Lechon opened in the summer of 2015 with a vision of continuing to revitalize the downtown landscape, inviting locals and visitors alike to experience Downtown Portland. Housed in the historic Smith's Block Building, the space boasts views of the Willamette River and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Enjoy fiery South American inspired flavors like grilled octopus, refreshing ceviches, house made empanadas and 28-day-dry-aged rib eye with chimichurri. Our menu is served family-style to encourage sharing and experiencing new flavors together with your friends and family. Lechon is within walking distance to many of historic Portland landmarks, hotels, and shopping. Experience the hustle and bustle of waterfront park by dining outside on our spacious patio, or inside for a more intimate dining experience. Guests can enjoy the 1,300 gallon live jellyfish & coral reef aquariums, the expansive 4-story atrium, or watch the chefs grill on the parilla in our open kitchen. Chef Jaco Smith was born and raised in South Africa, coming from a large family of cattle, sheep, and grain farmers. His love of cooking was inspired by his mother, who frequently catered large themed-cuisine dinners in their home. He spent much of his life cooking over a braai, leading to his love for live-fire cooking and international cuisines. Jaco spent several years gaining cooking experience from kitchens abroad, then graduating from the renowned apprenticeship program at The Greenbrier Hotel, under Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins. From there, he began an eight year tenure with the Ritz Carlton, traveling between properties all over the world. After leaving the hotel group, Jaco became the Executive Chef of The Joule in Dallas, Texas, allowing him opportunities to learn more about Latin American cuisine, culture, and customs. When the chance to help open a South American restaurant came about in Portland, Chef Jaco was enthralled to be able to bring together the foods from his childhood and cooking methods he had learned from his travels. He and his wife Charlotte crafted the warm and inviting restaurant space, intentionally designing it as a place that is perfect for a casual night out with friends, an out-of-town business dinner or a fun date night. When they are not at the restaurant, they enjoy traveling and tasting their way around the globe. Jaco's goals are to help introduce more international cuisine to Portland while using the vast array of local bounty the Pacific Northwest has to offer.