I donned a fab pink hard hat and neon orange vest to tour the quickly-progressing construction on Raven & Rose, set to open mid-December. Here's what I found:

The building: The Ladd Carriage House, 1331 SW Broadway at Columbia.

The team: Owner Lisa Mygrant has culled top talent from around town to transform the painstakingly-restored (and soon to be LEED Gold certified) building into a timeless, historically-inspired eatery. The kitchen will be helmed by chef David Padberg (most recently of Park Kitchen) with guidance from Toro Bravo's John Gorham, and Portland's headlining barman-about-town Dave Shenaut will manage the historical bar program.

The layout: The 70-seat restaurant is split into two floors with distinct styles. Downstairs, guests enter into the dining room with a view of the wood-fire oven (complete with four-seat butcher-block chef's counter) and a custom-made Wallace & Hinz bar flanked by swiveling bar stools, banquette seating, intimate booths, and plenty of tables. Upstairs—in the original hay loft—a cozy parlor and pastry/bakery kitchen open up into a soaring lounge room with historic beams, another handmade bar, a fireplace, and (free) pool tables surrounded by the original building's staircase balustrade and railing. The lounge will also feature leather sofas and armchairs, a library nook with bookshelves and games, a television playing historic photographs, and tables ready-set for chess, checkers, and backgammon. 

The design: Downstairs, earth-toned quarry tile floors give a rustic warmth, and upstairs guests will tread on wooden borads reclaimed from horse fencing. Couches will be upholstered in American leather (which is becoming hard to find), rustic hand-casted zinc will top the downstairs bar, custom tiles from Portland's Pratt & Larson Tile and art deco wallpaper add turn-of-the-century flare throughout the restaurant. Outside, a historically accurate blade sign will herald the Raven & Rose logo.

The history: The historic Ladd Carriage House was built in 1883 to house the carriages  horses, and caretakers of Portland founding father William Ladd's sprawling estate, and rigorous restoration regulations forced the space's new owners and architects to get creative with the transformation from horse-haven to restaurant. An 1885 photo of the space revealed a chimney that had disappeared over the decades, and the design team petitioned the city historic review board to allow them to recreate the chimney to use as a vent for the kitchen's hood and HVAC system. Other preservation efforts include repurposing the original building's fireplace bricks to surround the wood-fire oven and reusing the wooden beadboard ceiling from the original building's residential section in the entryway. 

"The whole space is meant to be a casual place to meet friends, and snuggle in with a snifter of cognac or an Irish coffee," says Mygrant. "We've put a lot of effort into the quality and durability of our materials because we hope people will want to settle in and keep this building thriving for another hundred years."

Stay tuned for more information on Raven & Rose as it rolls in, right here on Eat Beat.