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As A Restaurant Mecca, Portland's Future Is Bright

Portland has all the right ingredients to make it a nationally renowned restaurant hub, according to CBRE's John Bernatz, who specializes in food and beverage space in the Portland market.


One factor is population growth in the Portland metro area as Portland and the Pacific Northwest continue to attract more people, Bernatz said. That provides the support for creativity in the industry.

"The drive for constant innovation in the food scene creates spinoffs of new restaurants from existing successful chefs, such as Vitaly Paley and Andy Ricker’s growing empire," he said.

Eating out is common among all demographics, but especially Millennials, creating demand for a diverse array of restaurants, food carts and gastropubs in the region.

"Portland's an amazing town to cook in, and chefs around the country, and the globe, know this. Also, we have a bounty of raw ingredients available to us unlike anywhere else in the country," Bernatz said.


Bernatz is more than just a food and beverage space broker, he is a master chef. He has been invited to showcase his skills at the Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Neuvo (Festival of Shells & New Wine) in April in Mexico.

The event includes VIP dinner experiences created by international chefs, tastings, cooking classes and a grand tasting. There will be tours and education lectures at the shellfish sanctuaries and wineries and vineyards of Baja California. 

Chef Bernatz will be working with James Beard Award-winning chef Charles Phan to create a multi-course shellfish-tasting menu at Malva Restaurant in Ensenada, in Baja's wine country. He also will be teaching a VIP cooking class for 20 participants focusing on oysters and mussels with an international fusion interpretation.