The 10 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2015

Our hottest restaurant prospects for the new year (March is going to be a big one).

By Benjamin Tepler January 21, 2015

Boar Pappardelle at Burrasca


In the summer of 2013, with a counter, dime-store stools, and a rented kitchen at Northwest Portland food incubator KitchenCru, Will Preisch bolted out of nowhere with a fresh vision of modern eating. Almost overnight, Holdfast vaulted into the top tier of Portland dining, and Preisch earned Portland Monthly’s tag as Rising Star Chef 2013. Now, the bearded wonder and his co-pilot Joel Stocks are relocating to the front room of Fausse Piste winery at 537 SE Ash St.

According to Preisch, the new Holdfast will be open 4 days a week, Thursday through Sunday, with a six-course, $65 menu on Thursdays, and a $90, nine-course menu for the rest of the week. Holdfast will continue a counter-seating environment, with room for 12, along with optional paired wines and a new juice program for non-drinkers. 

Projected Opening: Imminently


Steve Jones, Portland’s longtime cheese-whiz and owner of Cheese Bar on Southeast Belmont, is opening an intimate, sit-down cheese-pairing experience, along the lines of a sushi bar (chizu is Japanese for cheese). The 450-foot, 18-seat space next to Multnomah Whiskey Library will offer only 30-40 of the very best cheeses from Jones’s encyclopedic collection, served with small snacks like meat plates and pickles.

Projected Opening: February

Tastebud 2.0

We waited two years for Mark Doxtader, farmers market icon, original wood-fired zealot, and bagelmeister extraordinaire, to reopen his fully-fledged restaurant, which shuttered in January 2013. The new location at 7783 SW Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village will be helmed by celebrated Portland chef, Jason Barwikowski, who departed the Woodsman Tavern in August, 2013. At its most basic, Tastebud's menu will include Montreal-style bagels, brassica-topped pizzas, and superlative roasted chicken dinners

Projected Opening: March


Ramen might be dead to David Chang, one of the instigators of America’s Japanese noodle craze, but Biwa owners Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz pay no mind; their upcoming ramen den at 1430 SE Water Ave is well underway.

Rosen and Voelz sat down with Eat Beat to hash out some details: "The space is small, 500 square feet, with room for 35. Aesthetically, it’ll be similar to Biwa with concrete floors, reused materials, and a post-war 50’s Japan feel. Noraneko’s four basic ramen types (shio, shoyu, miso, and vegetarian), will each have their own accompaniments, like chashu pork made from different parts of the pig, from belly to headcheese, and good, springy noodles from Sun Noodle." Rosen and Voelz are also diving into the world of fermented drinks, offering fresh juices, drinking vinegars, and kombucha made in-house.

Projected Opening: March

Smokehouse Tavern

BJ Smith, chef-owner of Smokehouse 21 in Northwest Portland, is opening a second, larger version of his barbecue joint with new bar snacks and weekend brunch. Expect pulled-pork poutine, smoked cheese curds, and brunch specials like brisket eggs benedict and shrimp n’ grits. The new eastside location (inside the former Lightbar space at 1401 SE Morrison) will be designed by Smith’s wife, Michelle Lesniak, a fashion designer and Project Runway star. The hype is big, but the proof is in the ribs.

Projected Opening: March


After months of hosting a Monday night pizza and hip-hop-themed pop-up inside North Portland’s Ned Ludd, Nicholas Ford and Brandon Gomez are breaking out on their own. The new space (formerly Tennessee Reds, 2133 SE 11th Ave) will operate under the same hip-hop/pizza-loving guidelines, but with a bigger bar, a custom wood-fired oven, more pizzas, and a pasta menu.

Projected Opening: March

Ham Bar

James Beard Award nominee Cathy Whims and her Oven & Shaker partners—Chefstable’s Kurt Huffman and cocktail emissary Ryan Magarian—plan to open an evenings-only “ham bar,” (name still TBD). Set inside the former Jinx Lounge space around the corner from Oven & Shaker at 232 NW 12th Ave, the plan is to curate six to seven different hams from around the world, to pair with a ham-centric menu inspired by Whims' true loves: Italy, Spain, and her North Carolina roots. 

Projected Opening: March


In the winter of 2013, Eat Beat declared Burrasca one of Portland’s best food carts. It was old-school Florentine cooking, in the form of buttery smooth ribolita soup and silky, stewed boar tossed in cart-rolled pappardelle. Now, chef/co-owner Paolo Calamai is opening a brick-and-mortar for his homey nonna cuisine. The Calamais tell Eat Beat they are eyeing an east side location, with an expanded menu that features antipasti, house-stuffed sausages and cured salami, more pasta options, and dessert. Hopefully, you can still get the umami-bomb of slow-braised squid in a rich, garlicky sauce for a cart-friendly $7.

Projected Opening: May

Farm spirit

Aaron Adams, the mastermind behind Southeast Portland’s Portobello Vegan Trattoria, has jumped ship to launch his own multi-course vegan restaurant. The plan: hyper-seasonal, hyper-local prix fixe menu at a 10-seat chefs counter. An early test dish shows brassicas, puffed quinoa, cabbage cider and smoked walnut milk alongside juice and wine pairings. 

Projected Opening: April

Moon Pizza

Last summer, Bunk Sandwich king Tommy Habetz broke the news on Eat Beat that he would be opening an East Coast-style pizzeria at SE 20th Ave near Powell Boulevard this winter. Habetz says there has been some trouble securing the space in Southeast Portland, so expect delays. But pizza is still the vision: seasonal pies loaded with Chop and Olympic Provisions meats and local veggies by the slice and whole pie, plus ice creams made on-site.

Projected Opening: TBD


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