Higgins Restaurant to Open Piggins Outdoor Bistro on the Grounds of the Oregon Historical Society Plaza

The outdoor kitchen is designed to help Higgins survive during the pandemic

Greg Higgins, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of Portland’s pioneering farm-to-table restaurant Higgins, has announced the forthcoming opening of his newest project: Piggins, a classic open-air bistro with a satellite kitchen set on the elevated 4,000-square-foot plaza outside the Oregon Historical Society at the corner of Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. Piggins will open its doors this Saturday, July 25, and will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the summer and fall. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made via the website at HigginsPiggins.com or by calling 503-222-9070; walk-ins will be accommodated as space allows. 

Co-Owner Greg Higgins-Photo: John Valls

“The imposed reduction of 50% capacity seating in restaurants has necessitated unprecedented approaches for restaurants to stay viable. The only way our business pencils out is to offer outside dining this summer and early fall,” explained Greg Higgins. “Piggins is an example of how we, like so many other small, independent restaurants, are adapting to survive the worst economic disaster of our lifetime.” 

Piggins will act as an extension of Higgins’ kitchen, offering outdoor seating amidst the cultural area of the South Park Blocks. The upscale Piggins menu will offer pasture-raised meats and all-organic local produce from some of the very best small farmers in the Willamette Valley. Starters, including farm salads and a house charcuterie board, will be served all day. A variety of sandwiches will

be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including the Piggins burger, a Carman Ranch grass-fed beef burger with applewood-smoked pork loin and cheese; a smoked sockeye salmon patty; a grilled merguez sausage of Reister Farms lamb; a Champoeg Farm turkey schnitzel; and a veggie option. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Piggins will serve a number of dinner entrees, including pasta, steak, the Piggins burger, a veggie option and a nightly Pacific Northwest seafood special; the dinner menu will change incrementally each week. Beer, wine, cocktails and dessert will be available, and house musician Jordan Smith will play live music most evenings.

Co-Owner Paul Mallory-Photo: Timothy Horn
Piggins Burger-Photo: Pat Strong
Photo: Pat Strong

Piggins is a collaboration between Higgins and the Oregon Historical Society, of which Higgins restaurant is a neighbor and tenant. According to Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk, “We envision this as an immensely beneficial collaboration between the Higgins team and the Oregon Historical Society, one which shares the unique culinary vision of Oregon’s food bounty from one of Portland’s best-known chefs.” 

Set in an ivy-green and cedar-paneled 8’ x 16’ removable modular kitchen, Piggins will service 16 bistro tables spaced up to eight feet apart. A QR code will take guests directly to the menu on their phone; servers will take orders at the table and use a Wi-Fi POS system to send them to the Piggins kitchen, where the dishes will be cooked to order and delivered to the table.

Crane launching Piggins-Photo: Paul Moss

Located in the hub of downtown Portland’s cultural area, Piggins will be an ideal place to grab lunch, dinner, or a drink before or after a visit to the Oregon Historical Society, the Portland Art Museum, and other downtown cultural spots.

“We’ve lost some of our classic outdoor venues over the years. We want Piggins to become Portland’s new summer destination, overlooking the beauty of the South Park Blocks gardens,” explained Greg Higgins. “As word spreads and popularity grows, the courtyard bistro could become a catalyst for additional cultural programs: a summer evening film series, chamber music, or readings by Oregon authors are just a few of the possibilities.”

Piggins Salmon-Photo: Pat Strong

Greg Higgins has collaborated with culinary cinematographer Brian Kimmel to document the development of Piggins. Kimmel, through his company Optic Nerve Productions, is currently producing a documentary short film titled “When Pigs Fly” that takes the audience along on Greg Higgins’ journey to adapt to and survive a pandemic that has created a devastating ripple effect throughout the entire local food industry. The film is slated for an early fall 2020 premiere.

Higgins is also supporting the establishment of the Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund by the United States Congress and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s Restaurant Stabilization Fund to support independent restaurants through grants.

View the Piggins menu and make reservations at HigginsPiggins.com, and engage on social media @PigginsPDX.

About Piggins Restaurant
An extension of Higgins Restaurant, Piggins is a classic open-air bistro offering outdoor patio dining at the spacious plaza outside the Oregon Historical Society. Under the direction of James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Higgins, PIggins serves pasture-raised meats and all-organic local produce from some of the very best small farmers in the Willamette Valley. Enjoy lunch, dinner, dessert and drinks, served amidst the culture and beauty of Portland’s South Park Block gardens. It’s open seven days a week, and reservations are strongly recommended.

About Higgins Restaurant
Higgins Restaurant, Oregon’s original farm-to-table restaurant, opened in 1994 with chef and co-owner Greg Higgins using his close ties to Pacific Northwest farmers to spearhead his pioneering menus, which eventually landed him a 2002 James Beard Award as Best Chef Northwest. Co-owned by Greg Higgins and Paul Mallory, the landmark restaurant prides itself on service, dedicated wine and spirits offerings, a world-class beer program, and a showcase of the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

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