In Portland, upscale hotel projects are popping up like kolaches in the oven. That's not a random reference: the soft, yeasty Czech hot pockets are one of the Texas treats that chef Doug Adams will serve at Woodlark, a luxury hotel that opens Saturday, December 15, at the corner of SW 9th and Alder.
Bullard, Adams's forthcoming meat palace of a restaurant, will occupy half of the hotel's airy ground floor. Adjacent to Bullard, Adams and business partner Jen Quist will also operate the bright, floral Abigail Hall, a cocktail bar slinging tongue-in-cheek drinks surrounded by historical fixtures from the century-old Cornelius Hotel—the second half of the new, combined Woodlark building. If we're going on Adams's past strengths (and Bullard's recent Instagram activity), expect Bullard's open kitchen to churn out big Southern flavors with a Texas IQ. Bullard will operate lunch and dinner service, with Adams's grab-and-go morning kolaches served in the lobby coffee bar, run by sunny Southeast purveyors Good Coffee.
Other features to look for in the hotel proper: botanical prints from Depression-era Pacific Northwest photographer Imogen Cunningham in each guest room, along with subtle color coding along the hotel corridors to help guests navigate their way between Woodlark's split-level wings—just one of a few quirky results of merging two historical buildings, Woodlark and the Cornelius, into one. (The blue-green "forest flora" palette of Woodlark's hallways and rooms will be light and bright; on the Cornelius side, the colors trend a bit more subdued.) Among the hotel's 150 rooms are a few airy lofts with spiral staircases. And all rooms offer Salt & Straw ice cream menus ... because Portland.
Woodlark opens as a wave of high-profile restaurants take over the city's newest hotels—the Hoxton's La Neta, Hey Love at Jupiter Next, and Vitaly Paley's Rosa Rosa at the Dossier. For these competing hospitality developers, the bet seems to be that locals—not just tourists—can be lured into the urban core for swanky dining guided by well-known local chefs. With Bullard as an early indicator, we'll know soon enough if Portlanders eat up the concept.