Bless Your Heart, a trendy burger spot in McMinnville’s Atticus Hotel has closed, but by the time the spring arrives there will be a new restaurant to enjoy.
Jody Kropf, the chef-owner of Dundee’s Red Hills Market, and his wife, Michelle Kropf, plan to open Red Hills Kitchen in the corner space adjacent to the hotel’s main lobby.
What happened with Bless Your Heart?
Bless Your Heart is the Americana arm of restaurateurs John and Renee Gorham’s Portland array that includes Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Shalom Y’all and more. McMinnville’s Bless Your Heart location was the first project for the restaurant group outside of Portland.
Shortly before the May opening of the Atticus, chef-owner John Gorham was diagnosed with and began treatment for a brain tumor.
For seven months they sold burgers, BBQ fries, and negroni slushies (RIP). Once they had finalized the details of handing off the space the burger restaurant quietly closed. Their final service was on Saturday, Dec.15.
Coming Soon: Red Hills Kitchen
Since 2011 Red Hills Market has become a beloved destination in Dundee for its selection of artisan groceries, pastries, wine, wood-fired pizzas and craft sandwiches.
The hotel will be a second location of the Red Hills concept; a neighborhood bar with a small grab-n-go section of wine, cheese and snacks. There will also be table service serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service to hotel guests.
The Kropfs hope to bring the warmth of the original, “the community hang-out feeling” to the new space.
They have long considered opening a second location, Kropf said, “now that we’re coming up on eight years, we’re a little bit more established,” the new space offers “a chance for us to all grow.”
n keeping with a signature at the original location, they plan to add a live-fire cooking element, either an indoor charcoal oven or grill.
“Basically all the food I do has a connection to live fire,” said Kropf, but one thing missing from the menu will be wood-fired pizza.
The kitchen isn’t big enough to accommodate the type of wood oven in the Dundee location and besides, said Kropf, McMinnville has plenty of pizza.
Instead, diners can expect offerings “a little more tailored to table service.”
Expect to see their signature dishes, including the house smoked roast beef sandwich with blue cheese and caramelized onions; the bacon, cheddar and spinach on sourdough breakfast sandwich; their Reuben and a cobb salad with house-smoked turkey. Along with these dishes will be more elegant ones including wood-fired whole fish.
He’ll also be making mini doughnuts for the bar and hotel.
The Kropfs hope to strike the balance of polished rusticity, and a warm aesthetic appealing to “people coming in dressed up for date night, and people coming in from the vineyards with muddy boots,” he said.
Kropf plans to open Red Hills Kitchen in March 2019.