Higgins Restaurant to open Piggins, a food cart, in the Oregon Historical Society plaza | Instant News


This summer, Greg Higgins, chef and co-owner of the pioneering farm-to-table restaurant Higgins, will add a new path to his famous cooking career: the owner of a food cart.

In July, Higgins hopes to own Piggins, a green ivy wagon and cedar wall, going up to the large square outside the currently closed Oregon Historical Society, said James Beard Award winner to The Oregonian / OregonLive.com on Monday.

The idea to expand outdoor seating came from Higgins wife, Barb, who suggested approaching Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk about serving food in the museum square on the corner of Southeast Park Avenue and Madison Street. Higgins told Tymchuk that he could develop proposals to be shared with the historical community committee. Tymchuk, a Higgins fan, told him not to bother.

“I am a committee,” recalled Higgins, Tymchuk said, “A committee consisting of one. And I say, ‘yes’. “

Higgins is one of thousands of restaurant and bar owners in Oregon who are looking for new ways to serve visitors during the coronavirus crisis, a time when state-mandated social distance requirements have left little room for visitors, and when some customers remain wary of lingering long time in the room to eat. Other businesses are exploring plans to add a seat to a nearby roof, a parking lot or even close a section of the city street.

The $ 50,000 basket, which is currently being built by PDX Trolley Builder, will serve farm salads, home carcuterie boards and sandwiches during the day, with a more ambitious lineup of Higgins-style mains – grilled hanger steak with finger potatoes, Northwest seafood special night – join the menu at night. Burger Piggins, with Carman ranch beef fed with grass and a choice of cheese on toast, will be served throughout the day.

Initially, the Piggins server will stand outside with an iPad, leaving room for two cooks on the train, which Higgins supplies with high-end equipment, including air conditioning. Much preparatory work will be carried out in Higgins, which opened in 1994 in a corner of the building which is also owned by the historical community. Make use of The new Oregon Liquor Control Commission process is tracked quickly to expand the alcohol service area, beer, wine and even cocktails get to the Piggins terrace from the Higgins bar.

According to the historical community Tymchuk, this project is a “win-win” for everyone involved. Higgins got an open terrace to expand his seat and, when the historic community reopened, museum visitors can visit a food cart from one of Portland’s most famous chefs. Depending on how things are, Higgins and Tymchuk say Piggins can last a while.

“I would love to do it every summer, because like I said it is a very iconic restaurant, and this is a beautiful view, with murals of Lewis and Clark at the Sovereign Hotel and the church of the First Congregation, which at that time was built in 1870- “The tallest building in Portland,” said Tymchuk. “The park block is very beautiful in summer, so why not?”

Mock-up the Piggins food cart, which will open in the Oregon Historical Society square on July 1. The resemblance to the colors of schools at certain Oregon state universities is not accidental, said chef Greg Higgins.Courtesy of Higgins

Moniker Piggins was not originally intended for food carts, but the wood-fired pizzeria that Higgins and his colleague Paul Mallory planned in 2008. Then the recession hit, and the restaurant – which would be built around a large wooden pig statue exploded through a brick wall bought by Higgins after walking in a gallery in New York – being “out of the question,” said Higgins. (After the January renovations, a pig statue is now hanging in the Higgins dining room.)

Although Higgins does not plan to allow dinner service at the restaurant on June 12, the date of Multnomah County is expected to enter the first phase of the Governor of Oregon. Kate Brown plans to reopen, the restaurant will introduce takeout services for this curbside pickup. Friday. Choices include the “Higgins Happy Hour Kit,” which serves four to six people and serves Higgins salami, selected artisanal cheese, duck liver moussette, focaccia, olives, hazelnut seasoning and seasoning for $ 75.

The opening date for Piggins is currently set for July 1, although with a basket to be sent on June 15, Higgins thinks there might be time for some “running exercises” soon after the third week of June. Under Oregon’s Phase 1 guidelines, the 4,000-square-foot historical community square must have space for about 16 tables, spaced 7-8 feet apart.

“Given that this came out of the chaos of COVID, this is an extraordinary opportunity for people to rethink what they are doing and respond in a really positive way,” Higgins said. “My question is what happens when we reach autumn and winter.”

Michael Russell, [email protected], @tdrussell

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