0717 eat savor big s chicken b4vgef

Big's Chicken

Image: Michael Novak

Big’s Chicken catches fire

The Oregonian reports that a three-alarm fire tore through the smoked chicken shack from the Laurelhurst Market team on July 13. Co-owner Ben Dyer says most of the restaurant was spared from the fire, though the apartments above were devastated. Dyer estimates that Big’s will be closed “for months.” It’s been a rough month for the team; just a week earlier, Willamette Week splashed a surprisingly brutal takedown of the new restaurant on rack cards (the teaser poster on newsboxes). While it undergoes reconstruction, you can find a recipe for the DIY smoked, grilled chicken right here.

Taylor Railworks to close

The industrial eastside restaurant from former Little Bird talent Erik Van Kley will close, pending new ownership. Van Kley’s “borderless” American cuisine had moments of greatness over its two year run, but was often scattered in its vision, with flavors, influences, and cuisines clashing at steep prices. No word yet on an exact closure date.

Biwa reverts to old format; closes Parasol Bar

In October 2016, after a decade of wild success, Portland Monthly broke the news that Biwa was splitting into two restaurants: a more upscale omakase experience at Biwa Izakaya, and a casual cafe and noodle bar at Parasol Bar. Now, the Oregonian reports that they're rolling the clock back, reinstating the menu and merging the space. "We're going back to a menu that's highly evocative of what we served in 2007, 2012, or 2015," says co-owner Gabe Rosen in his O interview. 

Level Beer now open 

The long-awaited Argay neighborhood brewery from PDX beer vets Geoff Phillips (Bailey’s Taproom), Jason Barbee (Ex Novo) and Shane Watterson (Laurelwood) is now open. Level promises a line of “balanced,” lighter craft beers on a sprawling two-acre space (hop field and playground included). Open every day, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. (and until 10 p.m. on weekends) at 5211 NE 148th Avenue.

Dana Frank leaves Dame

Celebrated natural wine advocate Dana Frank has separated from her opus, Dame, after only 10 months. Frank opened Dame last year with co-owner Jane Smith and notable Seattle chef Eli Dahlin (Walrus and the Carpenter, Damn the Weather), immersing both wine aficionados and novices in a totally new kind of experience. With Dahlin’s departure in in March 2017, followed by Frank, it’s unclear where Dame will land. Frank, meanwhile, has joined the team at Holdfast as wine director, and continues to work on her wine pairing book, Wine Food, with Portland author Andrea Slonecker, due fall 2018. 

Smith Teamaker opens in Korea 

Joining the wonderful world of Portland’s far-flung food exports (Blue Star, Navarre, and Voodoo, to name a few) Smith Teamaker has opened a café in Seoul, Korea. Thanks to Korean importer Orefarm, which specializes in Oregon goods, Smith Tea has become a staple in Korea, according to head teamaker Tony Tellin. The new Smith Teamaker Café, dubbed “Beat360,” offers all of the same sippable goodies as at the Portland tasting rooms, with the addition of tea smoothies.

Filed under
Show Comments
In this Article

Voodoo Doughnut

$ Doughnuts Multiple Locations

The jury’s still out on the vegan doughnuts gleaming from the revolving case at this tiny midnight marauder of a doughnut shop in old town, but few loyal Voo...

Editor’s Pick


$$ Mediterranean 10 NE 28th Ave

John Taboada pioneered a new east-side indie food style with this 33-seat eatery in 2002, filled with local-farm gestalt, scholarly European village recipes,...

Editor’s Pick

Blue Star Donuts

$ Doughnuts Multiple Locations

Prolific comfort food purveyors Micah Camden and Katie Poppe’s doughnut shop “for grown-ups” is a true, Portland-style sugar high. The Little Big Burger duo ...

Steven Smith Teamaker

$ Multiple Locations

Education takes priority at the nationally-lauded tea maker's headquarters: plush leather chairs and all the required reading (tea encyclopedias, for example...

Editor’s Pick


$$$$ Modern, Pacific Northwest 537 SE Ash St, Unit #102

Will Preisch and Joel Stocks deliver a fresh vision of what fine dining in Portland can be: high-quality, highly personal, and casually ceremonial. The forme...

Editor’s Pick


$$ Pacific Northwest 2930 NE Killingsworth St

At this NE Killingsworth restaurant and wine bar, au naturel is the only way to go. Originally built by rising-star sommelier Dana Frank (she’s since departe...

Editor’s Pick

Biwa Closed

$$ Japanese 215 SE Ninth Ave

Biwa mashes up indie Portland and the izakaya, a Japanese bar where customers can drink beer and sake while nibbling on small plates of, say, Korean beef tar...

Editor’s Pick

Little Bird Bistro

$$$ French 219 SW 6th Ave.

Little Bird has quietly rebooted as Portland’s most exciting “new” restaurant. The downtown bistro’s cooking feels vital and experimental, like a playful foo...

Taylor Railworks Closed

$$$ American, Asian 117 SE Taylor St, Suite 101

When Erik Van Kley flew the coop at beloved Little Bird in early 2015, who’d have guessed that the talented chef would return with a vibrant detour to the Am...

Editor’s Pick

Laurelhurst Market

$$$ New American, Steakhouse 3155 E Burnside St.

When Laurelhurst Market opened in 2009, it veered as far from Morton’s as you could get: affordable cuts, next-level sides, and a butcher counter to rival an...

Editor’s Pick

Big's Chicken

$ Barbecue 4570 SW Watson Ave

Scuttled by a fire at its original Northeast Portland digs in 2017, Big’s rose again in late summer, like a phoenix slathered in Alabama White Gold barbecue ...