»BEAN BUZZ: The corner of North Killingsworth Street and Albina Avenue will soon be graced with a new, attitude-free coffeehouse, thanks to brothers Wesley and Baxter Nelson. Coffeehouse Five, a riff on Slaughterhouse Five, will brew beans from Seattle’s Caffe Vita Roasting Co. and feature homemade soups and “panwiches” from the nearby Junior Ambassadors cart. Baxter Nelson worked at Anna Bannana’s coffeehouse on Northwest 21st Avenue for eight years, and he and his brother have spent the past two years building a business around the idea that “good coffee doesn’t have to be snooty.” The Baxters are planning an early-April opening.
»SECRET’S OUT: Apparently, good fortune rubs off on one’s neighbors. Adjacent to perpetually busy Toro Bravo, The Secret Society—now a ballroom and recording studio—will soon house a lounge. While the idea initially was sparked to stave off the hunger pangs of Toro’s diners waiting next door, the Society’s owner, Matt Johnson, is hoping it will become a destination for vintage-style cocktails featuring many of Portland’s local distilleries. The Society’s preparing to open April 1.
»BYE, N’AWLINS: As first reported on wweek.com, PDX’s Lagniappe, the New Orleans grub joint known for its po’ boys, closed Friday, Feb. 15, according to co-owner Melissa Carey. The closure is the result of financial troubles that started after their summer ’05 move from their successful Northeast Broadway location to a sprawling space on Northeast Alberta Street. “We just don’t have enough bodies coming in,” Carey says. A new breakfast-to-late-night diner named Rock’s is scheduled to open in the space in a month, according to incoming chef Ben Phillips.
»TASTES RICH: Do your taste buds have a pedigree and money is no object? Seattle wine guru Jake Kosseff is headed to PDX to check out chefs and locations for his upscale wine dinners. He’s already orchestrated spendy “once-in-a-lifetime” $1,000 meals for Seattleites at posh joints like the Herbfarm. He says he picks wines that are “rare and amazing” and works with the chefs to build a menu that complements each glass. You can try four of Kosseff’s picks—and give him your tips about which chefs to work with locally—for a more affordable $100 at the Heathman’s Dueling Sommelier dinner (see listings).