Lost: The Monte Carlo on Belmont

Many of the posts on Lost Oregon are neither lost and sometimes not even in Oregon [Vancouver is close enough to fall under my radar].

But, the Monte Carlo is a truly lost relic. Here’s a scan from the early 1960s Portland Fun Guide [loaned to me by Dan at Cafe Unknown which reminds me that I need to get it back to its rightful owner]:

A quick trip to Google revealed that the Monte Carlo burned down in 2002. So says a review on AOL’s CityGuide page:

This WAS my absolute favorite restaurant until the day of my birthday when I had chosen to have my birthday dinner there with my family to only hear on the news that the restaurant was up in flames. I hate to inform you that it is no longer there.

So, looks like the place sadly went up in flames.

Here’s a recent photo of the lot from P is for Picture:

And the Google maps view:

Yep. Lost.

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40 thoughts on “Lost: The Monte Carlo on Belmont

  1. That’s a bummer. My ex-wife and I ate there a couple of times in ’89 or ’90, because it was just down the street from my work. It was pretty good, if a little ostentatious. I had no idea it had burned down.

    1. The Lido was next to Monte Carlo. Great food. Buttermilk Corner was close to courthouse. Judges ate there lots. Jury duty was a month.
      Daves old location was great. Red Coach was on Yamhill. Fred Meyer had Eve’s.upstairs in downtown store. Secret stairway. After Yaws closed only place for custard pie was downtown Newberrys.
      Goldbergs for corned beef on rye. Mannings in Lloyd Center and 20and Morrison.

    1. Do u remember bob Henderson one of the owners of this restaurant he was the drunk lol that’s my dad

  2. I was a bus boy there in the ’60s. I remember the great ravioli and pizza among other Italian dishes. The bar and lounge really hopped on weekend nights. There was a piano bar with a couple of funny guys singing parodies of popular songs of the day. Quite a site for a young 17 year old kid. I also worked banquets down in the big room and remember being able to have all the free coke I wanted. I always worked evenings from 5PM to 1AM…..good memories

    1. Ah the Veal Parmigina with a side of Spaghetti & a bottle of Chianti. Only place my Father-in-law over tipped at.

  3. Oh the Monte Carlo, My aunt had worked there and I remember going there as a kid. The place was so cool and super retro. The joint would pop on the weekends-great dance floor. The movie Goodfellas comes to mind when I think of that old place. The owner I think his name was Gino was super shady, some were not surprised it had burnt down.

    1. Gino was not the owner. He was the day bartender.
      Elio and Lorie Ceccanti were the owners, but before them were Elios parents, Ernesto and Amelia Ceccanti.
      I believe the Monte was sold by the Ceccantis and no longer owned it when it burned down.
      That place was THE place to go for many, many years.

      1. Hi Karen, I knew all very well. If u know Mike he was in my wedding party. I worked there as a bus boy in early 60’s with grandma in the back booth every night. My Dad was very good friends with Enesto in the 1940’s. I cook and my best tastes come from that restaurant. Best meals were their meat ball sandwiches and the veal parmagiana. And, the musical duo in the 60’s were two men, a pianist and a singer. Just saying because I was there.

  4. Roy and Kay were my grandparents. Roy passed when I was very young, and Kay passed in 1996 at the age of 70. They were estranged from before I was born (in 1976). She was a strong and influential woman who touched many lives in her brief time on this earth. She was a different kind of woman, there aren’t many like her, she lived more in 70 years than most could manage in 500. I consider myself a changed and blessed person for having shared time with her; anyone who knew her will recognize the spirit of which I speak.

  5. I snagged some buff bricks from the rubble pile for my yard….. Nice checkered pattern with other old red ones. Too bad that whole block went. I watched the explosion from the 2nd story of Rejuvenation. Arson maybe? What ever came of the investigation?

  6. The last owners were Joe and Tony Salmonese ……a young guy bought it from them for a VERY short time [can’t remember his name]. worked there for afew years in the late 1990’s……very unique and incredible place…..like something in [Old] New York

  7. it was a sad day when the monte carlo burnt down. it had nonthing to do with the owners. the building right behind it was abandoned (an old produce building) some bums were in it at night, lit a fire a whoosh up it went. the monte carlo hadnt been open for awhile. i was very upset (i always held a dream of reopening it one day). all my friends called to tell me when it went up in flames. it was a sad sad day….

  8. What was the name of the Italian Restaurant next to Monte Carlo. Some friends and I are trying to remember everywhere we had pizza as teenagers….

    1. Lido’s – they had the best meat ball sandwich. People I worked with from all over NW ate there.. The cook worked for both Monte Carlo and Lido’s. My son Joe worked there as a kitchen helper.
      .

  9. I would love to have the Monte Carlo recipe for Minestrone. It was the best. Anyone know if it is available? Thanks, Karen

    1. My father in law worked there for 30 years. He makes the minestrone soup for us all the time. It is so good. Probably won’t give up the recipe though.

      1. Wow, Lucky you. If your father in law ever decides to share the recipe, please remember me
        Thanks, Karen

    1. How well I remember as once a week the crew from Oregon Brass Works would be there for lunch. Minestrone soup and Pieres French Bread. All you could eat at $1.25. Of course it was the 60’s

      1. If you go to Nonna Amelia’s in Beaverton you will find your favorite Minestrone soup. The ex owners of Monte Carlos children have the recipes for everything. Elio Cicannti owned Monte Carlos for years when I was growing up.

