Amidst the news of Pepperclub/Good Egg Cafe's demise this month, one persistent mote floated above the dust storm: Co-owner Melissa Sawyer told Kathleen Pierce that the owners of Hugo's and Eventide Oyster Co. "plan to expand into her space." With Pepperclub on its way out and Dean'sSweets now fully moved into a new location on Fore Street, it does seem like a prime opportunity for two of Portland's hottest restaurants to double in size.
Eater reached out to the Hugo's and Eventide team for comment, which didn't come in time for the original piece. A representative did respond shortly after, though:
Out of respect for both Dean's and Pepperclub we are not providing any information until their leases are up October 1.
That sounds more like a diplomatic version of wait for it... than a denial of expansion. Expect big, if not entirely unexpected, news on the front soon.
In related territory, Pepperclub has been auctioning off its equipment, some of which sounds like it's going to a nearby home in Oxbow's in-development warehouse/tasting room, which is coming "before the end of the year, definitely."
Another rumor going around is that Rosemont Market has secured a West End location for a new shop. A rep for the company had a similar not-quite-vehement-denial of the rumor:
You're not the first to bring this rumor to our attention! Rosemont continually considers opportunities to expand, and the company's principals occasionally meet with developers and other people in the industry to explore what projects we might pursue in the future. We look at potential sites, expand our network of collaborating businesses, etc. In that process, sometimes the "talk" gets ahead of the reality -- often quite far ahead!
In a recent Press Herald interview, though, Rosemont co-founder John Naylor explained, "If we're going to expand, our kitchen needs to get bigger and our warehouse needs to get bigger, so we're going to start looking for space." Announcement of a warehouse space seems like a precursor to further market growth, but at this point it's anybody's guess.