The Arleta Library Bakery & Café is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to providing healthy food to its community at a reasonable price. Additionally, we are committed to sustaining our neighborhood and foodshed by purchasing as much organic food from local farmers and producers as possible and ensuring our employees a living wage.
A fond farewell
To our loyal friends, many of whom we consider to be part of our extended family:
It is with immeasurable sadness that we are announcing the permanent closure of our little "hole in the wall" café. This has been a gut-wrenching decision, and one we are forced to make given the uncertainty of COVID-related timelines and the safety measures needed to operate in this challenging environment.
The café has been my life for the past 15 years. Your friendship and support over that time period has been truly humbling. Through good times and bad, your smiling, satisfied faces have made this endeavor my proudest accomplishment. The relationships that we've fostered over a decade and a half are a blessing that few are fortunate enough to realize. I treasure every laugh, tear, donated plate and coffee mug that you have shared. I will recall with great fondness watching our neighborhood and community blossom. I am honored to say that our joint was a part of that.
Saying goodbye at a time like this is nearly unbearable - no hugs, no shout outs, no last calls. So, we've set up a way for folks to say goodbye virtually here: Say your goodbye
And for those that want to offer a last tip to the amazing Arleta Family, visit us here: The Arleta Family Fund
I wish everyone health and fortitude in these trying times.
I bid you farewell with deep gratitude and no regrets,
Chef, owner and friend until the end…
Along with the amazing Arleta Family…. Andy, Ari, Coco, Ginny, Mazey, Molly, Seth, Zack
“I am so sorry to hear of your closure! We used to come for brunch at least once a month when we lived in the neighborhood. We moved away several years ago and haven’t been back as frequently. I always loved how you made your own catch-up, jam, biscuits, etc. Everything was so delicious and local, and the environment was so cozy. So sad to see you go.”
“Nick, your cafe was the first place I felt like a regular when I moved to portland 8 years ago. you always had a way to make me feel like a king when i sat down for breakfast. Portland just won't be the same without you. If you're ever in Bend, drop me a line, it's Dane who you may remember as the bartender at the Skyway Bar and Grill on the way up to Mt. Hood a few years back. Best of luck to you.”
“Arleta was our breakfast spot nearly every weekend for the last few years. This was the place that I would take out of towners to first. Even my friend that swore no one could beat the biscuits and gravy she had in Texas was blown away. Nick and his crew are amazing and you couldn't find a more personal and close knit family feel than at Arleta. We were absolutely devastated by the news of the closure. Not only for our bellies but for Nick and the family of lovely staff at Arleta. We will be sure to follow Nick on his next endeavor in the future and we wish you all the best in this trying time <3 ”
“I’m so grateful for the way everyone treated me when I went to Arleta. If I was sad you guys made me feel better, if I was happy you celebrated with me. There aren’t enough words to adequately convey how torn up this makes me. Even as I’m writing this I’m trying to think of ways to make everything go back to the way it was. It’s silly, but I can’t really accept the permanence, that this is the way it all ends. If there is to be a rebirth after this is over, I hope to lend my support. I’m going to miss the smartass comments from Nick, the video game chat with Zack, the musical discussions with Andy and Mazey. I’ll miss talking about life with Ari , Seth and Molly, talking drag race with Ginny and talking shit with Coco about hoops. You guys were ALL so good to me. You guys made me mixtapes, had me over for dinner, invited me to weddings. You guys are friends and I will be here if there is anything I can do for you. When all of this is over maybe you guys will let me make you a meal for once to say thank you for all that you’ve done for me. Ok gonna go cry now. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
“Vero Co Dias, we will be forever lessened from this good bye. Change is the only constant and we will change, adapt and be ready to support all of you wherever this virus sends us all. We literally looked for ward to Mondays, and Saturdays for years, because we knew where we were going and how great it would be to see friends, and eat the best food in Portland. We wish you all health, safety and blessings on your future endeavors! ”
“Mazey!!! You were the best! I will kid seeing your smile and getting a big hug right before a huge feast! I love all the Philly stuff and will greatly miss the amazing energy and wonderful people that worked here and brought the community together ”
“Really sad to see the closing announcement. These are tough times, no one could have ever imagined. My late husband and I ate here in 2010. Visiting from FL, arrived PDX and then we headed to Astoria for the Goonies 25th Anniversary celebration. We had seen the cafe profiled on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, and decided to stop in for a bite before making our way to Astoria - it was our first meal in Portland. What a fun little place with yummy food, and we enjoyed talking "Goonies" with the staff. In years past, I had hoped to return to the cafe but never made it back. Many great memories from that trip to Oregon, and Arleta is one of them...
