Unpretentious and folksy, the Original Pancake House in Crown Hill is an unlikely outpost for what's become a national chain of breakfast restaurants. Founded in a red-roofed, white-sided house in suburban Portland in 1953, OPH is now in 111 locations.
Ken Naito, whose family developed a signifcant part of downtown Portland over the decades, bought the Seattle franchise (100 seats at the Crown Hill location, 150 in Kirkland) in 1995. Now, says The Oregonian, OPH plans to expand into Japan, opening "in Tokyo's Kichijoji neighborhood in June, complete with the 60-year-old restaurant's famed Dutch Baby and apple pancakes."
Japanese customers are crazy about pancakes, the report says. Another Portland pancake house, Slappy Cakes, opened a location in the Shinjuku Station area earlier this year, backed by Japanese investors.