Congress Bar & Grill Changing Hands

Restaurateurs, Jason Loring and Mike Fraser, are in the process of buying Congress Bar & Grill.

They plan to keep the restaurant’s casual feel and will be putting in place an approachable “tavern style” food that will be a departure from the menu at Nosh. They aspire to have a great bar with great food that balances value and quality serving lunch and dinner. Loring shared he’s dedicated to keeping the restaurant an affordable alternative place to eat in the city.

Loring and Fraser plan to close the restaurant for a couple months for some renovations to the space. It will re-open under the name CBG. The atmosphere they’re aiming for is “like your eccentric uncle’s basement bar”. The reconfigured CBG will open the space and make the bar more a focal point.

Loring is in the process of recruiting a chef for Congress Bar & Grill. If you’re interested in interviewing for the position, email

The restaurant at 617 Congress Street began life as Norm’s Bar & Grill and changed names to Congress Bar & Grill in 2011 when the ownership changed.

5 comments on “Congress Bar & Grill Changing Hands

  1. Please please please keep the all-beef burger as is on the menu. It’s the only place in town you can get a burger properly cooked medium rare! (the correct way to eat beef/burgers)

  2. There are some absolute Portland staples on that menu: black bean soup with cornbread, Greek salad with calamari, BBQ chicken tacos, the skinny special. Not to mention properly-poured drinks and good people! CBG will be missed.

  3. Oh, I’m so glad for Deb to be able to hand this gem she has been with since the beginning. I’m glad to hear it’s not turning into another Asian restaurant, as rumoured. Love CBG. Look forward to seeing some cool things happen. Welcome to the neighborhood. Love O2 Salon

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