Closures of Portland’s Steinhaus and The Growler Guys Eastside

Over the next few weeks two Portland beer bars are closing: the inner central eastside location of The Growler Guys and the outer eastside’s 82nd Avenue beer oasis, the Steinhaus. Both are victims of competition and rising rents, and both will be throwing farewell parties.

Steinhaus photo from Willamette Week

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Jeremy Lewis and Quyen Ly (owners of Roscoe’s) purchased the Steinhaus 14 years ago when it was more of a run-of-the-mill neighborhood pub. It was two years before the pair would purchase Roscoe’s and turn that into the great beer bar it is today. When Roscoe’s took off, Lewis and Ly sold the Steinhaus to focus on Roscoe’s and the new owners changed the name to Agenda and later it even became a low-rent stripclub called Assets. The owner at that time stopped making payments and Lewis and Ly were forced to take the property back. With the success of nearby Roscoe’s, they refreshed the concept and reverted the pub’s name to the Steinhaus and gave it a new world German touch. It was still a neighborhood pub but with a nicer hidden backdoor beer garden, less video poker and gambling, and a lineup of real German and local German-style beers. While Steinhaus never became as popular or as well known as Roscoe’s or the owners’ recently purchased beer bar, Saraveza, it had its fans and became a rare good beer oasis on the desolate and seedy 82nd Avenue. Why close it now? Co-owner Jeremy Lewis says:

“While surveying the neighboring property to finalize their plans for development, the developer found that part of the Steinhaus building is over their property line.”

The small and also seedy Hung Far Low restaurant/bar was right next to the Steinhaus and closed a year or so ago; it has been fenced up and ready for demo ever since. Rather than fight with the property owners after finding that Steinhaus was build partially over their property, Lewis and Ly have agreed to sell the full property so they can concentrate on Roscoe’s and Saraveza, with a 3rd spot in the works for North Portland. The entire corner of the block will most likely be bulldozed for redevelopment.

The Steinhaus will be throwing a final farewell party this Saturday, February 23rd from 5pm to midnight. There will be drink specials and giveaways; I hear they may be giving away steins as well.

Steinhaus
2366 SE 82nd Ave Portland, Oregon 97216

The Growler Guys is a Bend-based franchise operation that helped ignite the growler fill station craze. However, it wasn’t until June of 2014 that Portland got its own The Growler Guys owned by Brendan and Kourtney Cocks, who have done a great job making it a local. Situated in the busy beer area outside Grand Central Bowl, The Growler Guys Southeast Portland location has been a regular host of some of the best local brewers and beer releases and always had one of the best taplists in town. Sadly, Brendan Cocks announced recently they would not be renewing the lease after 5 years.

“Besides the increasingly exorbitant cost of doing business in our area the uncertainties clouding the current craft beer market make for Kourtney and I, another five year ‘written in blood’ commitment too much of a gamble,” says Cocks. “Our news comes at a time with exponentially more recognizable and significant taprooms and breweries and closing shop for a variety of reasons. I don’t see that trend changing in the near future.”

Cocks says the people are what he will miss the most, citing collaborations and friendships with the likes of Ben Edmunds (Breakside) and Tyler Brown (Barley Browns) as well as great customers and new lifelong friends. The Growler Guys SE has also been a huge supporter and drop-off point for beers for the Brews for New Avenues charity project.

“We were fortunate enough to work with them the past four years and what they are doing is all that is right in the craft beer world,” says Cocks.

It’s not yet clear what will happen to the former Growler Guys space or what’s next for the Cocks, who moved to Hood River nearly 2 years ago.

“I will enjoy a lot less travel on 84 and maybe see if any breweries or distributors might need some assistance in The Gorge,” says Cocks on his next move. “I would like to stay part of the craft beer community if given the chance to do so.”

The Growler Guys – Central Eastside will be saying goodbye with a big party on Saturday, March 2nd from noon to 10pm where they try to kick the kegs and toast to 5 years. Sunday 3/3 will be their actual final day in business.

The Growler Guys – Central Eastside
816 SE 8th Ave #109, Portland, Oregon 97214

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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