Le Pigeon Abolishes Tips, Nomad.PDX Eyes a Brick-and Mortar, and More PDX Foods News

... including Trader Vic’s, Equinox, and Restaurant Uzbekistan closing for good, and the expansion of the Smokehouse empire.

By Sarah Hopwood March 22, 2016

Credit david reamer hyd8qm

Andy Fortgang (left) Gabriel Rucker (right)

Le Pigeon Joins the Anti-Tipping Movement

Starting June 2016, Le Pigeon chef/co-owner Gabriel Rucker and co-owner Andy Fortgang are removing tipping altogether at Portland’s legendary Le Pigeon, citing renowned restaurateur and anti-tipping advocate Danny Meyers as inspiration. Rucker and Fortgang join Scott Dolich, owner of Park Kitchen and the Bent Brick, in the movement towards wage equity in Portland restaurants. Read more about the tipping debacle in Portland Monthly’s upcoming April issue, set to hit newsstands this weekend.

Nomad.PDX Eyes a Brick-and-Mortar

Playful modernist upstarts Ryan Fox and Ali Matties are readying to take Nomad.PDX to the next step: a brick-and-mortar. The popular, four-night-a-week tasting menu project—Portland Monthly’s Rising Star 2016—will serve its last meal above downtown’s Shift Drifts on May 15. 

Restaurant Uzbekistan Gets the Boot 

Portland has officially lost its only Uzbek restaurant. Willamette Week reports that Restaurant Uzbekistan, the classy Rockwood joint with superior dumplings, was evicted as of March 11 for not paying rent, according to the all-caps sign pasted to the front door. 

Trader Vic’s Permanently Closes Due To Fire 

Trader Vic’s is also closing its doors for good after a Pearl District fire, which originated in a nearby medical office, consumed the beloved tiki bar. The damages proved too significant for repair, especially given the high cost of doing business in the area (the 8,000-square-foot restaurant cost a reported $20,000 per month in rent alone). This takes the Trader Vic’s chain down to two locations in the US and leaves Portland Monthly broken-hearted with one less tropical happy hour spot. 

Mississippi Avenue Loses Equinox Restaurant & Bar

After nearly 13 years of hearty brunches and a famous patio (Equinox made it on our 2011 guide to the city’s best outdoor dining), co-owners Tara George and Michele Stultz are calling it quits on March 27, according to a recent Facebook post. Until then, the restaurant will continue to serve dinner Wednesday–Saturday and brunch Friday–Sunday. 

Portland Cookbook Authors Nominated for IACP Awards 

Jenn Louis (Lincoln, Sunshine Tavern) is a finalist in the “Single Subject” category with her book Pasta by Hand: A Collection of Italy’s Regional Hand-Shaped Pasta. Meanwhile the group of authors (Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson) behind The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket are finalists in the “General” category. Follow the links for exclusive recipes from both books.

B.J. Smith Expands His Smokehouse Empire 

B.J. Smith, chef-owner of Smokehouse 21 and Southeast Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern, is stoking the the flames on the other side of the Columbia with a third location in Vancouver, WA. Eater PDX reports that Smokehouse Provisions, set to open in Vancouver’s Garrison Square, will expand its barbecue portfolio inside the upcoming 150-seat restaurant.

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