhood mainstay and a place to debrief movies after showings at Cinema 21 next door, over cocktails and world-pantry-style snacks.
Headwaters and Rosa Rosa
In case you missed it, Vitaly Paley is down to a single restaurant. After announcing the closures of Imperial and The Crown, Paley went on to close his seafood restaurant Headwaters and his most recent opening, a Mediterranean restaurant called Rosa Rosa. All of these restaurants were attached to hotels, and the COVID-related drop in tourism and traffic downtown impacted his business.
All Pok Pok Locations in Oregon
Ever-popular Thai chain Pok Pok dramatically downsized in June, shrinking down to just the original Pok Pok location and potentially the Southeast Pok Pok Wing. However, by October, every Pok Pok location in the state had permanently closed. Pok Pok owner Andy Ricker opened the original location in 2005, garnering national attention for his take on Northern Thai food and menu standouts like Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings.
This NE 28th bar closed quietly, making way for the soon-to-open Nightingale, a Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar. The bar chose to skip the big closing announcement post, simply writing “Going soon” in the bio of its Instagram and “Closed” on the website.
Quickfish (SW Stark or Harvey Milk)
The poke restaurant from the Bamboo Sushi brand has closed permanently without announcement, now that Micah Camden’s next venture — a French dip restaurant — has announced its impending opening in that space.
The owners have decided to close this influential chocolate shop in downtown Portland, specializing in ethical and methodically sourced chocolate from around the world. Known for its drinking chocolate, Cacao was a leader in the local chocolate movement before bean-to-bar chocolatiers started to gain ground in Portland.
Uno Mas Taquiza
This West Burnside taqueria served its last moronga taco Saturday, announcing its decision to close on Instagram. The statement attributes the choice to the dearth of Timbers and Thorns fans at the nearby Providence Park, in addition to the difficulty running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Without Providence Park’s sporting events, inside seating at less than half our capacity, no covered and heated patio this winter and a sky rocketing rent, our business is no longer sustainable,” the post reads. The Glisan location has also closed, taken over by the new cocktail bar Tropicale. The restaurant has set up a GoFundMe to help support its newly unemployed staff.
Bar owner Eric Bowler has slowly closed several of his bars, including this club in the Old Town district. “As 2020 grinds on, there is no way for us to re-open,” the closing announcement reads. “With the end of the commercial eviction moratorium and inaction in DC, we have no other choice.” His only remaining bar, Century, is still open with outdoor seating.
This beloved Washougal spot known for its breakfasts closed on October 31 after seven years open. Owner Alexandra Yost wrote an announcement on Instagram, saying that the restaurant would be “taking a bow (with no encore) on Halloween.” “Breakfast and lunch spot OurBar is one of Washougal’s finest dining options,” Kara Stokes wrote in Eater’s guide to the Columbia River Gorge. “With its warm color palette (think light yellow walls, wooden furniture, big windows), OurBar is a perfect pitstop for a quick coffee or a meal with friends before continuing to a secret river swimming hole.”
This North Interstate beer bar closed at the end of October. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have had such a wonderfully supportive community of friends share our space, honestly it feels more like you’ve all become family,” the closure announcement reads.
It’s unclear if Beast will reopen in some other form or location down the line, but chef and owner Naomi Pomeroy has confirmed that the legendary fine dining restaurant will not reopen in its current space. Instead, a neighborhood market has opened in its place. Read more about the closure here.
Pseudo-modernist, pop-up-turned-fine-dining-spot Holdfast Dining will not reopen in its SE 11th digs. “It just seemed to make more sense to move on with things,” says co-owner Joel Stocks. “That style of dining in general, I have no idea when that will come back… Who knows when people will be sitting for 2 ½ hours dining again, you know?” Read more about that closure here.
This brewery has closed its North Williams pub, its second location. “Small spaces like Williams are particularly susceptible to Covid occupancy limitations and cannot easily break even,” Hopworks owner Christian Ettinger told New School Beer. “We are focusing all our energy on our 2 brewpubs and growing our wholesale business.”
The queer bar and club CC Slaughters closed permanently on October 11. The bar was popular with young and newly out Portlanders, who would go to dance, take Jell-O shots, and see DJs and drag performances. The bar was open for 39 years.
