If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Rivergate Brewing - New North Portland Brewpub?

An emailar (whom I'm happy to credit if he wishes) just sent this in:
I live up in North Portland and came across a new sign over the weekend in a part of town sorely in need of a good beer bar or brewpub. It looks like the place is going to be called the North End Pub by Rivergate Brewing. A quick internet search turned up nothing, but maybe you can provide better insight from your contacts. The sign appeared above the space formerly occupied by Pietro's Pizza, then Big Daddy's BBQ and most recently by Sliders Bar and Grill (a lot of turn over - let's hope a brewpub has more staying power). It is located at 3011 N. Lombard (the corner of N. Lombard and N. Peninsular) across from a Walgreen's, King Burrito and a pawn shop - like I said, an area in need of a brewpub. It's a large space that should work well for a brewpub, but definitely needs some work as it has been empty for a year or so.
Anyone know anything about it?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live right down the street from this new brewpub, but no information has leaked out yet as to when it will be opening. I have been planning on stopping by when I see people working, and I will try and put a post up once I know!

Lucy Burningham said...

I just moved into the neighborhood and would love to learn more about this place. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

So here's the latest on the North End Brew Pub and Rivergate Brewing.

This is going to be a family friendly restaurant and brew pub serving high quality food drinks. The kitchen staff will be offering hand tossed pizzas, international pub food, housemade bakery items and daily and seasonal specials of their choice.Also offering brunch on Sat and Sun. The brew master is working on a bio/chemistry degree and will be offering house brews in the coming months. The restaurant will be opening sometime in November. Spread the word and join us in the coming weeks.

Jeff Alworth said...

Anon, will you email me so I can get a few more details about this? I'd love to add a bit more than you've included here. the_beerax(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thanks!

Kenton Mama said...

Sounds great and if it is actually family-friendly there will lots of neighborhood families happy to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I wish this was going into the old Dad's/Brad's/John's place in downtown St. Johns. That would be an epic spot for a real brewpub.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so here’s the details on Rivergate Brewing: North End Pub. I am one of the owners of the new North End Pub on Lombard. Yes we are going to be as family friendly as OLCC will let us be. We hope to be open by about November the 10th, we may have to open without beer or alcohol, we will have to see when the OLCC gets the permit issued, just waiting on them. We are currently trying to get the dining room repainted. Yes it has been a HERCULEAN task getting things cleaned up; the building has been vacant for about 2 years. We hauled 14 yards of debris out of the parking lot alone. I will be planning on brewing some of our own beers in the future, just not happening at the start. I am NOT a hop head, don’t expect big IPA’s from me. I am an Ale and Kolsch fan and have been known to dabble in some darker beers just for fun. We are looking forward to seeing as many people as we can when were open, sorry no more information has leaked out, lots of people have been stopping by and talking to us, so many in fact we have started locking ourselves in so we can get some work done. I have hired several excellent cooks to run the kitchen and are working on a great menu, trying to keep it local fresh and flavorful. Hope this helps. Thanks for all the kind words, and we hope to live up to the expectations. Brian

the misanthrope said...

Will you be hiring bartenders and servers soon? Do you have applications available? How can we get in touch with you Brian?

Rick said...

Sounds great (except the IPA part) Haha, a good Kolsch is tasty too.
Kid friendly is great! Work up some good rotating soups if you can. Can't wait for you to open,we live in walking distance.

Kenton Mama said...

Thanks for the update, Brian! And welcome to the neighborhood, which is buzzing about North End, btw. I'll to spread the word that you are trying to open next week -- looking forward to trying your pizza even if the OLCC doesn't come through right away.

Patti said...

Brian - We have lived in the area for over 8 years and are really excited to have this building back in use. My dad seems to recall that really long ago it was a small neighborhood Safeway before it was Pietros. Do you have a website yet- or presence on Facebook? It is easier to share the word nowdays with such links.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited that you are finally opened. I hear the menu is fantastic. Can't wait to try some good food.

Pat said...

