Old Town Is Getting a New Luxury Hotel and Mexican Restaurant in April
Right now, it's a lot of sawdust and ladders.
But on April 5, it will open as downtown Portland's newest hotel. The 120-room Hi-Lo hotel, at Southwest 3rd and Stark, is oddly suited to Old Town.
The namesake mix of high-aspirational and lowbrow touches is symbolized—as we are informed by a preternaturally cheerful hotel spokesperson named Julie Carreira—by lowbrow tiling that is, fancily, heated for the sort of person we presume to be always naked.
Meanwhile, the Irish-knotted ropes holding the DO NOT DISTURB signs are to be considered low by their nature as ropes—but are elevated to high-class by being dipped in gold paint.
This is not, it would appear, modernist poetry.
Anyway, here's what most of it looks like now:
The High-Lo is in the old Oregon Pioneer Building, which was built in 1910 as the city's first fully concrete building. It was also once the home of Willamette Week, from 1974 to 1984.
They're trying to preserve the building's history, but are also hitting that theme on the head a bit hard.
There's a massive amount of exposed concrete, and meeting halls named after parts of the old building. For example, the Merchant is the gift shop, the Exchange is a meeting room, named for the Railway Exchange Block, and the Mark Room is named for Melvin Mark, the man who bought the building in the 1960s.
Along with the hotel, Old Town will also get a midscale Mexican restaurant, near the planned location of the upcoming eight-vendor Portland Food Hall at 827 SW 2nd Ave.
Alto Bajo will be headed by Oaxan chef Iliana de la Vega of Restaurante El Naranjo and chef Chip Barnes of Moto in Chicago.
Menu items will include pig ear al pastor huarache with refried beans, and sturgeon roast in banana leaf with cilantro-chile butter, as reported by the Oregonian. The restaurant will also specialize in mezcal. We don't know if this is part of the theme.