Beech Street Parlor
A neighborhood standby tucked off MLK, Beech Street Parlor closed in late September. The two-story-house-turned-bar first opened in 2011, and felt like one of those truly Portland-y spaces, where regulars would drink cocktails and eat chile verde on the porch. “Sorry it had to be this way,” the closing announcement reads. “Thanks for everything.”
Tasty n Alder
After a tumultuous year, the future of the Toro Bravo restaurant group — namely, Tasty n Alder, Toro Bravo, and Tasty n Daughters — was up in the air. Co-owner Renee Gorham told the Oregonian that the three restaurants would not reopen in early July, and then told Willamette Week that she was actually unsure of her plans the next day. Well, we at least know that Tasty n Alder won’t reopen in its current location: Han Oak owners Peter Cho and Sun Young Park are taking over the space to open Toki in November.
Like Tasty n Alder, Spanish restaurant Toro Bravo’s future was uncertain, specifically because of how Gorham walked back her initial statement that her restaurants would close. However, there’s now a sandwich shop open in the former Toro Bravo space, so it seems extremely likely that the restaurant will not reopen; at the very least, Toro Bravo will not reopen in that location.
Brew Dr. Tea
Brew Dr. closed all of its Oregon tea shops in October. The company started with its Mississippi and Division locations; Alberta and Eugene followed on Oct. 18, with Bend closing on Oct. 31. Once known as Townshend’s, Brew Dr. has focused more seriously on kombucha in recent years, and the additional strain of the pandemic made the tea shops too hard to keep open.
The Bunk Sandwiches location on Alberta Street has closed permanently, though it was never really announced; however, Hawaiian food cart GrindWitTryz just announced it will be opening a restaurant where the Bunk Alberta location is located. For now, it looks like Bunk’s Water Ave location is still going strong, and the brand recently opened a location in Bridgeport Village.
Restaurateur Bruce Carey’s downtown cocktail bar Saucebox has closed after 25 years of service. The late night spot was marked with controversy in August when a former server filed a lawsuit against the business, co-owner, and certain employees for alleged racial discrimination and harassment. Carey has not responded to requests for comments on the closure. Read more about the closure here.
Imperial and the Crown
Chef Vitaly Paley’s lauded steakhouse Imperial has closed permanently. The restaurant’s website simply stated that it was closed and that its adjacent pizzeria, the Crown, would be closing as well on October 8. Chef Paley declined speaking to the reasons at the moment. Read more about the closure here.
Video: Pro Pizza Chef Makes Jerk & Tandoori Chicken Pizzas With 1 Dough | Chef’s at Home | Food & Wine (Food & Wine)
A beloved dive bar and pizzeria in the Alphabet District for more than 30 years, Crackerjacks closed its doors permanently on September 27. “We are deeply saddened and sorry to say…Crackerjacks is no more.” a Facebook post reads. “…but you just never know what will happen in this weird world, CJ’s might pop up again somewhere!?!?”
This Oregon brewery’s Pearl District pub has closed permanently after 20 years open. “This was a very difficult decision, but unfortunately challenges from the pandemic and rising costs have made it apparent that our only option is to close the Pearl Public House,” the public statement announcing the closure reads.
Beetroot Market & Deli
This Jewish deli — one of the city’s only Jewish delis — opened in 2019, and was one of the first to temporarily close to dine-in customers when COVID-19 appeared in Oregon. Beetroot permanently closed just a few weeks after its first birthday, finishing out some Rosh Hashanah orders and donating the rest of her inventory.
Another Old Town bar owned by Eric Bowler, Maxwell closed soon after Fortune. The bar had been temporarily closed for months; Bowler also closed Revelry, the restaurant and bar he co-owned with Seattle’s prominent Relay restaurant group.
This DJ-centric bar in Old Town has closed after the owners’ years of legal battles with their landlord. “It’s hard to pay lawyers when you haven’t made any money in 7 months,” the closing announcement reads.
Tea Bar Killingsworth
One of the locations of Portland’s hip, minimalist tea shop chain, Tea Bar’s Killingsworth location has closed permanently, making way for the incoming juice bar Drink Mamey. A few Tea Bar drinks may end up landing on the menu at Drink Mamey, however.