According to portlandsentinal.com, it opened Thursday 11/12/2009 and it sounds like they do have beer available. It's good anytime you can have a good pub/brewpub open.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I hear it is open, and they do have a facebook account so anyone can become a fan!! :D

Anonymous said...

I just went tonight and they do not yet have their own beer on tap. From what we heard, it seems like they will have one homebrew on tap at a time, starting with a pumpkin seasonal, then a wheat, and later a Scotch ale. Bright lights, open space, wall-less atmosphere. Big screen TV dominates main part of seating area: they showed Monday Night Football tonight. Bud, Bud Light, and Widmer on tap alongside Ninkasi, Hopworks, and other rotating guest taps. Decent pizza. One warning note: nobody could pronounce Ninkasi correctly, which is surprising for any brewery in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I went to North End for the first time last night. The pizza is delicious. The rest of the menu has a great selection. The staff was awesome. The only thing leaving a little bit to be desired is the atmosphere, but if we all support these guys and make them profitable they can fix that. All in all we are super stoked to finally have a place like this in our neighborhood and are going to support them as much as we can. Right now the only place we like to hangout and drink/eat in the neighborhood is the Mock Crest Tavern- which is awesome, but it's nice to have a less fried food option.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I were in there for "brunch" on Sunday and both her and I agreed that the food was decent (I would compare it to Denny's) and the wait staff was friendly, however, we both ordered the "bottomless" mimosas and were given a small wine glass with 85% orange juice and 15% wine. We spent most of our time tracking the waitress down to get a refill, we ended up with 2 refills. Until they spruce up the place a little and actually offer bottomless mimosas- we won't be back.

Lowell said...

I was excited to hear last month that the building was going to FINALLY be used. My brother and I went there on Sunday and had a brunch with the all you can drink mimosas. I was a little disappointed in the food as it was billed as "serving high quality food " but the food was cheap and average. I have to agree with the last person that posted something on here- It was a little frustrating that the all you can drink mimosas actually turned into 4 small flutes of orange juice with a splash of Champagne. I tried to explain to the waitress that it was 3 parts champagne and 2 parts orange juice but she didn't get it. We got tired of waiving her down for basically a refill on a small glass of orange juice and ended up ordering a beer. I will be back but only to watch the game and have a beer.

Sorry Guys!

the gazelle said...

I went last week (Tuesday before Thanksgiving), and although I was disappointed that they didn't yet have their own beers on tap, the selection was decent. The waitress didn't know much about beer, but I'm sure that she'll get it down soon enough! She did say that they expect to start brewing after the start of the new year.

The pizza was really good, and one of my dining companions had an awesome looking dessert.

I thought the service & food was good, but agree with the atmosphere comment - it's just so big & warehousy (and not in a good way); I'm sure that can improve with time, though!

My only real complaint is that it's not closer to St. Johns.

Anonymous said...

We tried this place last night. I had a delicious burger with brie and carmalized onions - I would recommend it. My boyfriend ordered pizza and that was also delicious. They make a nice chewy crust that is slightly thick - just how I like it. Great selection of toppings and the entire menu was pretty impressive. Disappointed that they didn't have their own beers but we understand that things take time. I also would like to comment that our friendly and sweet waitress didn't know how to pronounce Ninkasi and it took about 15 minutes to get our drinks. Ouch! Only other complaint is about that lighting - too bright! the light fixtures are very nice but I think they need to use lower wattage bulbs to make it feel more relaxing. It's a new place and obviously will have some growing pains but we will definitley give it another try.

Anonymous said...

Late 60's Early 70's the building was a 'Chico's Pizza'
They had little deliver trucks with propane warmers in the back.

seang70 said...

