A new hotspot for locally brewed beer, island-inspired craft cocktails, and Filipino bar snacks is coming to SE Grand on March 3. Named Bit House Collective, the bar brings together a talented group of friends under one roof: Pono Brewing, a Lents brewery that hasn’t had a taproom up until now; chefs Carlo Lamagna, Dante Fernandez, and Roberto Almodovar of Filipino restaurant Magna Kusina (a PoMo Best New Restaurants pick in 2019 and Best Restaurants pick in 2020); and mixologist Natasha Mesa, formerly of cocktail bar Deadshot.
The bar will open at the former Bit House Saloon, a historic 1892 building at the corner of SE Grand and Morrison, with both indoor and outdoor seating. On tap, visitors will be able to choose from Pono’s more offbeat beers including a mango hazy IPA, a stout made with Oregon blackberries and raspberries, a farmhouse ale using the same botanicals as Aria Gin, and a Pinot Porter made using grape skins from Division Wines—or just go for a classic, straightforward IPA.
The Magna team is creating a new concept called Magna Kantina, featuring classic Filipino bar snacks like lumpia and sisig alongside inventive dishes like crab fat gravy waffle fries (we’re sold) and a house burger, the Isla Hamburguesa, with crispy cheese, fermented habanero and roasted pineapple barbecue glaze, and atchara (Filipino-style pickled papaya).
Meanwhile, self-described mixtress Natasha Mesa aims to create what she refers to as a “Michelin-star dive bar,” serving up drinks that are meant to be welcoming and a bit off-the-wall. What that means: adult Capri Suns made with tequila, mezcal, mango, apple, orange, lemon drop peppers, cilantro, and citrus, served in a plastic pouch and complete with a requisite bendy straw. Or visitors can drink their dessert with the buko pandan, a play on a Filipino dessert with gin, coconut, pandan, tapioca pearls, and coconut jelly.
“I’m most excited about the raw talent and creative mindset of all our bar staff,” Mesa said in a press release. “Our goal is to create the most inclusive space for every type of drinker, while flexing our creativity to build new cocktail flavors and combinations in a fun way.”
Bit House Collective will open at 727 SE Grand Ave, Tuesday—Saturday 4—11 p.m. and Sunday 2—9 p.m.