Ford Food & Drink
This casual Southeast Portland cafe has closed permanently, bad news for many of the community’s artists, comedians, and musicians who would perform in the Ford Building space. “We had a good run. Thanks for everything, Portland,” the Instagram post announcing the closure reads. “We love all y’all. Be kind to yourselves and to each other.”
A celebrated Alberta restaurant, Aviary has closed after almost 10 years in the neighborhood. The restaurant was known for its crispy pig ears and lobster rolls, as well as its bar program. Read more about the closure here.
This SE Division brewpub has closed its taproom, hoping to “give it another shot” down the line. The group attributed the closure to “complications, much like those of many others in the community.”
The Portland outpost of this North-Carolina-based brewery has closed. The brewery was known for its Belgian-style ales.
No Bones Beach Club
This vegan restaurant — known for its beach-y decor and shark shots — has closed its North Mississippi location. The restaurant’s locations in Seattle and Chicago will remain open.
This Hawthorne whiskey bar has closed after four years, bartender Robert Volz confirmed today. Volz said that the layout of the bar didn’t allow for easy social distancing, between Neat’s long bar and the pool table. “I still respect Kate Brown a hell of a lot,” Volz says. “But I had to close.”
This soccer-themed Hawthorne pub has decided to close up shop August 23. Since its opening in 2016, the Toffee Club has been the place to be for full English breakfasts, pies, beer, and soccer games. “This has been the most difficult decision we’ve ever had to make, but the Toffee Club relies on us filling our space with a lot of happy, cheering fans and that currently just isn’t possible,” the Instagram announcement reads.
A restaurant self-described as the first Chinese restaurant on 82nd, Canton Grill closed in August after more than 75 years open. The restaurant’s third-generation owner, Cindy Louis, temporarily closed the restaurant in March, and after six months, decided to call it quits altogether.
A taco shop lauded for its Austin-style tacos and its margaritas, Stella Taco closed shop for good on July 19. Co-owner Becky Atkins said the minimal amount of seating outside just wasn’t sustainable in the long term, and they wanted to make room for other restaurants to survive the pandemic.
Back to Eden
This beloved Alberta vegan cafe has closed its restaurant and bakery after 13 years. The company is currently selling its bake mixes online and at New Seasons, and the closing announcement on the website alludes to a potential cookbook and “video content.” Supernova Vegan has opened a cafe in its place.
Alma, the 14-year-old chocolate and candy company known for its bonbons and salted caramel sauce, ceased operations in July. Founder Sara Hart sold the company to Moonstruck Chocolate in 2018, moving the main candy-making production to Moonstruck’s St. Johns facility. For now, there are still Alma products available on the company’s website.
Boxer Ramen Westmoreland
The Bybee location of Boxer Ramen, the chain of Portland ramen shops perhaps known more for its okonomiyaki tots, has closed, transforming into a Baes Chicken. Both brands are owned by Micah Camden, who is known for his chickpea-centric dessert brand Little Chickpea and his fast food chain Super Deluxe.
Industry hangout and beloved cocktail bar Shift Drinks will not reopen after the coronavirus crisis ends. The ownership team says the bar’s reliance on industry workers and large groups made the concept of reopening unsustainable.
After almost 20 years in the Pearl District, restaurateur Bruce Carey has announced the closure of Bluehour, one of his celebration restaurants. The restaurant was known as a place to spot celebrities, and was once considered one of the city’s most-high-end dining rooms.
Mi Mero Mole
This Mexican restaurant from internet personality Nick Zukin closed on July 3 in Old Town. In an announcement post, Zukin says the restaurant could not survive the economic impact of COVID-19: “The restaurant business has been hit especially hard by this pandemic, as everyone knows,” he writes. “We rely on office workers, tourists, concert goers, and the like in Chinatown. We don’t expect any of those customers to return until this pandemic is over.”
Southeast Portland breakfast holdout Sanborn’s will not reopen, after 15 years serving German pancakes and corned beef hash. “It is with the most profound grief that our family is announcing the permanent closure of Sanborn’s restaurant,” a Facebook post, written by Rebecca Sanborn, reads. “That grief is inseparable from an overwhelming gratitude to everyone who has made the past fifteen years and counting a time of immeasurable magic.”
