Leading Portland restaurant group will take over O'Connors
Portland's Toro Bravo restaurant empire is planting its flag in Multnomah Village in Southwest Portland.
Renee Gorham, co-owner of the group that's become synonymous with bold experimentation in developing menus at nine local dining operations, confirmed on Friday, October 11, that its latest concept restaurant, Y'alla, will open next spring in the Southwest Capitol Highway location where O'Connors Restaurant operated for decades until closing one year ago.
Kasey Mills will be the executive chef and co-owner of Y'alla. He started the two Shalom Y'all restaurants and the Mediterranean Exploration Company(MEC). Like those three restaurants, Y'allah will serve food inspired by regional cuisine in Israel and dictated by locally available fresh ingredients.
According to a press release, "This fourth Mediterranean restaurant from Mills centers around smoked meat as he plays with Ashkenazi-inspired food like smoked pastrami, matzo ball soup and chopped chicken liver. The menu features classic vegetarian items you would expect from Mills like hummus, falafel and his lauded pita."
Mills is currently "doing some research and development in Israel," according to Renee Gorham, whose husband John is the founder, executive chef and co-owner of Toro Bravo. Besides Shalom Y'all and MEC, their restaurant design and management group owns and operates Toro Bravo, which opened in Northeast Portland in 2007, Tasty n Daughters, Tasty n Alder, a couple of burger joints called Bless Your Heart Burgers and an event space and supper club called Plaza Del Toro.
Gastro Mania has been serving food inspired by the Mediterranean in Multnomah Village since moving into O'Connors last October. There's no official word yet on what will happen to the performance space next door to 7850 SW Capitol Hwy. Steve Arel, the former owner of O'Connors has been booking live local music and comedy there buit no shows have been scheduled after October 31.
Further details about the plans for Y'allah as well as an interview with Kasey Mills will appear in the November 1 edition of the Southwest Community Connection
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