One of the Portland metro area’s most underrated brewpubs has called it quits, The Ram Restaurant & Brewery at Clackamas Town Center mall has closed for good. Though The Ram is a chain restaurant with a corporate identity, the local outpost had it’s own brewery and consistently cranked out good to great beers and had one of the best happy hours in town. The Ram Clackams, was a welcome respite wedged between shopping malls in an underserved area, before newer craft beer options became available.
Like others, The Ram Clackamas was closed due to COVID-19, but never reopened when Clackamas County entered phase 1 of Oregon’s Coronavirus reopening plan. In March, the The Ram Clackamas updated their social media accounts promising a return to business and better times, but that was not to be. At the time, the continued closure of the pub seemed more related to social distancing rules and a lack of outdoor seating or to-go business. Businesses who rely on proximity to frivolous consumer spending and large gatherings are not likely to do well for some time to come.
These past few months have been a challenge for us all, and as a result, we have made the very difficult but necessary decision to close our Clackamas location permanently – wrote The Ram yesterday in announcing the permanent cease of operations at Clackamas Town Center.
In the end, The Ram Clackamas is likely closing not just because of the virus, but COVID-19 may have been the final nail in the coffin. Chain restaurants, even brewpubs, have been struggling for quite some time. Last year Rock Bottom closed their Portland location and before that their Seattle pub. Gordon-Biersch and BJ’s Brewhouse have had similar strings of closures across the country and the pacific northwest has been no exception.
The Ram’s Clackamas location had been struggling to find their customer base for years. In 2013 they moved from their location outside the southwest corner of the mall to the former Macaroni Grill restaurant space in the parking lot near the entrance/exit on SE Sunnyside Road.
The Ram Restaurant & Brewery chain still operates a pub in Wilsonville, another brewery and pub in Salem, and opened an expansive location in Medford just a few years back. The Washington-based operation continues in that state and Idaho as well.
ABOUT THE RAM RESTAURANT GROUP
The RAM Restaurant Group is a Washington based team member owned restaurant and brewing company that opened its first restaurant 49 years ago in Lakewood Washington. The company now has 27 locations in 6 states. In 1995, the company opened its first brewery and now most restaurants have an adjoining brewery on site. In 2020 the company is recognizing 25 Years of Independent Brewing and celebrating 68 Gold medals won during that time at the prestigious GABF and NABA beer competitions.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.