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Restaurant will close after 53 years



A location long favored for spätzle, schnitzel and sauerkraut will soon be frequented for major medical services instead.

The 53-year-old Der Rheinlander restaurant will be closing its doors in the first quarter of 2017, and is slated to be replaced by a new building for The Portland Clinic at 5035 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in the Rose City Park neighborhood.

SOURCE: GOOGLE MAPS - Der Rheinlanders building has an iconic castle shape, and The Portland Clinics developer intends to create a new landmark here.

The Portland-based developer, Venerable Properties, is led by president/broker Craig Kelly. Venerable Properties recently redeveloped Washington High School, Revolution Hall, the White Stag University of Oregon building and the Ladd Carriage House.

With this experience, Venerable Properties intends to build a new Portland landmark to replace the iconic Der Rheinlander, keeping the space true to Portland.

“We were looking for opportunities in the market and Der Rheinlander got our attention because it’s a great location and a pretty large site where we could do something of capacity,” Kelly told the Business Tribune. “It’s a sizeable enough site to do something meaningful and make a good market statement.”

SUBMITTED: VENERABLE PROPERTIES - Craig Kelly, president/broker of Venerable Properties.

The building will be a total of 32,000 square feet, with 24,000 already signed over in a long-term lease to The Portland Clinic’s new healthcare center. The remaining 8,000 square feet is planned to be offices or retail for other tenants.

“We’re very happy to have acquired the site and we’re excited about building a high-quality project there that will stand the test of time,” Kelly said. “People will say many years from now in the future, ‘wow, that’s a nice looking building,’ and ‘what a nice project.’”

“We’re thrilled to have The Portland Clinic as the anchor tenant, and are looking forward to being a good community neighbor for a long time there,” Kelly said.

Sera Architects are contracted to design the building, and Colorado-based Schommer Construction will be building it beginning in Spring 2017 with a completion date of June 2018.

The Portland Clinic

Established in 1921, The Portland Clinic has six locations in the metro area and more than 90,000 annual patients. The new location will become home to staff and patients from the two smaller locations along Northeast 20th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard and along Northeast 112nd Avenue and Airport Way.

Dick Clark, CEO of The Portland Clinic, said it’s seeing demand for medical services grow throughout the city as Portland’s population expands.

“We want to position our services in convenient locations to serve current and new residents,” Clark said. “We constantly monitor the landscape of Portland and adjust where our doctors and nurses practice based on these needs.”

SUBMITTED: THE PORTLAND CLINIC - Dick Clark, CEO of The Portland Clinic

The clinic’s statement said its footprint evolves based on the needs of its patients. The new location will offer expanded access to patients in the Hollywood neighborhood. It also has plenty of bike and car parking, sidewalks and TriMet stops. It stated it will be working closely with current patients toward a smooth transition to the new space.

“This new facility not only improves access for our patients on the East Side, it also makes it possible for us to expand the services we offer,” Clark said. “Our entire team is focused on ensuring that patients who move from one of our existing east side locations to our beautiful new facility enjoy a seamless experience and uninterrupted care.”

The new office will provide major medical services including behavioral health, cardiology, dermatology, diabetes services, family medicine, neurology, physical therapy, primary care and radiology and will have space for more growth.

“All of our clinics across the metro area support their neighbors in different ways,” said Clark. “We are quite pleased that this new location will make it possible for us to grow our partnerships with some of the area’s finest schools so that we can help nurture the next generation of medical professionals.”

With the new location, the clinic is expanding educational opportunities by partnering with institutions including Concordia University and the University of Portland, offering training and internships to students in medicine.

“The extra space opens a wide variety of future options of additional care possibilities as the national models of medical care are being refocused to serve patients,” Clark said. “Our team is currently evaluating what additional specialties and resources would be of most use to neighbors in this area.”

The clinic’s statement said with the city’s population on the rise, leadership is continuing to look at expanding service to the metro area in its other downtown location as well as to Eastern Washington County.

“Enjoying the delicious German dinners at Der Rheinlander has been as much a part of our family as any other Portland tradition,” Clark said. “While we were very sad to hear that Der Rheinlander is closing its doors, we take solace in knowing that the space will be used to continue to serve the city in a positive way.”

Der Rheinlander

Der Rheinlander is the parent restaurant of Gustav’s Pub and Grill, which has four Portland locations and all operate under parent company Guten Foods.

Der Rheinlander was opened in 1963 by Horst Mager, who became a celebrity chef. Trained as a third-generation German chef, Mager came to the U.S. in 1958. His first job in Portland was at the Lloyd Center Sheraton Hotel cooking for dignitaries before buying his own restaurant, originally Maria’s Swedish Diner, which became Der Rheinlander.

Mager introduced special German family recipes, opened the Horst Mager Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts) in the 1980s, and founded five more restaurants with a variety of international cuisines: Little Blarney Castle, L’Omlette, Couch St. Fish House, Odyssey and Tivoli Garden.

In 1997, Suzeanne Mager bought Guten Foods from her father Horst.

“This decision (to close) didn’t happen overnight; we’ve been discussing it for a long time,” said Suzeanne Mager, Guten Foods CEO. “I have bittersweet feelings about it, of course, but I feel it’s the right thing to do, especially considering today’s Portland food scene. It has been evolving, and so must we.”

In its announcement Der Rheinlander said it’s not going away, because Guten Foods is actually growing with the addition of another Gustav’s Bargarten at Cedar Hills Crossing, opening late 2017. Der Rheinlander’s employees will stay on until the closure, and then be offered positions at other Guten Foods locations.

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