Charles Barker – Chief Bottle Washer
Charles is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and, in his 30-year career in the food industry, he’s run a catering company, a mountain lodge, and has amassed a major collection of hair nets and name tags from some of the finest restaurants in the world. After seeing the effects of climate change in his own backyard, Charles felt it was time to develop a more climate-friendly restaurant. As a kid growing up in Portland in the mid 1970s, Charles loved skating on the frozen pond at Laurelhurst Park and the icy Canal in Lake Oswego. Those waterways no longer freeze in the winter, and are one of many indications that we need to make some adjustments in our lifestyle. This realization led Charles to partner with Impossible Foods, whose plant-based burger patties use 96% less land and 87% less water than cows while producing 89% less greenhouse gases. And they taste great, to boot! Charles’ family bought the Brooklyn neighborhood’s old Whynot Tavern in 1978, using the site as offices, a restaurant, a catering kitchen and apartments that have helped revive the area. He is proud to establish Oscar’s in that old tavern as Portland’s newest plant-based restaurant.