Portland chef and former local food cart operator join forces for Newberg’s new concept restaurant
By: Tyler Francke
Published: 4/23/2013 2:10:02 PM
Due to open this summer, part of the vision of Newberg’s newest restaurant is actually as old as the town itself. Ruddick/Wood, as the new combination bistro and bar will be known, is named after four of the city’s earliest settlers: William and Sarah Ruddick and David and Maggie Wood.
According to the Newberg Downtown Coalition, the two enterprising young Quaker couples were the first to plat a town called “Newberg” in 1881. What’s more, they envisioned a thriving business district on the very spot where downtown Newberg lies today.
Kyle Lattimer, who is partnering with Portland chef Paul Losch on the new venture, said Ruddick/Wood hopes to capture some of its namesakes’ spirit. “The couples had an entrepreneurial mindset and envisioned a downtown business district built around a railroad connection from Dundee to Portland,” said Lattimer, who’s best-known locally for his Uprooted food cart, which closed in October. “We embrace this original vision of a flourishing downtown district in Newberg and have named the restaurant in their honor to nod to this local Newberg history.”
The bistro is planned for 720 E. First St., most recently the home of Impact Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Performance Training, which moved across town last year. Not surprisingly, the former gym will need much work to be remade as a dining establishment, Lattimer said.
“We are building a kitchen and restaurant from scratch, which carries an extensive build-out process,” he said.
The dual nature of its name will be reflected in the establishment’s dual components as a restaurant and tavern. It will also have two entrances; the doors on First Street will welcome guests into the main dining room, while an entrance at 109 S. Edwards St. will open directly to the watering hole. Lattimer said both sides of Ruddick/Wood will share a kitchen, and patrons will be able to access either internally without going outside.
Lattimer said he and Losch — who has spent more than 15 years in the kitchens of some of the top restaurants in Portland, New York City and London — began working on the concept in January.
“It has been great working with Paul, and I think he will be a fantastic addition to the local community,” he said. “He is a talented chef and a creative entrepreneur.”
He said the restaurant’s menu will be based on local produce and “whole animal butchery,” with locally sourced ingredients. In that way, the project hearkens back to Lattimer’s Uprooted past.
“Uprooted was a great vehicle to lay down relationships with local farms,” he said. “There is a lot of great produce in the area and I think we will be able to use those same connections for the new restaurant. … We want to support the small farmers, winemakers and brewers to help the local area grow.”
But although a few of Uprooted’s menu items might be resurrected on Ruddick/Wood’s lunch menu, most of the offerings will reflect Losch’s distinctive style.
“People can expect a better overall product” than Uprooted’s fare, Lattimer said.
Its drink menu will also offer a large sampling of Newberg-area wines and draft brews, along with “a handful of old-world gems” and a cocktail program led by oak-aged spirits. The restaurant will offer tableside brunch and dinner, with a counter-service lunch. Prices will be at “affordable, everyday” levels, he said.
Both he and Losch said they chose Newberg for the new restaurant because they see “a lot of potential” here.
“With the bypass on the horizon, we think Newberg is the place to be for young, aspiring businesspeople,” he said. “We are also both from small, rural towns and find it to be a comfortable place to work and live. We are excited to get to know the people of the community.”
An opening date has not yet been set, but a website for the restaurant is under construction at www.ruddickwood.com.