For the unacquainted, Rachel’s Ginger Beer might be to Seattle what Jacobsen Salt is to Portland: artisan, elemental, and everywhere. In addition to a flagship shop at Pike Place market, a recently opened Capitol Hill location, and two dedicated RGB bars, the nonalcoholic craft beverage upstart comes standard on many Emerald City tap lists. Now, Eat Beat has learned, owner Rachel Marshall will open her first out-of-state location in Portland in September, inside the soon-to-shutter Peet’s Coffee café at 3646 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Plans call for a full bar featuring RGB’s 10 classic flavors (the original consists only of fresh ginger, lemon, cane sugar, and triple-filtered Seattle water), from cucumber-tarragon to caramelized pineapple. There will be growler fill stations, as with all Seattle RGB locations. Marshall says the bar will dispense classic ginger beer-fueled cocktails on tap, including gallons of Moscow Mule, Dark ‘n’ Stormy, and Porch Swing, to name a few.
The Portland outpost also promises summer-ready frozen drinks, like a slushy coconut Dark ‘n’ Stormy and boozy floats topped with soft serve, courtesy of local ice cream heartthrobs Salt & Straw. Flavors are still shaking out, but a classic vanilla and a vegan coconut are in the works.
The kitchen will be helmed by Monica Dimas, veteran of celebrated Seattle kitchens Spinasse and Mkt, and the chef-mastermind behind three other RGB locations. Dimas plans to serve up tortas as she does at her Tortas Condesa on Capitol Hill: oblong Mexican sandwiches with flavors like pulled pork, turkey mole, chorizo, and even a beet-quinoa number. Dimas will sell her tortas to-go, with the possibility of opening a late-night takeout window in the future. Says Marshall: “They are the best tortas you could fathom.”
By planting her ginger beer flag in Oregon soil, Marshall hopes to start wholesale production in Portland (currently, the only place to sample RGB in Portland is at Heart Coffee). “I want this place to be an anchor for RGB outside of Seattle … but more than anything else, I just really fucking love Portland.”