Yesterday, The Yard at Montavilla opened to customers for the first time. The new food cart pod has space for sixteen vendors, although only a handful are currently serving customers during the first few days. Located at 8220 NE Davis Street, the food vendor collective sits on a corner lot across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary School.
The early days of operation are encouraging for the cart operators. A small but steady flow of customers have ventured in to see what carts are open. July 4th is set as the official first day, although not all food carts are starting at the same time. Today La Taquiza Vegana and Bobablastic were serving customers.
Staff completed all the amenities for the food cart pod ahead of this weekend. Portable restrooms and handwashing stations are set up near the trash enclosure. A large covered seating area is surrounded by standup umbrella tables, protecting the customers from the summer sun.
An ATM is on-site for those who wish to pay in cash. However, the vendors open today all accept credit card payments.
The list of carts is below, but The Yard at Montavilla website has updated information on what vendors are open this weekend. Make some time to stop by and visit with the cart operators and snag some delicious food.
Montavilla’s newest culinary destination opens next month. The Yard At Montavilla began development over a year ago, and now construction is nearing completion. Food carts will start arriving this week as electricians install the hookups necessary to power the mobile kitchens.
Last week crews paved the asphalt surface covering most of the corner lot at 8220 NE Davis Street. Workers will complete a shared trash enclosure and other finishing touches in the next few weeks. Several small changes to the infrastructure caused permitting delays that pushed back the original opening date. At this point, not too much more can delay the opening of this highly anticipated eating destination.
Co-owner of The Yard At Montavilla, Jeffrey Dennis, explained that they plan to host a trial run ahead of the official launch of the cart pod. “We’re hoping to open the weekend of June 25th for a soft opening and have July 4th be a Grand Opening weekend.” He went on to say that they have rented all but three of the 16 food carts spaces. Below is a listing of vendors at the cart pod, including Bai Yok Thai Food, who operated a restaurant in this same space before it burned down in 2016.
Guisados PDX – Mexican Food
East African Cuisine
Kings of Steak – Philly Cheese Steaks
Bai Yok Thai Food
Wood Fired Pizza
Shawarma Express – Mediterranean Food
Bobablastic – BobaTea, Poke Bowl, Hot Dog, Fries
Scout Beverages, Inc. – Beer & Wine
Taj Mahal Punjabi – Indian Cuisine
La Taquiza Vegana – All Vegan Mexican Street Food
Little Bear – Bingsu Tofu Popcorn Chx
Esan Thai Food Cart – Thai Food
Ricky’s Sushi – Sushi Rolls & Appetizers
Being located across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary, this is a prime location to serve a hungry community. Its launch date coincides with a national easing of COVID-19 restrictions and just in time for summer adventures. Expect new carts to start showing up soon and a buzz of activity as people ready for the imminent opening.
This weekend, Threshold Brewing & Blending launched their Polish-inspired Zapiekanka menu. This debut marks the beginning of full food service at the taproom with a savory and unique offering. For the past two years, staff mainly served craft beer and appetizers. Expanding into cooked meals is their way to welcome the post lockdown crowds who are already exploring the streets of Montavilla in significant numbers.
Foodservice is a natural fit for the brewery. Their wide selection of beers and other local drinks ensures an extended visit for customers interested in tasting all they offer. However, guests need something to eat between drinks, so growing the menu was an obvious need. “Since day one, people have been asking ‘do you have food?'” Explained Threshold’s co-owner Sara Szymanski. Threshold’s owners wanted to add food that would match their brewed beverages distinctive flavors.
Co-Owner and brewmaster Jarek Szymanski reached into his past to find inspiration for the new dish. When eating out during his formative years in Poland, the zapiekanka was his go-to food. The traditional Polish street food is a perfect rich flavored dish to serve alongside the brewed selections, and it is not a food found elsewhere in the neighborhood. The classic meatless recipe starts with a white-bread baguette topped in a richly spiced mushroom base. Staff melt the Polish Morski style cheese over the top and then add a serpentine stripe of Polish ketchup down the center. A light dusting of smoked paprika completes the dish. ThresholdServes their zapiekanka in a traditional foot-long paper sleeve, allowing customers to eat it like a hotdog or cut it into sharable segments.
The dish expands from the classic form with several toppings, including house-brined cucumbers and several meat options. The cucumbers are reminiscent of pickles without the overbearing vinegary flavor and can be added to the zapiekanka or served on the side. Smoked Brisket or Polish Sausage toppings round out the menu. Jarek Szymanski has a passion for smoked meats and takes pride in the Brisket’s preparation. He plans to offer spareribs, beef ribs, and pulled pork versions of the dish on select occasions.
The Smoked Brisket melts in your mouth and would a popular item if it was on the menu by itself. The cheese has a mozzarella-like flavor that covers the lightly toasted but still soft bread. The ketchup is based on a traditional Polish recipe, common in that country but difficult to buy on this continent. Szymanski creates his version with tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, sugar, and vinegar. It is more reminiscent of barbecue sauce than ketchup and also unlike most condiments you have experienced. It, too, could be a popular product if they bottled it for people to take home.
