Middle Eastern vegan restaurant Aviv to close permanently this month

By the end of the month, Portlanders will have to say goodbye to Aviv’s vegan shawarma fries: The Middle Eastern vegan restaurant has announced on Instagram that it will be closing all of its locations for good. The small stores in Killingsworth and Madison have already closed; the Pearl’s restaurant will close at the end of September.

“The pandemic has hit us hard, and like every restaurant in the world, we’ve been faced with our share of struggles and setbacks,” we read on Instagram. “It’s been a difficult year and a half, to say the least. Unfortunately, we made the difficult decision to shut down all sites in Aviv this month. We really hoped that day wouldn’t come, but it’s about time. On social media, there was no indication that a closure was imminent; the restaurant had just announced the opening of Tiny Aviv on Madison in August.

Aviv made a name for itself on the Portland food scene serving vegan Middle Eastern fare, but Tal Caspi’s most popular dishes – hummus, falafel, and sabih – existed long before the restaurant. As early as 2012, the chef was throwing hummus from the Gonzo Falafel and Hummus food truck at D-Street Noshery, SE 32nd and the division, before moving the truck to Base Camp Brewing. Building on the success of the truck and a series of pop-up dinners, Caspi opened Aviv in the former Portobello space and briefly Heart Bar in May 2017.

For four years, the Division Street dining room, outfitted with recycled wood and charming mismatched plates, housed the shakshuka with misozuke tofu, “mac” couscous and cashew gouda, flaky tofu “feta” bourekas. , roasted carrots with cashew labneh and harissa, and all-vegan Hanukkah dinners. Last year, Aviv’s popular soy curl shawarma with hummus tucked between thick fries and drizzled with tahini, amba and zhoug was featured in “Hometown Inspiration” in Guy Fieri’s Season 31. Diners, drive-in and dives. In December 2020, Aviv left the Division and moved to the Pearl and Killingsworth. Last month, the restaurant opened its third location on Madison. Aviv was also the home port of Caspi’s line of ice cream, Be Sweet and Impossible Burger, the Boiga Boiga concept.

“I plan to take a year off and then maybe get back to food,” Caspi told Eater Portland. “Something simpler.” Caspi mentioned that he is also open to personal chef jobs or other projects, and can be reached at [email protected] Southwest Indian vegan restaurant Sudra will take over Pearl’s prime location – Sudra owner Sanjay Chandrasekaran of The Sudra is also co-owner of Aviv.

To close the Aviv era, Caspi wrote on Instagram, “Thank you for the past four years, Portland. Thank you to everyone who has dined with us over the years, who ordered take out food before and during the pandemic, who told your friends and family about our hummus and shawarma fries, who surprised our appearance on Triple D, who hung out with us when we started out as Gonzo Falafel & Hummus food truck, and all those we will miss. Thank you thank you thank you! ”Those wishing to mark the hummus and shawarma fries one last time can visit Pearl Restaurant until the end of September.

• Aviv [Official]• Aviv closing announcement [Instagram]• Previous coverage of Aviv [EPDX]

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Jamie Collins

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