Yes, Patisserie Peaks is about to close. This does not mean that it will go away

For more than two decades, Cheryl Wakerhaus’s Pix Pâtisserie has supplied sweet-toothed Francophile Portland lovers with “real” French pastries: macarons – before their rise to ubiquitous existence (“nobody knew what they were”) – and custards in terra-cotta cazuelas stocked Her pastry tray in different locations.

But Wakerhauser has always provided more than just pastries. Yes, there is a reputable wine list, tapas and vibes galore at Pix, but it all combines in its own little world. Pix is ​​greater than the sum of its parts — and the parts are pretty good.

Since we’re referring to Portlanders who were born and raised with terms like “one of those rare unicorns,” not many were around throughout the entire Pix story. While we collect this isn’t the end of Pix, it’s a notable turning point. With it nearly hibernating (with its vending machines stocked 24/7) and the Wakerhauser embarking on some round-the-world trips, it seemed like it was time to take a look back.

Pix, like many of Portland’s top food communities, kicked off at the Portland State University Farmers Market on Saturday. The Wackerhauser business started when she was 25, and has evolved with her — and Portland — through the rise of the hipster. The foodie revolution has revolutionized several cycles of baggy, skinny pants that swing in and out of style and back again. Post-farm market stall Wakerhauser first set up shop on North Williams Street, an ambitious dream founded on credit cards. The self-described “twisted” spot has laid its roots for what is now a haven for foodies in North Portland, including the likes of Eem, XLB, and Vietnamese newcomer Lúa. And for the past 21 years, Pix has always repeated itself.

In 2012, things got a bit more serious. Moving to the current Burnside site, Wakerhauser struck a deal with herself: “If I’m going to build a whole on this, I have to use it for 10 years. And so, the day I opened the door here, [I said to myself] “We’ll do this for another 10 years, and then we’re done.” And she keeps her word – kind of (“I’d be bored if I ‘retired’).

The epidemic brought a new jerk – Pix-O-Matic. “It’s Shoppertron 431,” she says. The 24-hour refrigerated vending machine stocked with its classic French pastry was an idea that had lurked in Wackerhauser’s mind for years. The COVID-related labor shortage gave rise to this bizarre adventure, and it caused quite a stir: “It cost me $3,400 and paid for itself in three days,” she says. And like everything Wakerhauser does, Pix-O-Matic wasn’t just about food. Besides your pasta fix, you can have everything from chewy chicken to a French beret, a can of smoked Spanish mackerel or a French Suisson sauce; This week, the Golden Girls mug can be seen spinning around the old, refurbished machine.

Like many in the show business, Wackerhauser has long spoken about the retreat: “If you know me, it’s no surprise.” On August 22, I will (officially) Retires. In keeping with Pix’s legacy, there will be many evenings leading up to its last day: there are still seven”movies at duskTo attend—with tickets ($8), garden beer and wine offerings from classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day OffAnd the And finally , Emily, The one who gives his name to the signature of the pastry candy. (This last check is true, but unfortunately, it’s already sold out, but you can still get an “Amélie,” a chocolate mousse and orange cream garnished with caramel hazelnuts and crunchy praline.)

On the last three Fridays of August, Bar Vivant, the tapas bar next door, will host a direct ticket ($18) flamenco shows.

The popular online Pix-O-Matic will now live in the hands of Katie Roberts, Wakerhuser’s right-hand man for the past five years. Wakerhauser will retain ownership of the business, but is moving away from day-to-day operations to make up for lost travel time abroad during the pandemic. Special orders will also still be available upon request, with the exception of wine, for now. (“Because I can’t sell wine from the vending machine,” says Wackerhauser.) She’s also adamant about no out-of-business selling: “I wouldn’t retire if I couldn’t afford he-she. I made a lot of money on Pix-O- Matic and I will go out with my own vault–unless you want to come buy it before I retire.”

Looking to the future, Wakerhauser plans to open a French pastry school of sorts. Pix has always hosted cooking classes, but Wakerhauser wants to rely on them. Details are scant, but Pix’s next iteration is meant to convey the skills Wackerhauser learned from pastry chefs Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) (these are the fancy French chefs sporting the hard-earned red, white, and blue collars) that Pix launched all those hard-earned red, white, and blue collars. past years. “What I was doing 20 years ago wasn’t here,” says Walkerhauser. And while macaroons might be a dime a dozen today, Pix has been and continues to be one of Portland’s most iconic pastry destinations. Getting there before the au revolution.

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