nobleONI Café at OCAC
Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm Weekdays
Brunch 9:30 am - 1:30 pm* Sunday
*please note change in closing time
We have exciting news to share! A few weeks ago, we bid a fond adieu to our longtime friends at Hands on Café who have been a mainstay of the OCAC community and campus for 30 years.
And, now, a new legacy begins.
As of January 21st, Leather Storrs, well-known Portland chef/owner of Noble Rot Restaurant in Portland, and son of OCAC’s legendary architect, John Storrs, has taken over the Café’ as head chef and renamed it nobleONI.
“The Cafe at OCAC is dear to me,” explains Leather Storrs. “I've been eating there since I was eight. The space, the style and the relationship of the buildings to the surrounding landscape are all sources of profound nostalgia. My father designed the school in 1977, and his fingerprints remain, from the tiny doll perched in the rafters (stolen from my Mom by my Dad!), to the blue vegetable tiles beneath the windows (made by my sister Anne), the cafe feels like home.”
According to Storrs, the name nobleONI comes from the word ONI, a mythical Japanese troll or demon. Storrs prefers to interpret the ONI as a mascot or protector. His father put a little wooden doll in the rafters 37 years ago, which is there to this day. He is noble’s ONI, a “……powerful and noble guardian.”
The new nobleONI menu will reflect the concept created by Hands on Café: delicious, affordable, simply prepared food: house made sauces and dressings, soups and salads, sandwiches made to order, American standards like macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and other daily specials, plus luscious desserts. There will be two soups daily, and other dishes with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The menu will change seasonally. Pastries and coffee and tea will be available at 8:00 a.m. for early morning guests, lunch will be served from 11:30a.m.-2:00p.m. weekdays, and Brunch offered between 9:30a.m.-2:00.pm. on Saturday and Sunday. Meats will be roasted on the spit in front of the beautiful Bruce West designed fireplace that anchors the dining room. Service will include self-ordering at the counter and delivery to the table and bussing.
“Hands on Cafe rightly occupies a place of great significance in Portland's culinary history,” says Storrs, “Erasing that history by developing a new concept or drastically changing the shape and feel of the Cafe is not in the plan.” nobleONI will get a fresh coat of paint in whites, soft grays and charcoal. “We will use the OCAC interior color palette in the cafe,” explains Denise Mullen, President of OCAC, “Our iconic "craft" color is an accent against gallery white and light gray walls to complement the vintage Bruce West fireplace. A charcoal gray counter and chalkboard rd soffit define the kitchen space that opens up into the dining area. The kitchen is also gallery white to better the frame the food and the cooking activity. The idea is to maintain the warm and welcoming, cozy atmosphere of the cafe while reflecting Leather's culinary approach and aesthetic.”
nobleONI will maintain the OCAC student meal plan, and serve as caterer to Campus events. Eventually, Storrs hopes to conduct cooking classes on Campus for the staff, students and community. Storrs commitment to seasonality and sustainably will be reflected in the cafe menu, and in the Campus vegetable and herb garden he will be creating in the coming year. In the meantime, Storrs hopes to plant every patio pot and available piece of earth with edibles for cooking and garnishing. In the summer, Storrs will extend seating to the Patio surrounding the Cafe.
“The Café is a mainstay of food service on our campus. It is a community gathering place, and an integral part of our OCAC history. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Leather Storrs, son of our founding architect, to the Campus and look forward to many wonderful experiences at nobleONI,” remarks Mullen, President, OCAC.
Leather Storrs is the Chef and co/owner of Noble Rot in Portland Oregon. Storrs is a graduate of both the University of Colorado (English Lit.) and the Culinary Institute of America. Formative culinary work includes Chez Panisse in Berkeley California, the Culinary Institute’s Graystone Restaurant in St. Helena, California & the French Laundry, in Yountville, California. He lives in Portland with his wife, and two children.
For more information on Leather Storrs go to www.leatherstorrs.com.