The long-awaited restaurant and bar opens in Parkrose
Susie Fox smiles when asked if she had enjoyed her food at O’Dear, a restaurant and bar that opened September 8 at 10810 NE Sandy Blvd.
“I can say the steak salad I just had was fabulous,” she says as her friend nods her head in agreement. “It was a class act. Too many times you go to a bar and it’s just a bar salad. This was a fine dining salad.”
Co-operated by Vince Culp as well as Jared Berglund and Scott Tomason, O’Dear aims to give every customer the experience Fox had, notes Culp.
“For me it’s about offering something unique,” he says, noting O’Dear stocks a wide array of fruits, bitters, syrups, and juices as part of its drinks menu as well as top-notch food for its culinary offerings.
“Everything is just fresh, which is different than most bars you go to,” he says.
The new establishment has a comfortable ski lodge look and includes a large mural wall with doodling artwork created, in part, by Culp’s two sons, Mason and Gage. O’Dear covers about 5,000 square feet and drew almost 300 customers the day it opened.
O’Dear offers family dining from 1-8 p.m. daily, as well as 21 and over attractions from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., including three pool tables, live music on Friday nights, DJs on other nights, and a trivia night on Mondays. There’s a loft area open to customers now that will eventually host private parties. The bar has already hired 17 staff members and plans on hiring more, Culp says, adding that he prides O’Dear’s menu for its creativity.
“We do offer a lot of flavors from around the world,” he says, noting O’Dear offers wild game burgers, house-made veggie burgers, and makes “pretty much all of our sauces.”
O’Dear has a good shot at succeeding given its owner has an extensive background in the dining and bar business. Culp owns 2nd Street Bar in Gresham as well as the Whisky Tango Lounge in Hood River. Meanwhile, Berglund has worked at Dixie’s in downtown Portland as well as Duke’s, a famed country bar in East Portland, and has also worked in a variety of nightclub capacities, including deejaying. On that note, Berglund says O’Dear plans on hiring classic rock, country, and possibly even bluegrass bands as well as mixing it up musically with DJs who will play everything from oldies to contemporary music.
O’Dear was set to open prior to the Covid pandemic lockdowns, which delayed its start by a few years, but Culp says he felt this was the right time to introduce Parkrose’s newest business. Both men say they look forward to offering good food and drinks to the neighborhood and hope that O’Dear plays a role in helping Portland’s hard-hit business community recover from Covid.
Culp notes O’Dear hosts the Parkrose Marketplace twice a month in its parking lot, and the marketplace features more than 60 vendors (the last marketplace of 2022 is on October 8 and 9).
“We want to bring awareness to local business,” Berglund says, adding he loves the hustle and bustle of the restaurant and bar world.
“The relationship building this business brings you can’t find anywhere else,” he says.
Culp, who’s done everything from working construction to serving as an ER nurse, expresses similar sentiments.
“I’ve never been a 9 to 5 type person,” he says. “I think seeing something start from scratch and become a success is enough for me.”