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John Gorham’s Second Pollo Bravo on the Way; Cocotte and Grüner Both Shuttering Soon

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

John Gorham (fourth from left)
John Gorham (fourth from left)
Renee Gorham

DOWNTOWN—That was fast. One week after Eater PDX reported that Toro Bravo’s John Gorham was preparing to open Pollo Bravo—a bird centered concept at the soon-to-open Pine Street Market—he dropped news that a second downtown Pollo Bravo is already in the works, showing that the chef is doubling down on Portland’s desire for chicken before his first shop even takes flight. (We know, we know: Chickens can’t fly.)

NORTHEAST—Nicolle Dirks and Jose “Pepe” Arancibia—a couple who previously ran a restaurant in Chile specializing in vegetarian Pacific Northwest cuisine, have just opened Epif, a vegetarian open-late vegetarian restaurant specializing in vegetarian Chilean cuisine. And their commute is a short one—Epif, decorated with church pews and skateboards, sits at the edge of their property, and is built around a giant tree looming over the couple’s yard.

CLOSINGS—Sad news for fans of Kat LeSueur. Last week, she announced on Facebook that Cocotte Bistro & Bar, her much-adored French-inspired restaurant, will shutter on November 22. The announcement follows a pair of other high-profile closings: Chris Israel’s Alpine-inspired Grüner will serve its last dinner on New Years Eve, and Son of a Biscuit, Micah Camden and Katie Poppe’s chicken-and-biscuit shack shuttered in mid-October. No word on what will replace Cocotte; while Camden and Poppe cagily say they’re searching for greener pastures for SoaB. The silver lining? The folks who run the steakhouse Ox will settle into those Grüner digs in early 2016.