First National Taphouse’s first Portland location seems to have run on the banks. 

The 110-seat taphouse opened in September 2014 with a menu of Pacific Northwest brews, mostly Oregon-made wines, cocktails, a 400+ bottle shop stocking beers from here and around the world and an Irish-inspired menu. 

But on Feb. 11, the restaurant had “CLOSED” and “FOR LEASE” signs taped in the window and metal garage doors pulled over the entrance.  

I was meeting my aunt for lunch there on Wednesday when she told me, frustrated, that she had called on Feb. 6 about renting their event space, taking her contact information and offering to show her the space ahead of time.

But by the looks of the complaints on Facebook and Yelp from former employees, patrons weren’t the only ones who were left hanging with the abrupt closure. Numerous comments of myriad anger levels show the restaurant neglected to inform its employees, many who showed up to a similar scene without any explanation or notice.

“Allow me to clarify a few things and dispel any rumors,” Yelp user Morgan H wrote. “No one other than the owners knew that this was going to happen, not the upper management, not the employees, no one. The night before the restaurant closed was extremely busy, and in no way was the business in financial trouble. It came like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky. We went to bed as a tight-knit family, and woke up unemployed, with our company email disabled and all of the locks changed.”

“We showed up this morning to locked doors and wondering [sic] if we are going to get paid,” Daniel Kangiser posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “It would have been nice to get two weeks notice so we could look for work!”

When reached for comment, First National Taphouse’s Eugene location was not aware the Portland location had closed. The restaurant’s email address bounced back. 

More to come. 

— Samantha Bakall

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