Pasta is coming to Vancouver’s waterfront

Portland’s popular pasta restaurant Grassa comes to the RiverWest Building in Waterfront Vancouver.

The new restaurant is undergoing tenant renovations in the west corner of the building, and is supposed to open in August at 700 Waterfront Way, according to Kurt Hoffmann, partner at Grassa.

Grassa has three locations in Portland and one in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Vancouver will be the fifth to expand the Portland-based chain. Grassa owner Rick Gencarelli opened his first food cart, Lardo, in southeast Portland, which then became brick-and-mortar in 2012 and then added a location. The first Grassa opened in 2013.

Grassa is known for its in-house pasta in front of its patrons, but in a quick casual style. Dishes include Pork Belly Mac & Cheese with Jalapenos, Red Onions, and Cornbread Crumbs for $15. It also has seasonal options, such as Pumpkin Agnolotti, serving salads, appetizers (including meatballs), and cocktails.

Its website states that “Grassa pushes the concept of artisan comfort food in a simple way.”

Hoffman said restaurants, like Little Conejo, showed them that a Portland restaurant or food cart could be a hit in Vancouver.

“When we had the opportunity to look at the waterfront, we found a great one,” he said. “We are so excited about Vancouver. We think we’re going to be really busy.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Grassa added a Vancouver location to its website with the “soon” tag, but restrictions around the virus have delayed rental negotiations, according to Josh Oliva, owner of RiverWest.

The restaurant submitted a business license to the City of Vancouver that was granted last month.

It’s also possible that the BeWell Juice Bar, next door to Grassa’s, will open before July 4, according to Oliva.

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