PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In case you missed it, beloved Portland restaurant Malka will serve its last customers in just a little over a month.
Malka announced the closing in a Facebook post on Monday, Jan. 16. Malka, co-owned by Colin McArthur and Jessie Aron of the former Carte Blanche, initially opened in January 2020. Its menu included unique, international dishes such as eggplant and zucchini fries, rice bowls and matzo ball khao soi.
The COVID-19 pandemic that sent Portland into lockdown just two months later affected in-person dining, but many people still turned to Malka for takeout meals.
Now, staff members are saying financial difficulties are the restaurant’s prime reason for shutting down for good.
In 2022, Malka started serving three-course, pre-fixe meals at $60 each with 20% gratuity included. Pre-fixe menu offerings often help with restaurant budgets because it allows them to buy a bigger quantity of a smaller selection of ingredients, but Malka’s new model hasn’t fully helped cover the cost of labor and food — both of which are constantly increasing.
“While our newer pre-fixe model is significantly better for us and more profitable than the takeout model which got us through the first two years of the pandemic, we are still not making enough money to comfortably take care of needs, health and necessary rest for all who work here, ourselves included,” the statement said.
The Southeast Division Street restaurant will remain open through Sunday, Feb. 26, and honor all reservations up until then. Malka accepts reservations through Resy. However, many Portlanders have already booked their final dinners at the restaurant several weeks in advance.
“We welcome you in during this time — your gracious sendoff will work wonders to raise our spirits and help us celebrate the past three years with warmth and grace,” Malka said.