Almost a year and a half after the pandemic wiped out David Machado’s entire restaurant portfolio, including rooftop restaurant Altabira, the best view of the east side patio finally has a new tenant.
Metropolitan Tavern quietly open on the sixth floor of the Eastlund Hotel in mid-August. In fact, the launch was so stealthy you wouldn’t even realize the Northeast Grand Avenue property was occupied again unless you were an overnight guest, or looked up and spotted an umbrella. open or two on the deck.
âHotel guests are informed through reception that the restaurant is open,â said Todd Neelands, General Manager of The Metropolitan. WW. “It’s not really Portlanders who know it’s open.”
The Urban Restaurant Group, which operates popular restaurants on the west side like the ten-year-old Brix Tavern, Bartini and Swine, only announced the opening of Metropolitan last week in an email to its subscribers.
Neelands says Urban Restaurant Group president Mark Byrum has been eyeing the vacant site for some time now. The attractive perch was previously home to Altabira, the most beer-focused company in the collection of local restaurateur David Machado.
Altabira closed in May 2020, along with the rest of its restaurants: Nel Centro, Tanner Creek Tavern, Pullman Wine Bar & Merchant and Citizen Baker, the last of which was on the ground floor of the Eastlund Hotel. Machado’s was the first major restaurant group to close due to the extended initial lockdown and capacity restrictions that accompanied protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant, for now, largely looks alike – the rectangular bar with 16 faucets occupies the center of the room, surrounded by four-tray hardwood tables and long banquettes. The wonderful windows always extend from floor to ceiling, offering sweeping views of the spiers of the Oregon Convention Center, downtown skyscrapers and the West Hills.
âWe need more income before we make major interior design changes,â says Neelands.
Entrances to the Metropolitan will change with the season. Executive chefs Aaron Franco and Cliff Denney’s current lineup includes a lemony ricotta gnocchi sprinkled with cherry tomatoes and charred salmon drizzled with jalapeÃ±o salsa and served over a bed of basmati rice, and an 8-ounce filet mignon accompanied by mashed potatoes with white cheddar. The menu also offers a handful of artisanal and shareable pizzas like dips, sliders, oysters, and devil’s eggs.
Rooftop selfies are back, though colder temperatures send photographers indoors after a few minutes.
Neelands says they hope to keep the patio open during the winter for those who still prefer to eat outside, as the pandemic continues. Come next summer, the Metropolitan plans to decorate with new patio furniture. In fact, they already have it, but the furniture they ordered arrived too late this season to make the trade worth it.
Metropolitan is open daily from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is the 19th restaurant group business in the Portland and Eugene metro area, a list that also includes bars, event venues, and three restaurant businesses. Three new operations, 86â²d, Carlita’s Rooftop and Gordon Tavern, are expected to land in Eugene later this year.
Related: David Machado has closed his five restaurants due to the virus, ending his career in the restaurant industry. But it is not bitter.