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'Relish Gastropub' to open in Westmoreland

Just when Westmoreland residents thought dining choices around the intersection of S.E. Milwaukie Avenue and Bybee Boulevard couldn’t get any wider, in September a banner appeared announcing plans to open “Relish Gastropub” in what once was Wilhelm’s funeral home (before Wilhelm’s acquired Portland Memorial and moved there), and in what most recently was home to “The Woods” music club.

by: PETER KORCHNAK - Akhil and Marla Kapoor are set to open the new €sˇÃ„úRelish Gastropub€sˇÃ„Ã1 restaurant on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in mid-January.According to Akhil Kapoor, who co-owns “Relish” with his wife Marla, the restaurant will open in mid-January. As the primary reason for the delay he cited Portland’s permitting process. Marla Kapoor said, “The Woods didn’t have all the permits for a public venue. We want to do everything ‘above board’, including being ADA-compliant.” Akhil added, “We want to be a good neighbor.”

The Kapoors’ plan for their new restaurant is to serve “good food in a white-tablecloth dining atmosphere – but without the tablecloth and the prices that come with it.”

To that end, the couple hired Chef Josef Valoff, formerly of Noisette, Wildwood, and Blue Hour restaurants. The “relish” in the restaurant’s name refers to the owners’ intent to base their dishes on root sauces made from scratch. To boot, Akhil Kapoor told THE BEE, “The freezer will be only for ice cream. Everything else will be fresh, local, and seasonal.”

“Relish Gastropub” will be the Kapoors’ second restaurant. They tried their hand in the business 25 years ago in Los Angeles. Long residents of this area, to open the new establishment, they closed down their West Linn wine shop of 10 years. In addition, Akhil managed the Ringside Glendoveer restaurant for 11 years, and helped open its downtown location as well.

“Some days I worked 15 or 16 hours,” he said. “Marla and I knocked our heads together and decided, ‘Let's work that much for ourselves’.”

And Marla added, “We’re excited to be coming to a community like Sellwood-Westmoreland that supports its local businesses. Locating in a former funeral home makes for a quirky space. The elevator we’ll be using for beer kegs, for example, used to be a casket elevator.”

“Relish Gastropub” will seat up to 98 guests, and will feature three outdoor spaces. It will be open for lunch four days a week, Thursday thru Sunday – and six nights, Tuesday thru Sunday, for dinner. For more information, go online to: relishgastropub.com