A retail space in Sellwood tilts from a youth orientation to an adult orientation, but it's still a family place

RITA A. LEONARD - On the patio of the new Zenbu Lounge Japanese restaurant on S.E. 17th in Sellwood are bartender Christopher Wells at left, and owner Wes Kasubuchi. Without tiring of their Sellwood food cart, also carrying the name Zenbu, Wes Kasubuchi and Finn Vollegraaf have now opened a Japanese restaurant – Zenbu Lounge – at 8609 S.E. 17th Avenue in Sellwood, featuring a selection of Asian fusion food and sushi, and have 13 Japanese whiskeys among their bar selection.

"We still have our Zenbu Tacos and Beer Cart at 7909 S.E. 13th," says Kasubuchi, "But we wanted to expand to a brick and mortar site, too."

Kasubuchi has spent 25 years as a chef. "Finn and I met at a restaurant in Ashland, but moved to Portland about 15 years ago," he recalls. "So far, the favorite menu items here are sushi, ginger chicken, and Szechuan green beans. We're open to families with children until 8 p.m., but after that, it's adults only."

The location was formerly home to the Pied Piper Play Café. Zenbu seats 40 indoors, and 35 on the outdoor patio. "Our patio, with its umbrella-shaded tables, has been a big hit," remarks Kasubuchi.

"We share the parking lot behind the 'Thai Square' restaurant next door, and are open daily, 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. Call 503/206-8780 for information."

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