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The Sellwood chef has waited some months to open his new restaurant at S.E. 39th and Holgate Blvd.

RITA A. LEONARD - Café Rowans owner and chef, Spencer Ivankoe, has finally opened his breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant at 4437 S.E. Chavez Blvd. at Holgate. He hopes later to add a dinner menu as well. Months after he originally planned to open his new restaurant, Oregon's coronavirus status finally allowed Sellwood resident Spencer Ivankoe to open his new Café Rowan, in the space formerly occupied by a Starbucks at 4437 S.E. Chavez Blvd. (formerly 39th), on the corner of Holgate. The Grand Opening was on Thursday, July 9. Owner and Chef Ivankoe renovated the space into a 42-seat restaurant and café. In addition to the to-go orders (see the menu at www.caferowan.com), there's now socially-distanced dine-in too. Ivankoe offers high-end brunch fare, as well as breakfast and lunch.  "I don't want it to be a touristy kind of place, but rather a family-oriented café with creative breakfasts, special-designed smoothies, house-made granola, and breakfast sandwiches. "Our lunches feature inventive combinations of fresh local ingredients – with a flair for the unusual. We also serve Coava coffee and Steven Smith Teamaker Teas. We hope soon to offer evening dining as well, with Oregon wines and a small live music program."

Spencer Ivankoe tells THE BEE he became interested in cooking at a young age; and after attending culinary school, he worked for ten years in the business back east. Following that, he attended Baruch College, earning a degree in Operations Management in 2016. He then relocated to Portland, where he had always dreamed of living and operating a specialty restaurant.

Parking for Café Rowan is in a small lot at the west side of the Kupie Center building, where a sign at the entrance cautions, "No Mask, No Entry." Currently, hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Mondays. Call 503/841-5072 for information, or to place to-go orders – or just stop by to order in person.

Ivankoe hopes Café Rowan will become a favorite dining spot in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.


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