Small Axe Truck owners to buy East Ender restaurant


After months of speculation, chefs Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy have parked their mobile street eats business permanently and entered the bricks and mortar dining game on the gold-paved streets of Portland.

This morning the owners of Small Axe Truck, the bright orange vehicle dispensing quickie gourmet fair in Congress Square, announced they are purchasing the East Ender on Middle Street. Expect a late Feb. opening.

The pair (alums of Hugo’s and Miyake) return to their restaurant roots with the news.

“We will be retaining the name, while continuing the commitment to local ingredients and creative, high quality food that our customers have come to expect,” they announced on Facebook.

The cozy spot next to Duckfat will close for a short period for remodeling.

Known for cold-smoked burgers, decadent breakfast sandwiches and hale and hearty mid-day repasts from hake to nutty noodles, the new East Ender should give the ramen joint going up across the street a run for it’s gluten-free soy sauce.

Got canteen dreams? The tricked-out truck is on the market. Would-be mobile moguls could do worse than invest in the stylish rig outfitted for top-notch speed with clean, sleek lines. Eater Maine reported that the truck is listed for $60,000.

This well-liked duo taking over a key spot further expands Portland’s dining scene to the burgeoning India Street barrio, once considered no-man’s land with only the Pepperclub, which closed in September, as a solid option. The East Ender will no longer be the place to cool your heels while waiting for a taste of Rob Evan’s fries.

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.