Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: A Death-Themed Bar, Pickle Soft Serve, and the Return of Holman's

August 4, 2023 Edition
August 3, 2023
Death and disco commingle at the new bar Sad Valley. (Sad Valley)
This week, we're celebrating the triumphant return of Holman’s Bar & Grill and the opening of the death-themed bar Sad Valley. Read about that and more of the latest food news, from Doe Donuts' pickle soft serve to Tanaka's upcoming Tigard location. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


Holman’s Bar & Grill List
The pandemic claimed too many restaurant casualties to count, so it's refreshing to see that the cozy 90-year-old institution Holman’s Bar & Grill, which has been on hiatus since March 2020, reopened its doors on Monday. Warren Boothby and Marcus Archambeault, the duo who's breathed new life into classic dives like the Alibi List , Sandy Hut List , and the Vern List , have subtly freshened up the space while maintaining its retro appeal.

Sad Valley List
In the mood to mull over your mortality while sipping a cocktail? Jeremy Alexander, the owner of the vibey Seattle bar Neon Boots List (which closed in 2021), recently opened this new death-themed bar in Killingsworth, complete with a disco ball inside a coffin on the ceiling. Bartender Megan Radke, Alexander's wife, slings drinks like the "Beloved Daughter" (hibiscus-infused vodka, lemon, simple syrup, Peychauds bitters, and sparkling rosé) and the "Brave Marion" (tequila, lime juice, marionberry syrup, orange liquor, and salt), while food ranges from Painted Hills beef burgers to macaroni au gratin. Don't miss the "Unhappy Hour," which runs from 4-6 pm daily and offers $5.50 well drinks and draft cocktails, $1 off menu cocktails, and $5 fries.


Montelupo Italian Market List
The Italian market Montelupo plans to open a new location in the former space of Baes Fried Chicken in Sellwood-Moreland. The spot will serve focaccia, Roman-style pizza, and pantry goods.

Tanaka List
The downtown Japanese bakery and katsu sandwich shop Tanaka will open a new location in Tigard’s Bridgeport Village on August 18.


Matta List
The Vietnamese cart Matta is about to begin a new chapter: The cart will close after service on August 13, and the business will move into Lil Dame on August 21.

Nick's Italian Cafe List
After 46 years of business, this James Beard Award-winning restaurant in McMinnville has shuttered permanently. A family member of owner Nick Peirano cites "the compounding challenges of running a business these days" as the reason for the sudden closure.

The Woodsman Tavern List
This popular SE Division restaurant, which closed in 2018 and reopened in 2021 List , announced on Wednesday that it will close permanently on August 20.



Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Past Event List
Since 1974, the adorable, red-bowed icon Hello Kitty has been enchanting fans with her feline mystique. (Did you know she has no mouth so people can "project their feelings onto the character" and "be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty"? And that she is "five apples tall"?) Sanrio's all-pink cafe truck will roll into the Rose City, bringing with it plenty of kawaii sweets and collectibles, including cookies, macarons, cupcakes, lunchboxes, mugs, hoodies, and tote bags. Dress up in your cutest clothes and come pay your respects.
Bridgeport Village, 10 am–7 pm

Green Bean Fest! Past Event List
The humble green bean rarely gets its due. To correct this grievous wrong, Wellspent Market has teamed up with the Culinary Breeding Network to celebrate the undersung vegetable with green bean tasting kits, the "surprisingly interesting" lore of the green bean's history in Oregon, green bean cooking demos from Wellspent founder Jim Dixon and other guest chefs, seeds and green bean swag from the Culinary Breeding Network, and more. You can nosh on green bean sandos, sip green bean micheladas, and even partake in green bean ice cream (!).
Wellspent Market, 12-4 pm


India Festival Past Event List
Spearheaded by the India Cultural Association of Portland, this outdoor festival brings India's vibrant culture to Portland's living room with a flurry of music and dance performances, plus booths with fashion, art, and mouthwatering Indian cuisine. Now in its 29th year, the event is held in proximity to August 15 in celebration of India's independence day. JANEY WONG
Pioneer Courthouse Square, 11 am–8:30 pm


Summer Rosé Soirée Past Event List
Happy rosé season to those who celebrate! Whatever your thoughts on the increasingly ubiquitous blush beverage, it's hard to imagine a drink better suited for warm weather and picnics. At this event, EaT: An Oyster Bar chef/owner Ethan Powell, former Lucky Strike chef/owner Jia You, and sommelier Ken Collura (who worked as the wine director at Andina for a decade) will come together to present a meal of Sichuan and Cajun Creole dishes paired with pink wine from the Pacific Northwest and all over the world.
EaT: An Oyster Bar, 6:30 pm


Doe Donuts List
From fermented vegetables to the Portland Pickles, Portland's love for all things briny runs deep. The latest evidence of this truth is Doe Donuts' new pickle soft serve flavor, which they recommend pairing with a swirl of peanut butter soft serve. (For even more pickle-flavored sweets, try Ice Queen List 's "tickle my pickle" paleta.)
Hollywood District
Pickup, delivery

Jojo List
The newest employee special at the fried chicken oasis Jojo is the aptly named "Impossible to Resist": a fried chicken thigh dipped in a buffalo barbecue sauce, Duke's mayo, bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, and pickles on a potato bun, available at the truck only for the next month.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Wild Child Pizza
Revel in the flavors of stone fruit season with Wild Child's new seasonal "Peaches 'n Cream" flavor, topped with balsamic-glazed peaches, creamy ricotta, lemon, olive oil, arugula, Wisconsin brick cheese, pepperoni, parmesan, and a drizzle of Mike's Hot Honey and available for August only.
Vernon, Nob Hill
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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