By Jon Bell – Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal
Jun 28, 2019
When the Hotel Eastlund opened across from the Oregon Convention Center four years ago, Portland chef and restaurateur David Machado was a little nervous.
He was opening two new restaurants in the hotel, the rooftop Altabira City Tavern and the Citizen Baker urban bakery, but the neighborhood was sleepy.
“It was a little shocking when we opened,” he said. “Nobody was walking the streets. It had a little bit of an edgy feel at night. It was quiet.”
But in relatively short order, that all began to change. The 600-room Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center finally broke ground, the Hassalo on Eighth development delivered more than 650 new apartments to the Lloyd District and the convention center launched an extensive remodel project. A new affordable housing project is nearing completion across Northeast Grand Avenue from the Hotel Eastlund and new development at the nearby Burnside Bridgehead has exploded.
“The whole district has changed dramatically in under five years, and there’s still a lot of growth ahead of us,” Machado said. “It’s extremely vital. I’m really, really big on this neighborhood.”
Which, along with the city’s requirement that the Eastlund’s owners activate the corner of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast Holladay Street, is a big reason Machado and his partners decided about a year ago that it was time to move forward on a third food and beverage project in the hotel.
The venue, called Pullman Wine Bar & Merchant, will be an intimate wine-focused affair with a wine bar and shop as well as a private wine cave that can seat up to 24 for special events.
Daren Hamilton, operations manager for David Machado Restaurants, said the bar will be installing multiple WineStations from Napa Technology, which are intelligent wine dispensing and preservation systems. They allow for measured tastes of wine and preserve what’s left in a bottle through the use of argon gas.
Pullman’s wine program, developed by longtime Machado collaborator David Holstrom, will feature 125 wines; half will be from the Pacific Northwest, with the balance a mix of wines from around the world.
Food-wise, the menu will consist of about 12 to 14 items of international fare — “France, Spain, Italy, whatever tastes good,” Machado said, adding that Pullman will serve lunch, afternoon snacks and early evening meals.
The wine bar, designed by Portland’s Holst Architecture, takes its name from the term Pullman, which in architecture refers to long, narrow spaces within a building. The term itself comes from the long sleeping cars on trains made famous by the Pullman Company, which ties into the new wine bar’s location right along the MAX tracks.
In addition to drawing traffic from the neighborhood, Machado said he thinks Pullman will be a big point of attraction for conventioneers across the street. Not only do companies look for nearby breakout spaces — which the Pullman’s wine cave can be — but out-of-town folks looking to taste and buy Oregon wines and dine at a local restaurant will have a place to do so not far away.
“Our advantage here is being a local restaurant with a local chef and a local restaurant group,” Machado said. “With all the people sleeping there at the convention center hotel, there’s always going to be the question, ‘Where can I go to eat locally nearby?’ We think the restaurant is positioned impeccably for that.”
Pullman Wine Bar & Merchant, located at 401 N.E. Holladay Street, is set to open in late July.
From the Portland Business Journal article written by Jon Bell published on June 28, 2019. Read the article on the Portland Business Journal website>>