Did “Top Chef: Portland” Boost Business for the City’s Featured Restaurants? It’s Hard To Tell.

As the Top Chef: Portland finale approaches this Thursday, some of the local restaurants and businesses featured this season seem to be reaping the benefits of being showcased on small screens across the country.

But it may just be a coincidence. This season happens to be airing as the same time coronavirus restrictions are lifting after a grueling 16 months. Are people populating patios because of television, or because they are sick of watching it?

Either way, Portland’s presentation on a nationally-beloved reality competition show comes at an advantageous time, as the city attempts to reassert itself as a tourist destination, and its stakeholders are cautiously optimistic about how long “busy” will last.

We asked six restaurants featured on the show what effect their Top Chef cameo had on business.

Sara Hauman, one of two local chefs featured this season, is head chef here, so naturally anyone doing a local tour of…

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