Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: A Natural Wine Bar Arrives, Gracie's Apizza Returns, and The Hey Love Team Plans a Bar

May 5, 2023 Edition
May 4, 2023
Gracie's Apizza is back in an expanded space in St. Johns. (Gracie's Apizza)
April showers appear to have brought a flurry of May flavors, from the reopening of Gracie's Apizza to the unpretentious natural wine bar Grape Ape. Plus, the team behind Hey Love plans to open a whimsical new bar with buttered popcorn and s'mores espresso martinis later this month. Read on for all of that and more of the latest food news. For more ideas, check out our guide to where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and our food and drink guide.


Gracie's Apizza List
Rejoice: Craig Melillo's acclaimed pizzeria reopened in a bigger space in St. Johns on Wednesday, just a stone's throw from the original space. The wood-fired pies made with Cairnspring Mills flour and playful house-made ice cream flavors are back, along with ingredients like scratch-made capicola and two-year-fermented onion honey.
St. Johns
Pickup, dine-in

Grape Ape List
Industry alum Morgan Schick opened this laidback natural wine bar and bottle shop in the Central Eastside neighborhood on Wednesday. “One of the great things that the natural wine movement has done is take the exclusive sheen off of drinking wine,” Schick, who spent 15 years opening bars in the Bay Area, said in a press release. “I love wine and I love neighborhood bars, and hope that those two things can exist together.” Named for a strain of weed, the chic, colorful space features a selection of low-intervention wines from around the country and around the world, as well as house-made vermouth, low-alcohol cocktails on tap, and a food menu by former G-Love chef Jose Sabas, with cheeky bites like marinated white beans with Duke's mayo on toast, tater tot tortilla Espanola, and chicken wings au vin with bacon gribiche.
Central Eastside
Pickup, dine-in

Toro Mexican Kitchen List
The Urban Restaurant Group (Brix Tavern List , Bartini List , Swine Bar List ) recently launched this Mexican spot in the former Tilt space in the Pearl District. The menu from chefs Adrian Cervantes and Aaron Newton features dishes like empanadas, ceviche, enchiladas, tacos, and steaks from Washington-based Double R Ranch. 
Pearl District


The End List
Hey Love List co-owners Emily Mistell and Nicholas Musso plan to team up with Cat's Paw owner Mickey Reyes, Sweet Hereafter List bartender Dylan Long, and chef Sam Smith to open this quirky bar next door to the Oregon Theatre (Portland's longest-running adult film theater, which closed its doors in 2020) later this month. Expect fun, craveable snacks like buttered popcorn and budae jjigae Cup Noodles alongside "nostalgia-based cocktails" like s'mores espresso martinis, melon ball Negronis, and Buffalo sauce micheladas.

Mike's Drive-In List
The 52-year-old fast food chain announced this week that it is getting closer to opening its outpost on Lombard Street.


The Cakery List
According to a press release, this cake emporium from the team behind Baker & Spice List will close after service on Sunday, May 14. The announcement read, "For more than a decade, it has been our joy and honor to bring sweetness to your celebrations, milestones, and cravings. Alas, our lease is coming to an end, and we feel ready to pass our beautiful space on to someone new."

Grain & Gristle List
The farm-to-table neighborhood tavern will shutter at the end of the month. Co-owners Heidi and Jeff Whitney-Schile plan to open a new restaurant and event space called L’ecole at a TBD location sometime this fall.

Nightingale List
Eater Portland reports that this Mexican bar and restaurant has been reported closed on Yelp and Google. Further information about the closure is currently unknown.

Zell's Cafe List
After a staggering 40 years of business, this breakfast and lunch joint closed permanently on Tuesday, citing the increased costs of labor and food as reasons for the closure. A note posted on the restaurant's door stated, "We are reimagining the space and will return with a different concept at some point."



Beach Eagle Release Past Event List
On a recent trip to the ocean, I came closer than I ever have to a bald eagle, lounging unbothered on some driftwood, a mere 20 feet away from me. The awe-inspiring birds of prey clearly love to perch along the shore, which might be why the Astoria-based brewery Fort George has chosen to christen its new Mexican lager “Beach Eagle.” They describe it as the “perfect companion to sunny days on the beach, hanging with good friends, and tacos smothered with your favorite hot sauce,” with “slightly grainy corn flavor” and “subtle citrus and floral notes”—lime wedge optional but encouraged. Claim these enviable summer vibes for yourself at the Kenton bottle shop and taproom Mayfly’s release party, which will feature other offerings from Fort George as well as tamales from Tamales Con Amor.
Mayfly Taproom and Bottle Shop, 5-6 pm


Cinco de Mayo Party Past Event List
If you haven't yet experienced the novelty of dining inside a converted car wash stall at former Autentica and Uno Mas chef Oswaldo Bibiano's restaurant Smart Donkey, here's your chance: The spot will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration on Friday and Saturday, with mariachi music, nachos de pueblo, margaritas, aguas frescas, Mexican candy, and no fewer than five different types of tacos. They’ve even got you covered for the post-party hangover: return on Saturday and Sunday to soothe your aching head with the healing power of pork pozole blanco.
Smart Donkey, 3-9 pm


Et Fille Wines’ 20th Anniversary Pink & White Party
Past Event List Don your most romantic pink and white finery for this soirée celebrating Et Fille Wines' 20th anniversary and freshly planted vineyard. You'll get to be among the first to taste the family-owned winery's new viognier, chardonnay, white pinot, and rosé alongside other wines and snacks.
Et Fille Winery, Newberg, 1-2:30 pm

Eno Wine X Futura
Past Event List Enjoy an evening of sustainably sourced wines by the glass and bottle from the local boutique winery Eno Wines.
Futura Coffee Roasters, 5-10 pm


Cheese and Crack List
The dairy-centric snack shop has reprised its seasonal rhubarb crumble sundae special, known as "Rhubarbara." The dessert consists of vanilla soft serve, Oregon rhubarb compote, and cinnamon oat streusel.
Pickup, dine-in

St. Beatrix List
This bakery is paying tribute to meaty Italian sandwiches with its new savory croissant special, featuring mortadella, provolone, and salami topped off with a dainty pepperoncini and olive garnish.
Pickup, delivery

Tabor Bread List
Delve even deeper into rhubarb season with Tabor Bread's rhubarb and orange curd Danishes.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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