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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Pacific West > SSP: Local Portland > Arts, Culture, Dining, Recreation & Entertainment

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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 4:43 PM
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MarkDaMan MarkDaMan is offline
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Brasserie to be reopened by new owner

Déjà vu in downtown Portland
A restaurant developer brings the joie de vivre of the Brasserie Montmartre back to the central city
Daily Journal of Commerce
POSTED: 06:00 AM PST Wednesday, November 21, 2007
BY NATHALIE WEINSTEIN

Playing cards, spirited up by a crafty magician, lined the ceilings. Crayon portraits on large sheets of butcher paper were framed on its walls. Patrons sat at its long, dark bar and listened to jazz while dining on coq au vin and crème brulée.

When the Brasserie Montmartre restaurant closed in 2006, Portland mourned the loss of the establishment’s late-night jazz, French cuisine and colorful table art.

But restaurant developer Bill Hayden is breathing new life into the late café.

Hayden’s company, Cutting Edge Restaurants, along with general contractor Bocchetti Contracting, developer Norway Development and architecture firm Vallaster & Corl, are in the middle of an extensive renovation of the restaurant and its building, The Esquire, located at 626 S.W. Park in Downtown Portland.

“We’re bringing it back,” said Hayden. “We have the pictures that were there, the playing cards from the ceiling. We’re putting the black-and-white checkered floors back in. It will be kind of a Brasserie Year 2008.”

Bocchetti Contracting purchased $24,000 worth of Brasserie relics, including 80 framed crayon drawings, lighting fixtures, curtain rails and the bar, according to contractor Frank Bocchetti.

“For the last 30 years, they had contests with these white paper tablecloths and crayons, and the winners would get a prize,” said Bocchetti. “There were people coming over to buy their own paintings from the auction. They went for $300 a piece sometimes.”

The building’s owner, Carl Coffman of Norway Development, is performing seismic renovations on the 35,000-square-foot building. The upper floors, vacant for many years, suffered extensive water damage and the building’s un-reinforced masonry structure required repairs.

Renovation of the Brasserie is expected to start in two or three months, Hayden said, with an anticipated opening in late spring 2008.

The seven-story Esquire was built in 1907. Its name comes from the hotel that existed on its upper floors.

“There were 14 rooms on each floor,” said Steve Smith, an architect with Vallaster & Corl. “It was a flophouse.”

Norway Development, which owns the building, plans to redevelop the old hotel into residential units, either apartments or condominiums.

The second floor will become a private dining area for the Brasserie.

“This place had history,” said Hayden. “It was the first late-night jazz place in Portland. It was the first to put paper on the tables. People were married here.”

Hayden’s passion for preservation goes beyond the physical restaurant; he is seeking out former workers of the Brasserie to add to the atmosphere.

“If I could find the magician, I would like to bring him back,” he said.

Mark Allen, the magician behind the mysterious playing cards, says he’d come back without question. He performed at the Brasserie for 22 years.

“I’ve considered performing at other places around, and none of them have the atmosphere of the Brasserie,” said Allen. “It was lively and fun. I’m not good with colorful words and you would need those to describe it.”
http://www.djcoregon.com/articleDeta...serie-Montmart
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 4:44 PM
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I think there is a card with my name on it somewhere in that restaurant. I actually wrote MarkDaMan on it!
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 5:23 PM
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That is the best news I have read in a long time.. That little spot in downtown Portland was/is perfect for this restaurant. It's good we have developers, who have a "caring" sense of history like this in this city.
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 6:01 PM
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Quote:
and the building’s un-reinforced masonry structure required repairs.
Wasn't this problem one of the main reasons we were told that the Rosefriend wasn't save-able?
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 7:05 PM
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The Rosefriend obviously did not have a owner/developer interested in saving it..shit happens.. May the Rosefriend RIP....seriously..

Last edited by PacificNW; Nov 21, 2007 at 7:42 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2007, 7:59 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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I used to walk by the Brasserie almost every night at midnight... for like 2 years in a row. But never went in.

I'm glad they're going to bring it back so I can finally visit it!
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Yeah this was a neat restaurant, but I remember being there like 6 years ago and there wasn't such great service / food. That was a long time ago, though, and long before that I remember going as a kid and they had that cool magician guy, black-and-white checkered floors, live music, fun atmosphere.

It's gonna be nice to see this space come to life again. I love the "midtown" park blocks area, but really wish there was more activity on the sidewalks. With PAW going in, the new Park Block 5 plaza, the proposed hotel at Park and Alder (where P:ear is on the corner -- is this hotel still happening?), and this Esquire/Brasserie development -- along with an eventual revamping of O'Bryant Square -- this area oughta spark to life. Now if something would just happen on that surface lot at 10th and Alder by the Galleria ... oh yeah and a nice revamp (implosion please) of the Yamhill garage... -- OK I'm done.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 8:48 PM
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I walked by last night and they were open. I didn't get a great look inside but from what I could see it looked very nice. I definitely want to check it out sometime soon - the man outside told us there is live jazz music every night at 8pm.

http://www.brasserieportland.com/

Here is the website for the apartments above:

http://www.esquireapartmentsportland.com/
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