In 1995, while scouting for a location to open his second restaurant, Bruce Carey identified the Mexico Cafe restaurant on Broadway in the heart of downtown Portland, as both a cool space that needed attention and a perfect site that would support his concept for a casual deejay cafe with featured specialty craft cocktails that would take diners and nightlife revelers beyond the Cosmopolitan. A deal was made with the family that operated the venerable Mexico Cafe for the previous fourteen years, and renowned architect Brad Cloepfil (Allied Works Architecture) was hired to design the new restaurant (in trade for a lifetime supply of martinis).
At this pivotal moment in Portland’s cultural history, founders: Bruce Carey (Zefiro, Bluehour, Clarklewis, and 23Hoyt Restaurants) and Christopher Israel (Zefiro, Gruner), effectively pioneered Portland’s deejay-cafe movement, with equal emphasis on cocktails, food, service and vibe.
Since 2000 co-owner Joe Rogers has been the lead operator and the beating heart of the restaurant and bar. In 2004 Joe hired Brad and Allied Works back to expand the restaurant with the addition of the dining room space. Together they created the enduring yin/yang of the dark/light, bar/dining room concept, the seductive mirrored hallway, and the provocative shared sink arrangement in the restroom area.
For nearly 20 years Saucebox continues to stimulate all senses with bright flavorful food, delicious cocktails, two glamorous dining rooms, groovy sounds from the deejay, and an energizing mix of customers and staff.