PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – One of Portland’s most iconic restaurants served Thanksgiving dinner for the last time on Thursday — packed with diners as they enjoyed their final days dining in the Northwest Portland landmark.
Paley’s Place will close Saturday night after 26 years in business. It’s reservation list was full with those who wanted to raise a toast to the owners who helped put Portland’s restaurant scene on the map more than 20 years ago .
If you’ve been to Paley’s Place, you may have come for Kimberly Paley’s legendary hospitality, or, the magical culinary combinations prepared by chef Vitaly Paley in the kitchen.
“It’s been especially busy over the past month, we were lucky to get a reservation here,” said long-time customer Ralph Schweinfurth.
Schweinfurth and his family have been coming here for more than 25 years. They call it their “Thanksgiving spot.”
“It’s the complete package they provide, you have the service, you have the wonderful meal, you have the consistency, they do everything well so that’s what makes it so nice,” Schweinfurth said.
Another long-time customer, Andrea Johnson, said she has spent almost every holiday at the Paley’s restaurant over the past decade.
“I think with so many people who might not do a traditional holiday dinner, it’s really helped to bring the community together,” Johnson said.
However, it is a bittersweet holiday for all.
“This has been our life,” owner Kimberly Paley said.
The Payley’s told KOIN 6 News they decided that they wanted to go out on a high note.
“We are going to pause for a minute and take some time to breathe together and we are very much at a one day at a time,” Kimberly Paley said.
Though the decision wasn’t an easy one, especially when it comes to saying goodbye to long-time customers.
“The gratitude I want to say comes to the customers because without them, we wouldn’t have lasted 26 years,” Kimberly Paley said.
Paley said she has spent every Thanksgiving at the restaurant since it opened.
“It’s a traditional holiday with Paley’s, we’ve done it for 26 years, I’ve never had one in 26 years except working here. I’m looking forward to next Thanksgiving, perhaps, having my Thanksgiving with my husband,” Paley said.
To commemorate their final meal here, the Schweinfurth family brought in a bottle of wine they purchased from Paley’s during the pandemic.
The wine was made as part of a collaboration with a winery – specifically, to pair with Paley’s signature dishes.
“To celebrate the meal, we brought it back here. So, it’s taken a full circle from here to our house and back again,” Schweinfurth said.
Johnson said it will be impossible to replace Paley’s Place.
“I’m so happy for Vitaly and Kimberly to have the energy to enjoy a holiday in the future, but they’ve taken such amazing care of all us so many years, there is no other place like their restaurants and their hospitality.”