Illustration by Amelia Madarang

Marshawn Lynch launches Hawaiian eatery in Portland

Former Seattle Seahawks running back set to open open restaurant “BEAST” in honor of his grandmother

This fall, Portland is set to receive its newest small business. Marshawn Lynch, the five-time Pro Bowl running back notoriously known as “Beast Mode” for his dominant running style, will be opening a restaurant in the new downtown Hotel Vance on Southwest  Broadway. The restaurant will be named BEAST after his nickname, and the location is a six-minute walk from the Shattuck Hall Pioneer Express stop. 

Lynch will be partnering with business owners Jun Park, owner of Pacific Northwest sushi chain Musashi’s  sushi and Kevin Yamada, owner of Kama’aina Comfort Foods of Hawaii in Forest Grove, Oregon and Two Zone Korean Fried Chicken in Los Angeles, California. The restaurant is set to serve Hawaiian cuisine, a special tribute to Lynch’s Filipino grandmother Lola who is one quarter Pinoy and raised him most of his life. A number of meals on the restaurant’s menu were inspired by the food Lynch’s grandmother made him growing up. 

According to Lynch, the location of the restaurant was vital to its launch and Portland was the perfect fit for his newest endeavor.

“BEAST is a great match for a city that is on the move like Portland, where style, quality and community commitment matters,” Lynch said in an interview with RipCity Sports Radio. “We are looking forward to serving a BEAST menu that is second to none that matches Portland’s reputation for food, craft beverages and hospitality.” 

Community is very important to Lynch. In 2018, Lynch was a nominee of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for all he has done for the marginalized communities of Oakland, California. In 2011 Lynch began his non-profit, the Family 1st Foundation, which aims to provide opportunities to the youth of Oakland, California through school and sports. 

According to the non-profit’s website, ​​“The Fam 1st Family Foundation saves the lives of black and brown youth on a daily basis and is raising the consciousness of a broken community to become more self-sustaining, more accountable, and less dependent on outer entities. Each philanthropic endeavor strikes the unique balance of athletic appeal and scholastic achievement in a neutral, yet nurturing environment.”

Due to COVID-19, a number of small businesses in Oregon have been negatively impacted.  According to the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, Oregon has lost over 200 restaurants since January 2021. Recently, Noho’s Hawaiian Cafe had to close their Southeast Clinton Street location after more than two decades of business due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Lynch will certainly face competition with his new restaurant. In Portland, a city known for its unique and abundant amount of independent restaurants, Hawaiian cuisine is also  not unfamiliar here. There are at least 25 Hawaiian food carts or restaurants within five miles of Lewis & Clark. With the much anticipated opening, BEAST will be a wonderful addition to the Portland food scene. 

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