The drinks are an essential part of a zapiekanka meal. Jarek Szymanski recommends the smokey all wheat Grodziskie ale titled The Cruise. This historical style of beer from Poland has a clear, light golden color and a strong smoke flavor. Its low alcohol content and distinctive aroma mix well with the meal and won’t overpower the dish’s flavors. After eating, the Rebel Razzle Gose beer will reset the palate. This blackberries and raspberries infused beer is the equivalent of an after-dinner wine with a sweet and robust flavor.
At first glance, the Zapiekanka menu appears uncomplicated and straightforward. Only through eating the dish in its varied forms will you appreciate the complex flavors it creates through each topping. Threshold’s expanded menu will attract non-drinkers looking for a memorable meal and further enamor the breweries’ regular fans.
Threshold Brewing & Blending is located in downtown Montavilla at 403 SE 79th Ave. They are open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 PM to 8 PM. Fridays, they operate from 4 PM to 9 PM and Saturday from 3 PM to 9 PM. Sundays, they are open for lunch and dinner from Noon to 6 PM.
Disclosure – Threshold Brewing & Blending provided complimentary food and drinks to Montavilla News staff during a special tasting event.
The first information regarding the bar surfaced in a Liquor Licence application last week. When reached for comment, Sam Nguyen explained that Isamini Bar has a tentative opening date in early summer. However, COVID-19 makes exact timelines challenging to predict.
Located in the building’s single-story section, the bar will be a cozy 667 square-feet. The real estate flyer for the building provides a rough outline of the space. Although still in development, Nguyen offered a broad description of the coming menu “We’re offering a small selection of draft beers, bottled beers, wine, American/Asian appetizers, and food.”
Nguyen is new to bar ownership and should bring a unique perspective to the establishment. Transitioning from the medical field, starting Isamini Bar provides a need change for Nguyen. As COVIS-19 restrictions lift, people will likely rush back to public gathering spaces. This newest destination on Glisan should offer a comfortable space for people to interact with friends and restore their social lives.
After a successful weekend of soft-opening events, Tinker Tavern will officially launch tonight. Starting at 4 PM Monday, Montavilla’s newest bar begins daily operation. In compliance with regulations, only outdoor dining and take out will be offered.
Tinker Tavern will open at 4 PM every night. Closing time is flexible, between 9 PM and 11 PM, based on demand. As business increases, they will start opening at noon on weekends. Space is limited outside. The tavern has two picnic-style tables that can accommodate four people each. Covered street-side bar seating will fit three groups of up to four people. Customers can place takeout orders in-person, and staff will happily make you a drink while you wait.
Tinker Tavern took a year to come to completion. COVID-19 delays in construction and navigating operational restrictions tripled buildout timelines. Not wanting to waste time, owner Erik Mahan used the delay to perfect the tavern’s menu. Taking inspiration from his business partner’s Buffalo New York upbringing, Mahan developed the deli-pub classics into his own Portland creations. Not all items are available at opening, vegetarian and gluten-free options are in development, but some core dishes are well tested and ready to impress patrons.
Mahan looks forward to the day that he can welcome guests inside. When the most recent restrictions expire, Tinker Taverns will have an additional six to nine indoor tables. The centerpiece of the tavern is the large dark-stained bar. Unfortunately, the guest will not sit along its edge until the pandemic is under control. Until then, staff will serve customers under tiffany style lights at one of the many tables along the outside walls.
Montavilla residents are excited for this location to open. A new destination feels like a piece of normalcy that is missing from our lives this year. Swing by this week and wave hello, have a drink and a quick bite to eat. The staff of Tinker Tavern will appreciate the warm welcome to the neighborhood.
Tinker Tavern will open for takeout and outdoor dining next week after months of COVID-19 delays. The restaurant and tavern announced on Instagram their intent to have a limited opening in mid-December. A newly completed covered Parking Plaza sits on Stark Street outside the business’s front door.
Tinker Tavern’s website describes the general flavor of menu offerings. “A fantastic beer line up with local collaborations, local and imported wines… Well-crafted collection of Buffalo, NY inspired bar food.” The tavern’s Instagram provides more details, displaying pictures of future menu items. The image captions read as probable menu descriptions and receive enthusiastic responses from Instagram followers.
Tangy marinara, gooey mozzarella, and crispy curly pepperonis on a crunchy French roll.
Housemade mild Italian sausage topped with spicy Weber’s mustard, Kewpie mayo, and a pile o’ peppers and onions on a mini Lavin roll.
Beef on Weck: A kümelweck roll piled high with juicy roast beef, horsey sauce, and just a *kiss* of au jus.
Housemade spicy Portuguese linguiça with chimichurri on a Lavin French roll.
Cured meat Italian sub: Stuffed to the gills with capicola, salami, prosciutto, provolone, and all the fixings on a sturdy Portland French Wedge roll.
The owner, Erik Mahan, committed to the new tavern just before COVID-19 shutdowns rolled out across the state. Not having staff to support, Mahan managed a slow buildout and could wait for the right time to open up. After many challenges and a near year-long startup process, it is finally time to open. Starting Monday, look for signs Tinker Tavern is open and try out Montavilla’s newest addition.
