Tonight we raised our glasses one last time and said goodnight to an establishment with 40 years of history in Portland.
Produce Row announced today that as of this evening it would turn out the lights for the last time. The restaurant was a SE Portland staple known for its whiskey pairings, great beers on tap, and solid happy hour menu. It was an easy choice on a Friday night and had a beautiful bar and an array of seating. My favorite part of Produce Row was that you could go for happy hour and sit in the courtyard (on reclaimed elementary school chairs), come for a romantic meal with your boo and cuddle up in a dark booth in the back, or just hang at the bar and stare at all the quality liquors on their dusted glass shelves. I would consider myself to be an on-again-off-again regular to Produce Row, and it’s got a lot to do with the fact that I’m a happy hour loon–skirting from one spot to the next, planning outings around who has the best bites and brews when. Whenever there was company in town, however, it was always to Produce Row to show them a little piece of Portland. Between the antique moldings and the subway tile near the kitchen window, the place was just so damn cozy. From the outside, it looked like it had a lot of great things going for it–which has a lot to do with why so many Portlanders, including the staff at Produce Row, were shocked when the owner, Alan Davis, announced on Monday that Tuesday would be the last day of service. Originally opened by Mike McMenamin (one of the originals), and was purchased by Davis in the early 2000’s. I’ve heard that in the last few years, the restaurant hasn’t had it too easy as they’ve gone through nearly 6 head chefs. While the menu certainly changed over the last few years, we always found it quite tasty. After overhearing a manager talk while we sipped/sobbed into our last beer at the bar this evening, we found that even to management, it didn’t make much sense–it was noted that the restaurant wasn’t doing poorly in sales–it was holding its own quite well, but that Davis had decided to close it for more personal reasons. At this point in time, it’s not known whether the space will go up for sale or if it will be re-envisioned. All I know is–I haven’t been this bummed since Wildwood closed, which, come to think about it, was just this last JUNE. What. Is. Happening?!
For more pictures and info check out Oregon Live’s take on the matter.