The American Local

New west drinking food

Named as a Top 5 Restaurant of 2014 by Willamette Week

Tuesday - Saturday   5:30pm - 10:00pm
Closed Sundays & Mondays

The American Local is the culmination of years of driving, dining and drinking all over the United States and up and down the West Coast, looking for the best recipes and inspiration. Our goal is clean, flavorful, every day drinking food for the working man (and woman) featuring distinctively West Coast ingredients like Oregon-grown espellette peppers or Ota tofu. Please join us for a bite and a drink and stay for a while. 


Chef Chris Whaley has dedicated his life to cooking. From a humble start in a deli at age 18, Whaley has worked his way across the country, setting a new bar for excellence wherever he sets down his cutting board and picks up his knife. During 20 years at restaurants ranging from Michelin-starred Las Vegas palaces to pop-up sensations under the New York High Line, chef Whaley has honed a philosophy of clean, strong flavors and ego-less dedication to his guests' experience.

The American Local is chef Whaley’s eighth restaurant opening, but his first as owner and Chef. Drawn by Oregon’s unique access to farmers, foragers and fish, chef Whaley is dedicated to making these highly prized ingredients accessible for friends and neighbors looking for a friendly week-night dinner. 

Jenny Nickolaus didn’t always know she wanted to work in the food and wine industry, but the industry always wanted her. From making her first pizza at age 15, to numerous bar-tender and -manager positions in her native northern California, she excelled at the speed and service required to run restaurants.  

Jenny attended Western Culinary Institute for Restaurant and Hospitality Management, and from there Jenny ran the front of house for Picco (Larkspur, CA) and Hill Country Barbecue Market (New York City), which received a 2 star New York Times review during her tenure.

Jenny and Chris have been planning The American Local for five years, collecting dishes from their many cross-country road trips. At The American Local, they hope to combine their love of great regional American specialties with warm hospitality. Inspired by the attentive service of fine dining and the lively energy of their favorite dive bars, Jenny and Chris have created a space for their fellow travelers of the American West.