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Better than your living room

LO's Hop N Cork a pub that really gets food right

REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - Michelle Faubion and Sunil Kumar think their customers will be won over by the food they offer at the Hop N Cork in Lake Oswego. It is delicious, fresh, original and beautiful.

When you go to the Hop N Cork in Lake Oswego for the first time, the superlatives slip out. Which is just what owners Michelle Faubion and Sunil Kumar intended when they opened their establishment last year.

The pub at 17450 Lower Boones Ferry Road offers 30 beers on tap, 10 wines and one root beer (brewed locally, of course). And then there’s the food. The pub doesn’t have a grill or deep fryer, and there is not a French fry in sight. But Hop N Cork offers such fresh and delicious food that nary is heard a discouraging word. Kumar and Faubion set only the highest standards for their pub/wine bar/restaurant, and they have achieved them.

“We’re not fast food; we’re good food,” Faubion said. “We wanted to go on a healthier path.”

The best way to sample Hop N Cork is to go in a small group and order several sandwiches and salads, so everyone can try everything. Like the Hop N Club, rosemary chicken BLT, buffalo chicken, and the Smokey Pig sandwich. It’s sort of a miracle on a hoagie roll and could well become famous one day.

“We have a very strong emphasis on freshness and sustainability,” Faubion said. “We have nothing that’s frozen. We smoke all of our meats. We grow our own produce.”

Not only is the food and drink terrific, but it feels great to be at Hop N Cork. After doing their own market research, Faubion and Kumar decided they wanted a “polished, industrial look. Like Southeast Portland.”

REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - The chances of finding a beer you like at Hop N Cork are absolutely great. Owners Sunil Kumar and Michelle Faubion will even help you find it.

Not only that, but the partners have structured their pub to always be sunlit with a fresh breeze and — most amazingly — perfect temperature.

“Michelle and I had a vision of what we wanted our interior to look like,” Kumar said. “We’re shooting for a lot of ambience. We want our customers to feel like this place is their second living room. It’s just a very comfortable place. Our main goal is to make everyone feel welcome.”

It may have been written in the stars that Hop N Cork would come into existence. Faubion was once general manager of a popular pub in Tigard, and Kumar was one of her favorite customers. Their friendship turned businesslike when they started talking about the kind of establishment they would like to open, and after several brainstorming sessions, they decided to take the jump.

At this point, they have received their biggest break of all. A spot opened up right next to Prestige Cleaners, which Kumar’s family had been operating for nearly a quarter of a century. For convenience, this was impossible to beat.

A few bumps in the road caused it to take longer for the pub to open than Kumar and Faubion anticipated. But, when they did last September, they found an eager public practically storming their doors to get in. Hop N Cork has been operating at capacity ever since.

“Social media is amazing,” noted Faubion.

With such quick success, it would have been understandable for Kumar and Faubion to go on very long vacations, but instead they have chosen to strengthen their brand by making their restaurant everything their patrons could wish. They hold countless special events at Hop N Cork — and expend extra effort to make families feel welcome.

Kumar said, “From the very beginning, we wanted to offer a place with a great product, that was pleasing to people, and that had good prices.”

Off the evidence it must be judged: mission accomplished.

For more about Hop N Cork, go to its website at hopncork.com. It will list specials, soup of the day, and the current offerings of beer and wine.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - Your eyes wont deceive you when viewing the delicious dishes offered at the Hop N Cork. Something new is offered on the menu every day.