This year was a tough one for small businesses, especially restaurants. About 100,000 restaurants nationwide, nearly one in six, closed as a result of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Trying to keep a restaurant open this year wasn’t easy. Neither was trying to open one.
Right now, Multnomah County is listed at “extreme risk” for spreading coronavirus. This means restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking establishments are limited to a maximum of 50 people for outdoor dining only, with only six people per table.
A great way to support your favorite Portland eateries is to get take-out or delivery.
Here are 11 of the biggest openings and the 10 saddest closings of this year.
🌮 Birria La Plaza has succulent and delicious birria — spiced meats cooked in their own juices for hours until they’re melt-in-your-mouth tender.
🍳 We think Ron Swanson would be a huge fan of Cafe Rowan’s focus on breakfast foods.
🍷Shop for all the ingredients and accoutrement for your next Italian dish at Cooperativa — an airy, minimalist Italian market.
🍓Refreshing, clean, and healthy, treat yourself to juices at Drink Mamey’s juice bar.
🍔 Farmer And The Beast will bring out your wild side with their hearty Beast Burgers.
🍖 If you’re looking for rustic, Turkish fare, Lokanta has a big plate of biber dolma and asma yaprakli hellim ready for you.
🍝 Montelupo’s Italian Market put a dent in al dente, and brings the sauce to back up their very cool marketplace.
🍬 An homage to all grandmothers, matriarchs, and grandchildren, Oma’s Takeaway, has funky and playful Southeast Asian cuisine and wants to send you home with a pocket full of Kopi candy.
🌮 From blue corn fresh masa quesadillas in the day to spiced pear tarts with goat cheese cream at night, República has something for everyone.
🔥 Over on Belmont, Taqueria Los Puñales is serving up traditional guisados with a side of delicious advocacy for the LGBTQIAA+ community.
🍲 Get yourself some scrumptious tom kha and green curry at YUI.
For a more comprehensive list of Portland restaurant openings, go here.
🎥 One of Southeast Portland’s best spots for biscuits and gravy, Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe, closed permanently after 15 years. The cafe once appeared on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
⭐ Bluehour, known for decadent, luxurious oysters on the half shell and themed brunches, as well as a great spot to go celebrity spotting, closed at the end of June.
🍚 Canton Grill closed after 76 years of providing Portlanders with Chinese and American fare.
🍹 A beloved dive bar and pizzeria in the Alphabet District for more than 30 years, Crackerjacks closed its doors permanently on Sept. 27.
🍖 We also said goodbye to James Beard award-winning Chef Vitaly Paley’s lauded steakhouse, Imperial, at the beginning of October.
🧀 Kargi Go Go, known for their tasty Georgian cheese breads and khinkali dumplings, closed their restaurant on Nov. 22.
🏖️ No Bones Beach Club, a vegan restaurant — known for its beach-y decor and shark shots — closed at the end of August.
🍲 One of PDX’s preeminent Thai restaurants, Pok Pok, said goodbye and closed all of its Oregon locations in October.
🍳 After 15 years of dishing up German pancakes and corned beef hash, one of Portland’s breakfast holdouts, Sanborn, has decided to not reopen.
⚽ Known as one of the top places to get a full English breakfast, the soccer-themed Toffee Club said farewell on Aug. 23.
For a more comprehensive list of Portland restaurant closings, go here.