I've been waiting for something wonderful to open in the Ladd Building, which was scheduled to be demolished to make way for the Ladd Tower, but was saved, moved, and then moved back again into the shadow of the tower. Very dramatic. But then it sat empty for a long time, and so I'm just thrilled that it's now getting the happy ending it deserves! See the Oregonian article about the new restaurant, Raven and Rose, that is set to open there next week.
Portland Oregon Real Estate
"My number one goal was to create a space that looked like it belonged in this building," said owner Lisa Mygrant during a walk-through of the two-story gastropub on Wednesday. "It has a timeless feel. It could have belonged to that era or now."
Turning the restored 1880s building, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, into a restaurant took just over 14 months, Mygrant said. Much of that time was spent creating the physical infrastructure for the restaurant, since the carriage house was basically a hollow shell with no pipes, duct work or wiring.
The main floor features an exposed kitchen with a wood-fired oven made out of bricks reclaimed from the carriage house's original fireplace and chimney. Gas lanterns are suspended over booths, as well as two-person tables along a long, cushioned banquette. In the center of the dining room is a custom-made bar with a hand-hammered zinc top, complete with four wines and nine beers on draft, including one cask-conditioned ale.
Steps to the second floor lead to a waiting area outside of the restaurant's pastry kitchen, as well as what may be the restaurant's crown jewel, the "rookery" bar, located where the carriage house's hay loft originally was. The space features another custom-made bar, a library nook that can be used as a private meeting space, and leather couches in front of a gas fireplace. The space also will contain a pool table.
Raven & Rose is aiming for LEED gold-certified status, and reuse of materials has been emphasized throughout the restaurant's design. Bar tables have been constructed out of old walnut shipping crates, and the upstairs floor is made of reclaimed and refinished horse fencing. Over the restaurant's entryway is a ceiling that was part of the carriage house's original living quarters.
The initial menu from longtime Portland chef David Padberg (Wildwood, Clarklewis, Park Kitchen) will feature rustic, wood-fired dishes, like a recent braised short ribs, Yorkshire pudding, roasted root vegetables and beet-kidney sauce that was served at a thank-you dinner for the restaurant's construction crew. Behind the bar is Dave Shenaut, (formerly of Beaker & Flask and Riffle NW), who has designed a menu of historic cocktails designed to evoke the building's history.
The restaurant is just the latest chapter in the building's long history. It went up in the 1880s to house Portland business leader William Ladd's carriages, horses and coachmen. In the 1920s, it was converted into shops and offices, and was remodeled as a law firm in 1972. But in the middle of the last decade, as plans got underway to build the Ladd Tower, a 23-story apartment building on the same block, the carriage house was tapped for demolition. Preservationists rallied to save the building.
In 2007, the building was placed on blocks and moved several blocks west on Southwest Columbia Avenue, where it sat in a parking lot as construction progressed on the tower. It was moved back the next year, then underwent extensive restoration to its exterior, outside walls and roof. Construction on Raven & Rose began in late 2011.
Raven & Rose will officially open for happy hour and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning Friday, Jan. 4. The restaurant plans to add full daily lunch and dinner service by early March.
Raven & Rose is at
1331 S.W. Broadway
adapted from an article that appeared in The Oregonian on December 28, 2012 titled Restaurant first-look: Inside downtown Portland's Raven & Rose in the historic Ladd Carriage House / oregonlive.com