Grüner Goes Casual with Kask

Christopher Israel and Kurt Huffman dish on the new bar that’s set to put Grüner’s elegance on tap.

By Allison Jones June 13, 2011

The long-rumored neighborhood bar adjacent to downtown Portland’s favorite alpine eatery Grüner is getting ready for its debut. A spin-off of James Beard award nominee Christopher Israel’s successful eatery, Kask will be an über-intimate, 25-seat saloon celebrating artisanal American sips and suds. Set to open Friday, June 24th, Kask has tapped into local talent and local tastes to bring the next big bar to a neighborhood that could use more top-shelf attractions.

Owner and restaurateur Kurt Huffman of ChefStable – the powerhouse behind Grüner, St. Jack, Ping, Foster Burger, and the upcoming Wafuu – dished the details about the spot that is sure to become GQ’s new Portland darling. The bar will be tended by super shaker Tommy Klus, fresh from his sabbatical in Scotland studying scotch production "from grain to glass". The bar program has been curated by Drew Putterman, bar manager at Grüner, and Klus, a dream team of Portland mixology. In addition to Kask’s handcrafted cocktails, local microbrews and indie wineries will be well represented in the small space’s well-curated drink program – think Upright Brewing and Captured by Porches beer and Teutonic, Cameron, and Chehalem wines.

The bar menu will focus on charcuterie, terrines, local cheeses and breads along with house-made condiments and pickles, served up in the warm and inviting space. The bar’s interior has been truly crafted – everything from the tables and bar top to the bar stools themselves were handmade by a local carpenter using Pacific Northwest salvaged wood and recycled materials.

Kask is set to shake things Monday through Saturday at 1215 SW Alder Street, and we’ll have more details (and photos!) in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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