“I’m really fortunate to be able to walk into a place with the best employees who serve some of the finest tasting food,” Alex Bond told the Hollywood Star News. Bond and his wife Julie took over the Rose City Park neighborhood eatery at the beginning of 2016, adding “The Rib” to their other businesses, Serratto Restaurant and Bar in Northwest Portland and Saint Cupcake with three locations in Northwest, Downtown and Southeast Portland.
Bond said he first entertained the idea of purchasing Clyde’s in late spring or early summer of last year. He said he made former owner E. Clyde Jenkins an offer, and the two shook hands. “I’m also fortunate to inherit the music scene built by Clyde,” Bond said, “and that’s going to continue.” Bond said he’s been musing over a number of improvements, “but when we make them, we’ll do it in a way that will make the customer’s experience more pleasant.” Looking at the year ahead, Bond said he hopes to “retain longtime customers, alienate none with the improvements, and make no change for change’s sake.”
Longtime Rose City Park resident Karen Burlingame and Marilyn Schott, a retired hospital administrator who travels crosstown from Lake Oswego weekly for happy hour at Clyde’s, both told Bond during a mid-January visit that the chicken strips were tasty. Bond noted that the meat was fresh and not frozen or processed, adding that most of the food on the menu is made “from scratch.” One other patron was grateful for the addition of gluten-free beer to the beverage list.
Bond comes from a restaurant family. His parents owned Luna in Spokane, Washington, where Bond was born, and he claims they “had the best food in town” for the better part of two decades. His sister and brother-in-law also own two restaurants. Bond majored in English literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his wife Julie studied political science at Berkeley.
After college, Bond called San Francisco home for a while and was an investment banker. As senior vice-president of finance and business development for Hollywood Video, he made frequent trips to Portland and grew to like the city. He was part of the team responsible for the growth of Hollywood Video and, when Hollywood Video sold in 2005, he became involved in the restructuring of restaurant properties. Bond bought Serratto in 2005.
Clyde’s Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar has been located at 5474 N.E. Sandy Blvd. under its basic name since 1955 when it was opened by Eddie Mays. Between approximately 1950 and 1955, the property was vacant after the West Coast chain-owned Coon Chicken Inn closed after operating for just under 20 years. In a tour of the property, Bond told the Hollywood Star News that he has lots of ideas about how to improve the building and its ambiance, “but just when any of these plans will happen, I couldn’t say right now.”
Bond said he is focused on customer experience, with a belief that providing patrons with a positive dining and entertainment encounter will eventually result in new customers or those who haven’t eaten at The Prime Rib for some time to return. He is also a proponent of community involvement: “We will do all we can to assist community organizations,” he said, “and we will host community events.” Community involvement is how we build our business, Bond added.