The wait is over. After months of searching, food cart veteran Kir Jensen has inked a lease to take her baking talent and the next iteration of The Sugar Cube to 3039 NE Alberta St (the space is currently occupied by the vegan-centric Dovetail Baking).
The sweet plan: open in early August as part intimate breakfast and lunch space, part grab-and-go bakery popping with Sugar Cube classics and a fresh repertoire of treats from the oven—both sweet and savory. Prominent architecture/designer Mark Annen, one of the most sought-after names in Portland’s restaurant world (Little Bird, Ping, Boke Bowl) has signed on to create a new look far from the Cube’s retro motifs. Jensen calls it “light, bright and airy, with Scandinavian touches.”
As Eat Beat reported in April, Jensen sold her iconic SE Portland cart this spring, but she’s been long overdue for the next step. Jensen overgrew confines of the cart over a year ago, with The Sugar Cube Cookbook under her apron and national press mounting. Even from a cart window, she offered an original lineup, always changing, and rarely less than terrific.
Menu plans are still on the drawing boarding board, but expect homey, rustic creations weaving the sweet and salty notes that go straight to the pleasure center.
Right now, she’s toying with pies, crostadas, and stradas alongside toast boards, childhood faves like cinnamon toast with Freddy Guy’s Nutella and fruity olive oil and Jensen’s secret Banana Bread French toast “topped with caramelized bananas, dates, and gobs of fresh whoop.” And, of course, cupcakes—a daily selection and regular appearances of those wicked Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcakes.
Also in the works: an expanded special order menu and a pastry CSA, what Jensen calls the “Community Sweets Alliance” with the option for diners to sign up for monthly boxes of seasonal baked treats.
But mostly, Jensen is excited to have a legit kitchen at last, to create the full monte, her way. “This will be my place at last,” she says, “everything handcrafted, sourced locally, made my way, with a whole lotta sass.”
Stay tuned for more details.
Update 6/14: Dovetail Bakery's last day of business will be Thursday, June 27.