Reams of locals and vacationers careered into Thompson’s Point Wednesday for the opening of Big J’s Chicken Shack.
From the freshly mounted subway tiles, to the boxes of sauced wings, plates of waffles and chicken, and grilled chicken sandwiches topped with bacon and cheese, the new restaurant from Portland’s tastemaker Jason Loring seems like another calorie-busting success.
Behind the line, chefs Frank Anderson and Rebecca Ambrosi, front and center at Rhum, were fast at work whipping up all natural tenders, and four and eight piece meals called the single and double wide.
Seated at long tables, diners who walked over from Bissell Brothers brewery next door, beers in hands, dug in with glee. “It’s like traveling to Thailand,” said Bob Girmscheid, a California resident devouring a box of Nashville hot.
The first food establishment to open in Portland’s emerging party block, is a no-frills joint cranking out foodtruck fare designed to go with beer and wine (Cellardoor Winery is a few steps aways ICYMI).
Loring, manning a new Japanese waffle machine in the kitchen, was already focused on his next endeavor. “The clam shack is not dead,” said the owner, whose partners in this wing ding are the team behind Thompson’s Point, a former industrial zone-turned entertainment oasis. As soon as utilities issues near the water’s edge can be worked out, Loring, of Slab and Nosh, will strike again.
And when a hotel opens here in the future, Loring is poised to develop a new food concept. For now, his chicken shack should keep diners sated. The succulent spread includes waffle fries, baked beans, mac and cheese and Tijuana Street corn. Save room for soft-served ice cream topped with Fruity Pebbles.
Oh and all of the above can be ordered through the window carved in the wall in Bissell Brother’s rocking tasting room. Seems everyone in Portland is pre-gaming early this summer. If ya cant’ beat em … The window and brewery opens at 11 a.m.
Big J’s Chicken Shack is open Wed. through Sunday from till 8 p.m.