Dayna McErlean has a knack for creating neighborhood hubs (see: Nonna, DOC, and Yakuza on NE Killingsworth and the Colony in St. Johns). Now she's turning her entrepreneural eye on Downtown Portland's lunch counter culture.
Dime Store, McErlean's new venture at 837 SW 11th Ave (home to Leo’s Nonsmoking Coffee Shop for the past three decades) aims to cash in on our collective nostalgia for diner booths, print journalism, and grab-and-go sweets. Nestled on the first floor corner of the historic Medical Dental Building, Dime Store will offer casual fare inspired by old-school soda counters and kiosks loaded with periodicals, take-out sandwiches, coffee, and candy.
McErlean has tapped Claire Miller, former sous chef at Grain & Gristle who has done time in the kitchens of Holocene and Lincoln Restaurant, to design an Americana-inspired menu of breakfast (served all day) and lunch items (available noon to close) for the urban diner. The farm-to-table-focused chef with a penchant for white bread and buttermilk flapkacks will offer familiar favorites like meatloaf and club sandwiches, chicken salads with goddess dressing, loaded eggy breakfast plates, burgers, and desserts from root beer floats to slices of cake.
Dime Store is slated for a June 15 debut. If all goes as planned, happy hour specials and family-friendly dinner service could roll out in a few months. Stay tuned for updates on the so-called "finer diner" as they roll in.
837 SW 11th Avenue