UPDATE – Excellent Cuisine is now open from 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM daily. A new website for the business offers images of the menu and testimonials. They can be contacted by phone at 503-946-8830 or you can order delivery from any of these three services: Postmates.com, Grubhub.com, and Seamless.com.
Update from November 14th , 2020.
UPDATE – Excellent Cuisine had a soft opening this week with one Yelp reviewer posting his first impressions. The restaurant also now has a DoorDash page available for placing home delivery orders.
The King Plaza building prominently displays a new Excellent Cuisine sign, replacing the Wong’s King Seafood sign. Not too much information is available regarding the new establishment. The liquor license application paperwork shows a checkbox for “Video Lottery Machines” on site. The application was filed by Y & W Trading LLC with owners Yu Xiong Zhang and Wan Fang Kuang. The owners’ names are listed on the application but crossed out and replaced with the LLC.
In the coming months, expect to see more information on the cuisine type and an opening date. Based on current indoor dining restrictions, it’s likely to be a while before they open. However, many are already excited to see this location filled with another restaurant.
In a scene reminiscent of the 1800s boomtown, Montavilla is lining its main streets with roughly constructed wood structures. These Parking Plazas first took the shape of roped-off areas along the street’s edge. A handful of tables were set in the place once used for parked cars, and customers were seated for an open-air experience. This experiment is an effort to offer dining in the era of COVID-19, and it has been successful during the summer months.
Customers came to their favorite bars and restraints, enjoying the novel setting along the street. Soon the ropes became fences, and then canopies appeared over some Parking Plazas. Now we see the addition of substantial structures with roofs—string lights inside zigzag along the ceiling, ready for the coming early-sunset. Montavilla businesses are preparing for a long fall and winter of outdoor dining, as the pandemic lasts longer than expected.
The weather has not yet turned cold and rainy, but we will feel the wet chill around us within two months. At that time, there will be a test on outdoor seating’s viability in the Pacific Northwest. Will people brave the cold for the social interactions we gain by going out?
2020 is the year of uncertainty, and the building along our streets is the best attempt to beat uncertainty with preparation. Hopefully, the people of modern Montavilla are as hearty as those who first created these streets two hundred years ago—joining our neighbors for a drink and meal on a cold and damp evening.
Construction is now complete on the much-anticipated restaurant taking over the former Country Cat location. This past weekend, Lazy Susan staff officially started dinner service, representing the diner’s official opening.
Kayla Morrell, of Lazy Susan, described the opening weekend as successful. “We’ve seen a fair amount of turnout for our first weekend of full-service dining, and hope that continues as word gets out in the neighborhood.”
Dinner service is available from 4 PM to 9 PM, Friday through Sunday. They expect to add Thursday dinner in the near future, as business ramps up. Lazy Susan will also begin opening for brunch on Sundays and Mondays. However, the exact time and date for brunch service are yet to be determined.
Lazy Susan’s dining area and bar are ready to accept customers, having been carefully worked on for months. However, indoor seating will remain closed. “While the situation with COVID continues, we plan to remain in a takeout and outdoor-dining only format.” Said Morrell.
The restaurant’s interior expresses both cozy and open feelings. Woodwork surrounds the interior on all surfaces and creates compartments within the space. However, the areas’ division is represented on the outer edges, making the core of the room open and expansive. Wood dominates all corners of Lazy Susan, but the variety of stains and finishes prevent it from feeling excessive. Recessed lighting and ornamental light-fixtures illuminate all the compartments, further creating defined space without walls. The contoured paneling of the ceiling and wood floors will reduce sound reflection, creating a comfortable volume, once the room is packed full of people. For now, customers will have to view the detailed woodwork and creative lighting through the windows.
The kitchen is updated to support the charcoal centric menu. Some eliminate are a holdover from the Country Cat. Two under-counter refrigerators and the six-burner range are original. The custom charcoal grill is all new and sits center stage in the open kitchen. Future customers will be able to sit kitchen-side to watch the seasonal creations sizzling.
Lazy Susan occupies the corner shopfront in the historic Dickson Drugs building, located at 7937 SE Stark Street. The second weekend of dinner service starts tonight at 4 PM.
Renowned Portland firm, Osmose Design, created Lazy Susan’s distinctive look.
Thatcher’s lounge is currently closed for renovations. They will be opening back up on July 27th. Located at 7906 SE Stark Street, the sports bar and breakfast spot is a fixture in Montavilla town.
Cody Palmer, manager at Thatcher’s, described the renovation as long overdue updating. “[We’re] tearing out decades-old carpet, laying down some wood floors, painting walls, adding TVs and window-side booth seating.”
In addition to the interior upgrades happening at Thatcher’s, they have some outside improvements planned. Starting this weekend, they will begin constructing a 40-foot Parking Plaza, using the parking spaces in front of the bar.
Patrons will not need to wait long before seeing the new upgrades to their favorite bar. In just two weeks, they expect to see many customers seated out on Stark Street or enjoying an updated experience inside.
Neighborhood news site focused on buildings and changing businesses