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Iconic Portland Eatery, Reo’s Ribs, Owned By Snoop Dogg’s Uncle, Nearly Destroyed

Willamette Week
Here at The Adventure Tribune, we’re all about local food spots as a means to explore a city’s unique cultural identity. Portland, Oregon contains some phenomenal local cuisine; from Taste Tickler’s sandwiches, to Stanich’s burgers, Portland’s food scene is second to none.

So, it’s with a heavy heart that we report one of Portland’s most iconic, local rib shacks has nearly burned to the ground: Reo’s Ribs.

Reo Varnado, Snoop Dogg’s uncle, has owned and operated Reo’s Ribs since I can remember. The line was always out the door, and the wait was always worth it. In 2015, Varnado relocated Reo’s Ribs when he bought the Rose City’s iconic 1950’s Hollywood Burger Bar, according to Willamette Week.

On May 8th, 2017, “Portland Fire Bureau crews responded about 3:30 a.m. to Reo's Ribs at 4211 N.E. Sandy Blvd. to find heavy fire coming out of every window, said Lt. Tommy Schroeder,” The Oregonian stated. “Witnesses reported seeing people running away from the scene of the fire, but Schroeder said the investigation was just starting.”

The investigation is still ongoing, though investigators believe the fire started outside of the barbecue, leading to a theory of possible arson, according to KATU, Portland’s ABC affiliate.

Varnado was out of town in Hollywood when the fire was started, as he was attending one of his nephew’s hip-hop performances.

The damage cost estimate hasn’t been released yet. Unfortunately, the damage to the restaurant will incapacitate Varnado’s ability to serve incredible barbecue to the people of Portland for an undetermined amount of time. But, once Reo’s Ribs is fully operational again, any adventurer who travels to Portland needs to pay this restaurant a visit. Probably multiple times.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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