This longstanding Southern-Cajun restaurant under the Morrison Bridge has permanently closed after 27 years in business. The restaurant was primarily known for its eccentric waiters, late hours, and elaborate tinfoil takeout sculptures.
Portland Seafood Company
A seafood restaurant in Mall 205, Portland Seafood Company has permanently closed “due to unforeseen business downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a statement on the website. Portland Seafood Company opened in 2011 in Restaurants Unlimited’s portfolio, which also owns restaurants like Portland City Grill and Stanford’s. The company closed a number of restaurants in the Pacific Northwest after filing for bankruptcy last year.
Ristretto North Williams
The Ristretto location on North Williams appears to have closed — its phone line has been disconnected, and the storefront has been cleared out. Over the last few years, Ristretto has closed the majority of its cafes; it looks like the roaster is still selling beans on its website.
Jones Bar, the Old Town nightclub known for its ‘70s-’80s-retro vibes, has permanently closed, attributing the closure to COVID-19 in an Instagram post. “Jones Bar was a female owned nightclub,” says owner Nikki Jones. “I feel there are very few female owners in this hospitality space.”
Lapellah and Three Sixty Kitchen
These two Vancouver restaurants opened by restaurateur Brad Root have closed for good, after around 15 years in the city. Root left the businesses in 2012, but Lapellah’s wood-fired cooking made it a destination for Portlanders and others throughout Southwestern Washington.
This historic Milwaukie gas station and restaurant that once served as the perch for a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber has closed permanently, after more than 70 years in business. The restaurant may return as a catering company down the line.
The Portland outpost of celebrated Seattle restaurant group Relay, Revelry will not reopen after the coronavirus crisis ends. Chef de cuisine Diane Lam has moved to Mississippi cocktail bar Psychic, where she will revive her pop-up Sunshine Noodles through the end of the year.
A cozy, vintage cafe with duck eggs Benedict and savory waffles, Trinket decided against takeout or delivery back in March, and won’t reopen its doors again. The space is too small for social distancing rules, and takeout just doesn’t work for its food, owner Gina Helvie told Eater. Trinket opened in 2013.
Irving Street Kitchen
The casual Southern restaurant in the Pearl district has permanently closed its doors due to COVID-19 and an impasse on lease discussions with the building’s landlords. Luckily, fans of the place can look forward to Cooperativa, an Italian market and food hall from Sarah Schafer and Anna Caporael, the partners behind Irving Street Kitchen.
The Hairy Lobster
An inventive and eccentrically named restaurant, the Hairy Lobster has served its last themed dinner. The Facebook post announcing the closure did not give a reason, but the restaurant has been closed since the dining room shutdown in mid-March.
The Nerd Out
This Southeast Portland bar known for its trivia nights, themed drinks, and tabletop games has permanently closed. The closing statement was, of course, littered with references to Marvel movies, Star Wars, and Bill & Ted, and the team said the bar’s social channels will stay alive with memes and, down the line, event postings.
Verde Cocina en la Perla
The Pearl District location of this dietary-restriction-friendly Mexican restaurant chain has closed permanently. “While the effect of COVID-19 on restaurants has been brutal, and our 14th Ave loss is a direct result of this circumstance, please do not for one second count Verde Cocina down and out,” the closing announcement reads. The restaurant’s two other locations — Hillsdale and Sylvan Highlands — remain open, and the company will continue to appear at farmers markets.
David Machado’s Restaurants
On May 22, restaurateur David Machado announced that he would close all of his restaurants: Altabira City Tavern, Citizen Baker, Nel Centro, Pullman Wine Bar and Merchant, and Tanner Creek Tavern. Read the full story here.
It seems very likely that longstanding dim sum restaurant Wong’s King has closed for good: The restaurant’s Facebook page and website have both disappeared, and a family friend of chef Fulai Wong told the Oregonian that the restaurant would not reopen. Wong’s King has been open for about 15 years.
