Every other Friday, Miget’s Island Grill’s food cart comes to Pacific University’s campus. But now, the food cart is outside of their new storefront on 1916 21st Ave. With available seating inside, the kitchen is still under construction for the next couple weeks.
“My wife and I ate there Friday night and it was less than $15 and we were full,” Executive Director of Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce Howard Sullivan said. “They’ve got the best Kahlua pork and sticky rice and it’s reasonably priced so you can get Kahlua pork and rice for $6.50.”
But Miget’s isn’t the only new restaurant opening up in town. There are several others popping up within walking distance from campus as well.
The Forest Grove Coffee house, which opened several months ago in place of Caffe Montecassino, has been establishing an inviting environment to the Pacific family and community. Late October, another store opened up next door to Pizza Hut – Next Dimension Bakery. After establishing a presence for their baked goods at the Wednesday’s Farmers Market and throughout the community, the owners that originally began their business in their kitchen, bought a storefront next to campus.
“I tried a pastry at the Wednesday Farmers Market and it melted in my mouth. I will definitely be going back as soon as possible,” junior Rachel
Fiegenbaum said. “I am excited for this new addition to Forest Grove.”
Sullivan, who attended Pacific in the 1970s, says there was not that many restaurants in walking distance. He remembers there being Scotties Drive-In and a pizza joint on the corner of Hawthorne and Pacific Street.
Senior Mahala Nelson has currently been working with the Owner of Bites, Thomas Gilstrap who also owns Pac Thai, on developing a brand and identity for the new Asian Tapas restaurant coming to the Forest Grove community in April 2016.
She says the owner is trying to do something new with the restaurant by engaging the community in possible cooking classes. He also wants to use local produce from B Street Farm and partner with local companies like Waltz Brewing.
“I think it will be really good for students to go to a place that feels more like their kind of place,” Nelson said.
“I think his main goal is to have that younger crowd, to have the Portland vibe. It will be nice to feel like we can go somewhere because right now, at least for me, I don’t always feel comfortable going to Billiards and Mcmenamins is okay, it’s just a little pricey.”
She also adds that the owner wants to give “good quality food for a really good price,” which will please students as well. He is also planning on having the bar be open late to draw in an older crowd.
Aside from Bites, 2016 holds room for other new restaurants as well.
There will be another Thai restaurant opening up in the building where Izgaras used to be and a Japanese restaurant, Sakura, will be opening up in the same lot as Cornerstone Pub & Grill, Pizza Hut and Next Dimension Bakery. There is also talk of possibly opening up a year-round market kitty corner from FG sushi within the next year.
“What I like is that where my office is, I see lots of students walk and they are on their way to Safeway and when they walk to Safeway, they are walking away from downtown,” Sullivan said. “With these new restaurants, they are all within a block or block and a half from campus, so there is a convenience. [Plus] you can only eat university food so long.”
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