      2. Wow Pam…thanks so much for the info. I have been to Nonna’s, but haven’t had their minestrone.. Will give it a try
        Thanks again, Karen

  10. Loved the Monte Carlo! We lived in the neighborhood and dined there all the time. We used to order pizza to go at least twice a month. I was on the soccer team at Washington/Monroe High School. The coach took the whole team to the Monte Carlo for their delicious pizza at the end of our season. Very fond memories of that place. Someone should open a new one and give it that dark old school feel. I bet they’d film an episode of Portlandia there.

  11. Ate there many a time with my parents and wife..

    Speak of Italian food anyone remember Pierre’s deli/ pizza on division just below 39th on the south side that was my favorite pizza

  12. My grandma was a bartender there in the 70’s! She was just talking to me about this place, she has such good memories of it!

  13. I’m sitting here with a plate of spaghetti and salad when I finally remembered the name of the Monte Carlo and Lido. Almost every Friday my fellow workers and I would go to monties (as we would call it) for “all you can eat” spaghetti and meatballs. $2.25. That was in the very early ’70ies. We would try not to fall asleep when we got back to work. We would always joke about seeing a mafia style hit in that dark parking lot between the produce house and the Lido/Monte Carlo. It is sad the those day of dining in those great old school style of restaurants is for the most part gone.

  14. My favorite Italian restaurant was the neighboring Lido – owned by Frank Lemma. I was on the newspaper staff at nearby Central Catholic. Despite the closed campus – we were unleashed at lunchtime to canvas for advertisers. We enjoyed many lunches with Frank. It was also a favorite place to bring a date on a Saturday night – Frank was a gracious host. Best ravioli on the planet.
    Ed.Bernard@yahoo.com

  15. I will never forget Frank Lemma and the Lido Restaurant. I was on the staff of the school paper at nearby Central Catholic and, despite the closed campus had the privilege of canvassing local restaurants to solicit advertisements. I enjoyed many lunches at The Lido and enjoyed many weekend dates there.

  16. The Monte Carlo was one of the absolute best places! To eat, to dance, to mingle, to see friends, to work.
    I was privileged to work there most of the ’60s. My memory isn’t the best, so my time line may be o f a bit, but I’m close, lol
    It was started by Ernest and Emelia Ceccanti in the 20’s or 30’s.
    Ernesto (Ernie) ran the tavern in the end of the building closest to 10th st. After his death, it was turned into a banquet room and was also used as an overflow area when additional seating was needed.
    Adjoining it was the main restaurant dining room..envision the red and white checked table cloths, plush dark red leather chairs and the best service you can imagine.
    ..There was not a lot of staff turnover..it was like family and many worked there 30 years or more.
    Past the dining room and up a few steps you would enter the lounge area. That place was THE place to go and had live music 7 nights a week.
    I saw a previous post about the Macks that played there for so long, but my time came a little later.
    Most of my time there (1962-1969), the entertainers were The Envoys..Speed Anderson on piano and Bill Trevor on drums.
    Oh what entertainers they were..I worked with them 5 nights a week for years and it never got old..
    Elio Ceccanti, son of Ernest and Emelia, was the owner when I was there. Tony Franciscone, his brother in law was night manager many of those years. The aforementioned Gino was the day bartender and many of the produce company owners and workers ..Corno, Spada, Quierello, Garbarino,and many more would come in after they got off work (which was noonish, as their produce day started about 3am or so).
    Gino was also Italian, so there was a lot of laughter and words spoken in Italian that I didn’t understand for a long time.
    I would ask what a word was and was jokingly told “that means I love you”.
    Uh huh. 🙂
    Karen

    Emelia was still there, day after day, checking the sauces and making sure things were done right..What a worker she was.
    As Elio and his wife Laurie sons grew up (Michael and Steve), they started out as bus boys, dish washed as needed and every thing in between. They knew the business from the ground up and are now (as far as I know) carrying on the family tradition.
    Mike at Ernestos in Raleigh Hills and Steve at Nona Emelias in Hillsboro.
    Loved that place and people. Some of the best memories of my life.
    …and yeah, the veal parmesan, minestrone soup, and pizza..omg! My favorite was the bacon and fresh tomato.
    No, not Canadian bacon. Real bacon..I can stilll taste it.
    It was an icon and was loved by so many regulars for many years.
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen. I know you wrote this in 2015, 2years ago. I am Harriet (Hockman) Queirolo’s daughter. I was just reading this to mom and she wondered if there was any way we could get ahold of you. She would love to see you. If anyone sees this post that knows how to get ahold of Karen, or if you see this yourself, please contact me at:
      Lynette.hicks@hotmail.com

  17. Does anyone remember the names of the two fellows who entertained often at The Monte Carlo Our best nights were spent dining, dancing and listening to these entertainers who often sang a funny song about Indians and bows and arrows. Those were carefree days

    1. The entertainers were called “The Envoys”. Bill Trevor on drums and Speed Anderson on piano. Both sang and ENTERTAINED! I worked there in the lounge 5 nights s week for most of 7 years and NEVER tired of listening and watching those two. Truly loved them like family.

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