For nearly 35 years on SE Grand Avenue, Nicholas Restaurant served mezza platters, lamb kabobs, chicken and saffron rice plates, and pita breads served still steaming hot from an imported Lebanese oven. Its owners, husband and wife Nicholas and Linda Dibe, had escaped the violence of the 1982 Lebanon War, eventually settling in town and opening Nicholas, introducing Portlanders to all manner of new dishes. In 2021 it moved from its cozy — even cramped — location on SE Grand to a new, more spacious building just on SE Madison Street. Now, after standing empty for a year, the team has returned to the original building. Beirut Bites opened last week with a fresh coat of yellow paint; a casual, counter-service model; and Lebanese street foods including pizzas, shawarma wraps, salad bowls, and gyros.
Owner Hilda Dibe says that Beirut Bites is another opportunity to introduce Portland to new tastes