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MOM Story


Lisa Schroeder

This month we’re featuring me – Lisa Schroeder, the Executive Chef and owner here at Mother’s Bistro & Bar,
offering some of my favorite Italian mother dishes. We’re hoping to put most of these on our menu when we move Mother’s 2 ½ blocks away to the corner of SW Third Avenue & Ash Street, at the Embassy Suites, a Hilton Hotel.

Mother’s has been in business now for nearly 19 years. We opened our doors in January 2000 and have grown over the years.
Initially, our space, built for an insurance company, was bearable. We put up with a long, narrow kitchen and a dish pit in a vault. We’ve lived with storage downstairs, offices upstairs and having to cross a lobby to get from one part of our restaurant to another. We renovated a few times over the years, most recently when we took over the Rice Junkies space next door, and shifted our bar and front door from Second Avenue to Stark Street.

Since then, business has grown, but our space has not grown along with it. Our kitchen has gotten hotter as we’ve incerased
the BTU power of our equipment to cook for the number of people coming in our doors, but our hoods remained the same. Since all this made it increasingly harder on our staff, especially the kitchen crew, we were going to renovate again and were looking for a location where we could do a pop-up restaurant until Mother’s work was done. To our pleasant surprise, we discovered a perfect restaurant space just a few blocks down the street.

Once we walked into the vacant space at the Embassy Suites hotel (formerly Portland Prime and Portland Steak and Chophouse), we felt immediately at home. We knew with a paintbrush, wallpaper, new fabrics and chandeliers, we could make the space Mother’s 2.0. So, rather than renovate our existing space, we’ve decided just to pick up and move Mother’s Bistro & Bar altogether.

We’re hoping to move into 121 SW Third Avenue by the end of November and don’t expect to be closed longer than a week to make it happen. We’ll be keeping our current location on Stark Street as Mother’s Velvet Lounge and Café, serving Southern comfort food favorites.
We hope to sublet the space on the corner of Stark and Second Avenue, and in the meantime will make it available to rent as an event space (using third-party caterers) for parties, pop-ups and special events. Email us at [email protected] with inquiries.