Valley Public House opens unique restaurant concept
Valley Public House, the highly anticipated new eatery, opened Oct. 28, adding new dining options to the Happy Valley food scene.
The 19,000-square-foot multi-use building features Tamale Boy, Ranch PDX, a 31-foot bar in the taproom serving beer, wine, cider and cocktails from 70 taps, as well as Whiskey Barrel Lounge as its star attraction for fine dining and craft cocktails opening downstairs on Nov. 27.
The complex will have a family-oriented dining area, including patio space and a 21-and-older side with covered patios, outside heaters and four fire pits. A large mezzanine will be used for viewing sports and listening to live music. Valley Growlers owners Brian and Ami Shannon own the public house and have partnered with Executive Chef Russ Langstadt to run Whiskey Barrel Lounge.
"Ranch PDX and Tamale Boy are Portland businesses that have delicious fresh food," Ami Shannon said. "The Whiskey Barrel Lounge is an upscale experience located downstairs from the taproom. It will be run by local Happy Valley chef Russ Langstadt and will feature steaks, oysters, American-style comfort food done in an elevated way and delicious small plates and charcuterie perfect for happy hour."
Tamale Boy will serve tacos, burritos, pozole and signature tamales. There will also be vegetarian options and house-made guacamole and chips. Ranch PDX specializes in Sicilian-Detroit-style fusion thick-crust, square pizza with locally sourced toppings and homemade ranch dressing. Each will be offering weekend brunch starting at 9 a.m.
Langstadt taught for 12 years at Le Cordon Blue Portland and spent an additional four years teaching culinary arts at Sabin Schellenberg in the North Clackamas School District. He caters for select clients throughout Portland including the Cana's Feast Winery as a chef-in-residence preparing meals for wine pairings and events.
"I've lived in Happy Valley for almost 20 years and usually went to Portland to find the food I really wanted ... and could never understand why there were so few independently owned restaurants, let alone anything considered fine dining in Happy Valley," Langstadt said. "We intend to provide Happy Valley diners with a restaurant experience that far exceeds their expectations and is completely different than the chains that dominate the area. We will showcase local seasonal ingredients, well-executed dishes and craft cocktails to match. In short, we're creating the place we've always wished was in the valley, a place that felt casual enough to go to several times a month, or fancy enough to have a date night."
Langstadt and Chef-de-Cuisine Michael Molitor, who worked the fine dining scene at Pazzo in Portland for nine years before accepting a position as Executive Chef at Elliptic Brewing, wants to take advantage of the abundance of delicious food grown and native to the Pacific Northwest.
At Whiskey Barrel Lounge, diners can choose from locally-sourced steak, a burger featuring in-house ground beef with smoky aioli and pickled onions, a top shelf mac n' cheese with smoked jalapenos, the Cascadian seafood platter featuring albacore ceviche and grilled spot prawns and local oysters, steamer clams with house made chorizo, pilsner and garlic chives on a grass-fed ribeye served with butter-whipped horseradish Yukon golds, just to name a few items. Brunch will feature items like fried chicken and biscuits, eggs Benedict, shrimp and grits and a Croque Madame with cave-aged Gruyere. Vegan and vegetarian items will be featured on all menus as well.
"Russ and I are planning on playing around with some fun specials," Molitor said. "This is a great way to see what works, and based on guest reactions, they might become a new menu item. I'm hoping to show that fine dining doesn't need to be relegated to special occasions. Fine dining is about the ingredients, the execution, the vision and the service. It shouldn't be polarizing; everyone just wants to gather to enjoy good food and drink. Sometimes you crave something familiar, while other times you want to explore new flavors. Either way, we want you to feel welcome and enjoy your time with us."
The staff is excited to be able to open the doors to customers. The Shannons have owned Valley Growlers for seven years and are looking forward to seeing their loyal customers in a new setting.
"We have had the privilege of sharing our customers' lives all of those years. Births, deaths, proposals, engagements, weddings, friendships and so much more. We want to continue creating a place where the residents of Happy Valley can share their lives with each other," Ami Shannon said. "The new Valley Public House and Whiskey Barrel Lounge will provide the community with several different types of gathering spaces that allows them to put down their screens and interact with the people we all care about so much. We want our place to be a destination that people look forward to exploring and coming back again. We want it to feel like your favorite place.
"Our community is about supporting and respecting one another, and our mission statement is to provide a safe space for everyone that comes in to feel included and respected."
Valley Public House
Where: 12960 S.E. 162nd Ave., Happy Valley
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, Ranch PDX/Tamale Boy; 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays, Whiskey Barrel Lounge; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. brunch on Saturday and Sunday
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