Tag: Tinker Tavern

Tinker Tavern Opens Tonight

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 is located at 7980 SE Stark Street.

Tinker Tavern Opening Next Week

UPDATED – Tinker Tavern opened Monday

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.

Tinker Tavern is located at 7980 SE Stark Street.

Tinker Tavern’s covered Parking Plaza

UPDATED – Added wording to specify Monday as the first open date.

Tinker Tavern to Start Construction

Last week Tinker Tavern received building permits for for their new Montavilla Tavern. This project has been delayed due to COVID-19 related shutdowns and was in a holding pattern, waiting for the city’s approval. Now work will begin in just a few weeks.

Tinker Tavern is going to have an “old school tavern look… classic.” Said Erik Mahan, owner of Tinker Tavern. He described Tiffany style lamps and swivel bar stools as elements of the design esthetic. The goal is to create a comfortable space, Mahan explained. He is not looking to challenge the customers through design but instead create a welcoming neighborhood bar.

The location of Tinker Tavern, 7980 SE Stark Street, was formerly a retail store. Transforming the space into a tavern, with a kitchen, will take some time. Mahan expects construction to last 10 weeks, as long as trade work is not overly delayed due to social distancing measures.

The added delay in opening, has given Mahan time to adjust his buildout to deal with the COVID-19 restrictions. He anticipates opening Tinker Tavern in phase two of Multnomah County’s reopening process. Currently he’s operating his other location, Bantam Tavern on NW 21st Ave, under the general restrictions. That has provided him the experience needed to make smart design choices for Tinker Tavern. Choices that will help him open safely and still function as a Tavern.

To meet the phase two guidelines, he has eliminated a table from his original interior layout, allowing for the required distancing of guests. Further interior modifications will include the use of plexiglass, to provide separation between groups. Fortunately the building is setback from the sidewalk and that will allow for outdoor seating. Mahan will use planters to create an 8 foot by fourteen foot outdoor seating area. He also plans to apply for Street Seating through the PBOT program, when he is closer to opening.

When asked why he chose Montavilla for his new Tavern, Mahan explained he has been a longtime fan of the area. He was impressed with other bars in the area, like Roscoe’s and has watched how they have grown. Mahan’s girlfriend lives in the neighborhood and they frequently walk the streets of Montavilla. It was on one of those walks that he saw this space available and knew it would be a great fit for his next Tavern. Being on SE Stark Street and a corner property made it an ideal location. Mahan described the location as an “attractive newer building.” Taking a space in an older Montavilla storefront, would not be as easy to upgrade with all the features he wanted to add.

Mahan sees a neighborhood bar as more than just serving neighborhood customers. He wants to incorporate items from other local businesses in the tavern’s offerings. Look for local beers and food items to be on his menu.

Construction will start soon and residents should expect to see activity at the site in the coming weeks. They have set up a Tinker Tavern Instagram as the primary way to communicate about their progress. Mahan said he will be posting updates and construction pictures there as things progress.

Effect of Staying Home on Where We Go-out

It has almost been a month of empty streets and closed shops. Even if you are safe and secure during this time, you are looking around at the businesses in the neighborhood and hoping they will survive. There are some programs to help these small businesses but not enough, and certainly they are not timely in providing the help needed. Those programs are for established businesses trying to make it through the forced closures. However, they do not cover establishments that have not opened their doors for the first time. We have many businesses in Montavilla that are mid construction.

The Oregonian has an article detailing the struggle of four restaurants and bars that had all been scheduled to open in Montavilla town. In the article, the owners of White Rabbit, Tinker Tavern, Lazy Susan, and Sebastiano’s all lend their voice to the story of uncertainty around us. No business in Montavilla is immune to the financial hardships being felt right now but the ones that have yet to see their first customer, are proving to be the most vulnerable.

All is not lost for these future landmarks of Montavilla. Some should be able to postpone plans. Others are adjusting the business to fit what is practical right now. Andrew Mace, of Lazy Susan, is quoted in The Oregonian article as being thankful they did not hire staff yet.

Unlike other shops with staff, payroll and unemployment is one burden the new locations in Montavilla are not contending with. There are many established businesses in our area that need cash flow to keep some of their staff employed.

Brian Stafki put together a Google Sheet of Montavilla, and other nearby businesses, that are open or offering services in an alternative form. If you can continue to give them business, please do.

The Montavilla East Tabor Business Association has created a COVID-19 Info and Resources page that has some additional information about its members, during this prolonged shutdown.

New Bar coming to Montavilla Town

A new permit application, for 7980 SE STARK Street, marks a change of occupancy and renovations to support a new bar. The application is on the behalf of Erik Mahan and House Policy LLC. with a reported budget of $110,192. This is the space formerly occupied by Eco Baby Gear, who recently moved to a new location. It is a prominent location on the corner of SE 80th Ave and Stark Street, in the center of Montavilla town.

The Portland blog Bridgetown Bites noted that a new “Tinker Tavern” was coming to Montavilla, base on a liquor license granted to Eric Mahan. The article had the location’s address a little off, and I have noted different spellings of Mr. Mahan’s first name in other publications, but these two pieces of information would indicate a new bar and/or restaurant is coming to that vacant storefront.

There are many open questions about this new establishment. Will the name be House Policy and will there be a greater offering than the standard bar menu? I look forward seeing what progress there.