Be safe, and I hope the best for everyone at Arleta!”
“I have brought every visitor I've ever had to your cafe for brunch (often multiple times 😂) and this will be the place I will miss the most once this is all over. The pineapple coffee cake was my favorite way to pre-brunch and your recipe for biscuits and gravy is so good, it is literally the only one I've ever liked. Mazey is hands-down the best server in Portland, nay, the world, and I will miss talking about all our hiking and camping and road trip adventures. Thank you, Arleta Library Cafe, for being so wonderful and for opening my eyes to gravy. ”
“Arleta’s community personified real service from real human beings. Nothing starchy or fake.
Nick once baked a muffin for me on a slower day after all the pastries were gone, which happened often. I didn’t ask him to, he just did it to serve his community in a humble and perfect manner. He took the time to meet me his community where they were at the best he could.
The entire staff shared in that engagement and spirit, again, without being fake. I felt like they were my people and somehow I was theirs too. ”
“This was by far my favorite brunch spot in town, and I always looked forward to introducing it to family and friends from out of town. I am very saddened to hear of your closure. you will be deeply missed.”
“I was introduced to you by diners, drive-ins and dives and I have brought my family and friends ever since. I live in Milwaukie but it has been well worth the drive for weekends and some weekdays. My wife loved the biscuits and gravy so much that I would take it home to her so she could eat it the next day and she does not like breakfast foods. I do wish I was closer because coming to the restaurant did feel like home. I liked talking Philadelphia sports with you Even though they aren’t my favorite teams. We will miss you Nick and company! My wife liked to ask for the sweet potatoe buttermilk biscuit recipe. Any chance you could tell us?”
“Going to miss the space, vibe, service and great food I found at this little place. One of my go-to places for comfort food, a great cup of coffee and no doubt a tasty meal. I'm hopeful the recipes will end up in a book the fans of Arleta can buy and treasure. Thank you so much! ”
“Of all the COVID-related closures, this one hits the hardest. Arleta has been our spot for countless brunches, friend hangouts, celebrations, and one very special first date. The cafe is such a bright spot in the community, and not once did we ever leave disappointed. (I know I'll be dreaming about the semolina griddlecakes and library fries forever.) Nothing will come close to what this little hole in the wall was for us, and even though we're so sad to see it go, hopeful that we can support whatever your next endeavors may be!
Thanks for everything Arleta Library fam. <3”
“The Grecian, ANY of your Quiches, of course the biscuits and gravy, and the stronger-than-necessary coffee were among my favorites. We loved getting that table by the window (along with everyone else!) and enjoying the local art always on display. It saddens me to think that we won’t have anymore opportunities to enjoy the unique, quirky, and delicious place any longer. It’s also such a bummer that there are now several folks without work and income as a result. Thank you for all the years of great food. ”
“Best biscuits and gravy in town hands down, found you guys about 2 years ago I would love to go there and sit towards the back if possible enjoy The view to your shop... I'm sorry to see you go but it's understandable but I do hope you decide to make a comeback one day just know you'll be missed in a neighborhood.”
“It is so hard to hear that you all are closing! I was really looking forward to coming in and getting a scone once this was all over and done with. You have been such an important part of the Foster Powell community! You’re my favorite breakfast place in town and you’ve been right down the street! Through good times and bad, I can remember that I always knew my favorite breakfast was close. You all are an incredible team and I can’t imagine the neighborhood without you. Friendly faces and yummy baked goods - you all really are a gem. Thank you for all the years! We will miss you terribly and this breaks my heart. Be well and stay safe friends.”
“It’s been years since I first came to Arleta’s. I immediately fell in love with the the kindness of the staff and the absolutely incredible food. There’s no restaurant I’ve been to since that made me feel at home like Arleta’s. My entire family would go whenever our busy schedules to lined up and no one was ever disappointed.
Arleta’s felt like somewhere you’d go if you wanted to feel welcomed. Not just a place to get The World Best Biscuits and Gravy!... but a place that felt like it was run by passion and pride in something awesome.
I’ve taken all my friends, all my family, it’s the first place in Portland I wanted anyone I love to see.
Thank you, for the food, thank you for the memories, thank you for being incredible.