Kana Hinohara Hanson and Gabe Rosen have said goodbye to their tiny Japanese convenience store, Giraffe. Only open for a little over a year, Giraffe quickly became a favorite for its Instagram-popular egg salad sandwiches, similar to the famous version from Los Angeles’s Konbi. The deli also served as a Japanese grocery and bakery.
The dive-bar-meets-breakfast-spot has closed its SE Belmont shop, though co-owner Justin King is looking for a new place to reopen. King says that the closure has to do with frustrations with the space, especially related to the potential guidelines associated with phase one reopening.
Gabe Rosen, the former owner of influential izakaya Biwa, has closed yet another restaurant. The Southeast Portland ramen shop Noraneko will not reopen after the restaurant ban is lifted, though Rosen didn’t tie the decision to close directly to coronavirus.
Joe’s Crab Shack
The Vancouver waterfront location of this seafood chain has permanently closed; the COO of parent company Landry’s said the inability to serve dine-in customers made it difficult to remain open. Joe’s joins other Vancouver closures like Sweet Tomatoes in east Vancouver and Low Bar downtown.
Off the Waffle
This Eugene-based waffle shop closed its SE Clinton cafe during the coronavirus shutdown, switching to frozen waffle deliveries on the weekend. While the SE Clinton cafe is gone, however, the owners hope to reopen some sort of Portland shop elsewhere, by the end of the winter in 2021.
Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe
One of Southeast Portland’s best spots for biscuits and gravy, Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe will close permanently after 15 years, says chef and owner Nick Iannarone. “New COVID-19 distancing restrictions will be burdensome or costly for some small restaurants, or simply impossible to achieve for others, as is the case for Arleta Library,” reads a press release from the restaurant. The cafe once appeared on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. For those who want to help out the cafe’s staff as it prepares to close, the cafe has a GoFundMe page for its employees and owner.
Blue Star Northwest, Downtown, Multnomah Village, and Progress Ridge
Blue Star has shut down four of its doughnut shops permanently: The NW 23rd location, the brand’s fourth store, permanently closed in early May, followed by the downtown, Multnomah Village, and Progress Ridge locations a month later. The doughnut brand is known for its brioche base doughnuts and posh flavors like passionfruit cacao nib. The company still retains four locations in the Portland area.
An understated sushi bar in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, Sushi Ichidai had been open for more than a decade when it closed its doors due to the coronavirus outbreak. Owner Akihiro Hirakiuchi wrote on the restaurant’s website that it would permanently close, but may return in another form or location sometime in the future.
This Ladd’s Addition sports bar closed with little announcement. It has since become a brewpub and pizzeria.
One of the earlier additions to the Alberta Arts restaurant boom, Helser’s opened 16 years ago serving breakfast and lunch in a bright and cheery space. However, on April 29, the cafe announced on various social media platforms that it would not be reopening its doors ever again. “This was a very hard decision for us to come to and we hope that you understand that we are heartbroken to be leaving,” the post reads.
Liberty Glass, a North Portland fixture of a bar in a converted, multi-story Victorian home, announced its closure on April 16 via Instagram. The bar had been open for more than a decade, focusing on homey comfort food and affordable cocktails, and was a regular haunt for neighborhood residents.
A dive bar fixture at the top of SE Hawthorne Boulevard, the Tanker Bar spent the last decade serving cheap well drinks and airing Blazer games. The Oregonian first reported that the bar announced on Instagram on March 17 that it would not be reopening. “We will miss the hell out of everyone,” the caption to the post reads.
As first reported by the Oregonian, this Westmoreland cafe announced it would close on Facebook on April 14. “Due to many financial strains placed on the business we won’t be able to reopen our doors after the dust settles,” the post reads. “This was a challenging decision to make but feel it is the right one.”
Prosperity Pie Shoppe
Also caught by the Oregonian, Prosperity Pie Shoppe — a cafe and financial education center — has decided to close completely. The company organized a GoFundMe to pay off its final debts and payroll, and the cafe’s Facebook page is now listed as permanently closed.
Correction: This story has been corrected to show that Brad Root is no longer connected to Lapellah and Three Sixty Kitchen. Lance Killian, George Killian and Bob Lewis are the current owners. Robert Volz is no longer an owner at Neat.