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.
With colleges pivoting to remote learning, Harry took a sabbatical as an economics major at Grinnell College in Iowa. Harry has been surrounded by some of the largest meat processing plants in the US: over one-third of our nation’s pork comes from Iowa and nearly 15 percent of our beef. This industrial agriculture has been an environmental disaster, which was the case long before the processing plants became super-spreaders, endangering entire communities. Helping launch a plant-based fast food restaurant represents Harry’s effort to redeem his collegiate environment.
Chloe was planning an exciting freshman year at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, but the pandemic had other plans. She has found herself instead staying in her native Portland, taking online classes, snowboarding on Mount Hood, and developing the concept, menu and all artwork for Oscar’s.
The namesake of our new plant-based restaurant, Oscar likes things done right, and he will ensure that you have the best tasting, most affordable plant-based burger. When he’s not playing soccer for Grant High School, you’ll find him helping his dad serve Impossible Burgers to Portlanders. Whether it’s the Big “O” or the Little “O,” Oscar promises you a plant-based meal that can satisfy even the hungriest teenager.