“I am absolutely devastated to hear of Arleta Library’s closing - you all served up incredible eats, smiles, and kindness to me and my partner regularly. It will be so incredibly hard to wake up on a Saturday at 8am, think “let’s walk to Arleta Library for the greatest breakfast in Portland!!!” and no longer be able to. I will certainly miss your staff the most - a kindness filled and family-like atmosphere of I ever knew one. Wishing the best for you all during these hard times! You will be sorely missed! ”
“Living just a few blocks away from Arleta has been a dream. We have friends over all the time (pre covid) and it became a tradition to go Arleta to put our names down, go get coffee from Space Monkey, and then eat the best breakfast I’ve ever had. Arleta and it’s amazing staff will be sorely missed be me and all of my friends and family. I wish I could have the biscuits and gravy just one last time! ”
“So sad to hear this. Absolutely one of our most favorite spots for breakfast! The biscuits and gravy! The Griddlecakes! Every freaking thing that came out of that tiny little kitchen. Service always perfect, every single experience was amazing and you will all be seriously missed! We hope you all do amazing things in the future! Take care of yourselves and know how much you'll be missed! Much love!”
“Thank you for all of the years of service! I live in Memphis TN, but grew up in Milwaukie and over the last 10 years or so I have taken my mom to Arleta's on dates when I was home visiting, and 2 years ago I had brunch with my wife right after we got engaged and it became our little spot in Portland. Arleta's has always been a special place, and the home fries are unbeatable. Thank you for all the love and food! ”
“I will miss you all so much! I loved spending my weekend mornings with not just the Arleta family, but with the friends we made along the way. 💓 this is so heartbreaking.”
“So sorry for this gut wrenching decision you had to make. We Love you all! Thanks Nick Iannarone for all of the fun times and the amazing neighborhood spot. Soooo many memories and so many good friends. I’m looking forward to an Arleta reunion and giving you a big hug. Think of you.”
“the first time i walked in, i knew it was my kind of joint. an unrealized dream of mine come to life by someone else’s brilliant hands. who knew i would find what only resides in my mind, and a dear, loved-deeply friend, to boot! i miss you so, neighbs. 🖤”
“Big hugs Arleta Family and thank you for serving our community. That corner will never be the same again. We will miss you. <3”
“Arleta was our favorite breakfast/brunch spot. From living in Portland to away for 7 years and now back, it always was that welcoming spot to come back to, and the food quality was always amazing. I still have not found a better biscuits and gravy (how can we get that sweet potato biscuit recipe haha) anywhere. It was especially fun to see our young kids love Arleta as much as us. The community cultivated here and the incredible service treated people like family. We will miss you guys greatly and hope for better times ahead.”
“My favorite breakfast in Portland. Both food and service. Will be solely missed. Sending hugs to all!”
“We are SO sad! We missed Neal's annual breakfast there on March 8th and were planning on making up for that in late March when this whole thing hit. You were our favorite breakfast place in Portland and worked so hard. I am so sorry. This sucks! You will be very, very missed. Christine Hevel Neill -we are so happy you got to experience Arleta Library before this all happened. And Kathryn S. Shively, Ellie Hevel, and anyone else we brought here to experience the amazing food and service. :-(”
Between the breakfast dates and the morning after breakfasts I’ve enjoyed there, it felt like a second home. It was great to get to know you a little over the years. I was stoked that time you showed up at Timberline and I was able to repay the hospitality you’ve shown me over the years. Let us know what’s next for you. You’re a gem in the FoPo community and people will be happy to support you no matter what you get into next. Thanks for the coffee cake, Brandon”
“ NOOOOOO!? I’m so terribly sorry to hear this news! We used to plan our travels from Seattle going south - around a stop at Arleta’s when ever possible. With out a doubt, one of the best breakfast spots on the planet. Thank you for bringing us such great memories and truly amazing food. Be well and all the best to everyone at Arleta Library Bakery Cafe. 😭”
“ I am so sorry. It was a terrific place to eat and I loved seeing your posts even though I live in Salem. Good luck. I bet a nickel that something wonderful is waiting down the road.”
So sad to see this Nick! You guys opened up right around the time I moved to the neighborhood and you’ll forever be a part of my fond early experiences living here. You’re such a good dude and I really hope to see you again soon. Best of luck with whatever is next for you!”
“I’m heart broken. I haven’t lived in Portland for a few years, but you’re were always the top of my list for eating out and were such an important keystone of the neighborhood I called home. My condolences and best wishes for what your futures bring.”
“Noooooooooo! 😭😭😭 the sadness is too much. You were the first cafe we stumbled upon when we moved to the area six years ago and what a gem we discovered. We’ve been many times with our growing family and enjoyed the incredible food and the curated art shows. We always considered your cafe the place to buy art for our home. Love you guys!”
Your place was at the forefront of our neighborhood transition. It’s been so nice to walk to breakfast in the neighborhood. I’ll miss the window seats, legendary biscuits and gravy, and the excellent company. I’m sad to hear this and hope you find success in your next venture. Xoxo”