We live a few blocks away and we tried the place a few nights ago. My ordered 2 glasses of house red wine and I ordered a pint. We had several other couples with kids joining us. The atmosphere was pretty boring and not much for the kids to keep them busy. The food was decent but the server didn't understand why I was upset after paying $16 for house red. I thought it was a mistake and she said that is what we charge. This is North PDX, not the Pearl. I hope they make it but at $8 for a glass of wine I give them a 4 out of 10 stars.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in North Portland for a while and the North End is promising if they can get a couple of key components in place. Recommendations:

1.You need to consider properly educating your wait staff on the menu, beer included. You can't be a "brew pub" if your wait staff doesn't know who the rotating tap is or what the beers taste like ( give them a damn cheat sheet behind the bar or something).
2. You need to promote your Happy Hour better as it is bountiful.
3. Previous posts have claimed a dull atmosphere with poor lighting. I agree with this but think that it could simply be solved by adding architectural depth to the top portion of the ceiling with either raw wood beams or something in a dark color that separates the room better. Their lighting does dim... I think.......maybe I had too many..
4. Run better pricing schemes on your beers and drinks. $4 pints are not going to establish you in North Portland. I hope beer pricing will change when you make your own beer, but for the meantime you should think of picking a macro and micro leader that you can obtain at a good cost and promote it heavily.. especially with during sporting events. Which leads me to item number 5.
5. You are right down the street from Tom's which is constantly packed during sporting events.. capitalize on the overflow from this by offering specials during games. Think about the NFL playoffs, Olympics, and NBA finals coming up. The best way to sell more beer and food is to offer theme beverages or food items. I.E. discounted "rally" beers/cocktails (only during games when announced by your wait staff), discounted "freedom fries" for the olympic event showings, maybe even develop theme dishes for specific events. It seems as though your cooking staff is well trained and capable.
6. Advertising: You have a huge sign and tons of space below it to add another reader board. If this costs you more money..... it is worth it... your current sandwich boards and window signs are hard to read if you are walking by on the side walk let alone driving by. Customer traffic will already have their heads up as Walgreens (before) and Arby's (after) already have them looking for deals.

I say all of these comments and critiques because I want this place to succeed and the food is good and the beer selection is good. The mechanics are just not right yet.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I tried out the new brewpub for happy hour tonight. He had pork sliders and I had nachos, we shared sweet potato fries. The prices couldn't be beat, 2.50 to 3.00 for the happy hour menu. Sliders/fries were good, nachos kind of sucked but can't complain at that price. What I can complain about is the atmosphere. It feels like you're sitting in a cafeteria and they had one big television with sports on to take your attention off the blank walls and boring atmosphere. The bathrooms and bar are quite nice, I don't know why they didn't take a couple of weeks to get the place right and promote the food. They need a couple of well advertized promotional nights with smaller, cheaper versions of the food so everyone can try things out. Plus, we thought the menu was all over the place. There are things crossed out and the "coming soon" is dated Nov 18th. They should print a menu every day with special dishes of the day, special beers and happy hour. We won't be going back until we've heard this place gets it together.

Anonymous said...

I was going to call them,,but didn't find them listed, are they still open?

Anonymous said...

I went into the North End in late January and it's already awesome! I met Brian (one of the owners) and had some beer and food. At the time they didn't have their own brews up and running yet - Brian thought they would have one batch ready by mid Spring and more "home" taps in early Summer - but they selection they had was excellent! The food was awesome too; I had the veal bratwurst with garlic mashed and red cabbage while a friend had a personal pizza. The menu was really cool, since they had a couple dishes from different pub menu's from around the world (plus a ton of pizza). The pub is one giant room with booths along the walls, tables in the middle, and a U-shaped bar at one end. When I was there they had a giant TV playing a ballgame and, since it is family friendly, there were Dads and Sons watching and eating.

I can't wait until they have their own beer ready, but it's definitely a great stop right away - it feels like a Laurelwood-neighborhood pub smack in the middle of North Portland. Cheers!

-Chris

Anonymous said...

I had dinner here a few nights back and I have to say the Philly Cheese Steaks they are offering now are absolutely amazing. I will be returning regularly because of this.

browntoblue said...

So excited about this place. Went last night, I really enjoyed the space. Great art on the walls, really unique setup and ambiance. Had the fish and chips -- YUM. Really Really good. Come out and support, I'm right here in Arbor Lodge and want this one to last.

Anonymous said...

CLOSED. I went by there, and noticed a sign on the door: "The North End Pub is closed indefinitely. Thank you for your support this past year!"

Very sad. I -liked- that place!

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