Grocery Cocktail Social draws crowds in downtown

first_imgSince early summer, Chris “Salty” Reed and his wife, Cindy Reed, have worked to bring new life to a charming downtown storefront that for years had been vacant and overlooked. Then on a Thursday evening in late October, the couple quietly opened the restaurant and bar with the memorable, Southern-influenced name of Grocery Cocktail & Social. Word spread quickly, mostly through social media contacts. It didn’t take long to draw a crowd to the formerly forlorn corner of West Seventh and Washington streets. “That weekend we were really busy,” says Salty Reed, who is known in foodie circles for his past work as a chef in several popular Portland restaurants, most recently the Screen Door.The Grocery, as it is already known, is slowly building up its menu and tweaking its hours to find its sweet spot in the downtown eating and entertainment scene. It’s unusual name comes from the fact that Salty Reed’s Southern relatives often referred to all food as groceries.Soon after the opening, the Reeds pulled out of the lunch hour, choosing instead a 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. schedule aimed at happy hour and evening diners and an evening crowd of social drinkers and diners. The restaurant, with seating for 49 people on two levels, also is available for private events.last_img