Owners Guy and Stella Hernandez will be closing down Bar Lola as of November 16, and will be redirecting all their energies to launching a new restaurant in Portland. They’re close to securing a space for the as-yet unnamed restaurant and hope to open sometime in February 2014.
In explaining their motivation to launch a new venture, chef/owner Guy Hernandez explains,
We want to loosen our ties and make the process of cooking and dining out more transparent and less precious. A lot of places don’t give their customers the option to dine in a way they feel most comfortable – they’re either too rigid, have too many menu restrictions, or are too formal. And in most cases, food just magically appears from a distant kitchen. We want to change that paradigm and give the dining public a place in which they can feel that they are part of the action as an array of wonderful ingredients are transformed into dishes on the menu.
The plan is for the restaurant to be open 11am straight through to closing 6 days a week. They describe the new dining experience this way,
…from the moment you enter you’ll immediately be surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the visible ingredients, coupled with real, accessible cooking, all anchored by a custom-made, wood-fired grill. It will be warm and welcoming, and will inspire customers to stop in at any time of the day to get a carefully crafted snack and glass of wine from an extensive by-the-glass list, supported by a deeper, by-the-bottle cellar. Or, customers can choose to compose a full meal from what’s on hand that day from the restaurant’s purveyors.
I’m a big fan of Bar Lola will be sorry to see it go but am very excited to see what Guy and Stella have in store for us next.