There are ebbs and flows to business and each year we see new businesses open and unfortunately, some of our favorites close. We've detailed both sides of the coin throughout the year and in case you missed it, here are 7 of the beloved Portland businesses that closed in 2018.



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A staple of the Portland waterfront for three decades, the Dry Dock Restaurant's closure was met with some genuine surprise. It's still a prime waterfront location with a large deck overlooking the ocean, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see this restaurant on the list of *new* openings in 2019. Stay tuned.


Facebook via Big J's Chicken Shack

Another surprise in 2018 was Big J's Chicken Shack, a perfect hole-in-the-wall fried chicken joint. After a couple of beers at adjoining Bissell Brothers brewing, Big J's always hit the spot. But business is business, and Big J's was bought out to make room for Locally Sauced, which in its own right, is fantastic. But man, do we miss that Nashville hot.



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Traveling through the muck of outer Forest Avenue can be brutal, but if you made a stop at Valley Chinese Cuisine along the way, it almost made it worth it. Valley was family owned and operated, and had grown a significant following amongst Portlanders for their terrific takeout. The owners stepped away from their successful business and in a lot of ways, the void has yet to be filled in Portland.


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The old church that was also a fine dining restaurant will be no more in 2019. Grace isn't CLOSING, it's just going to operate under a different business model based on weddings and events. But it was one of the first destination draws for the Portland restaurant renaissance and from 2019 and on, it'll be invite only.


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Another eyebrow raising closure was the longstanding Denny's location on Brighton Avenue near the Portland/Westbrook line. In recent years, the location was not as busy as you've likely seen other Denny's operate at, but with a brand new hotel being built feet away, and with a brand new shopping center and concert destination being built in its backyard, it seemed like an awfully bizarre time to shut down.


Instagram via EastEndCupcakes

One of the sweeter destinations in Portland's Old Port had been East End Cupcakes. In the height of tourism season, it was sometimes difficult to find your favorite cupcake in the display case because people were snapping them up so quickly. But just as Grace Restaurant decided to shift their business model, so did East End Cupcakes. They're still around, but are focusing on wholesale production and events now.


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We saved this one for last because it's a true rarity. When a business declares that it is closed, and closed for good, it almost never finds a second life. Especially months later. But that will be the case for $3 Dewey's when it reopens in 2019. The free popcorn and large craft beer selection will be back and there will be a few new shiny improvements as well. We're just stoked that this makes the list but not in permanent fashion.