Portland chef Tommy Habetz, known for his restaurants Bunk Sandwiches and Pizza Jerk, suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 22, Willamette Week first reported.
Habetz was at home with his son when the hemorrhage occurred. After his son called 9-1-1, Habetz arrived at Providence for emergency surgery to relieve the pressure in his brain. He is currently in the intensive care unit and is expected to remain in the hospital for two to three months.
A GoFundMe page is raising funds to assist Habetz’s family, which includes his son Hugo, daughter Viv, and wife Brooke, who had undergone emergency surgery for a broken kneecap the day prior to Habetz’s hemorrhage. As of Tuesday, January 3, the fundraiser is up to $57,217 of its $65,000 goal. Several members of the Portland chef community have shared the GoFundMe to support the Portland restaurateur.
“[Tommy] is also one of the people that helped me get back in the kitchen when I was going thru a real hard time in my life,” Kim Jong Grillin’ owner Han Ly Hwang posted on Instagram. “I am heart broken to hear he’s sick.”
Habetz graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute and began his culinary career in New York City, working for celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay. After moving to Portland in 2002, he cooked in lauded local kitchens including Meriwether’s and Gotham Tavern.
In 2008, he opened Bunk Sandwiches’ first restaurant in Southeast Portland, followed by the original Bunk Bar on Southeast Water Avenue with co-owners Nick Wood and Matt Brown. His other venture, the punk rock pizzeria Pizza Jerk, debuted in 2015 and serves New Haven-adjacent pies, a nod to Habetz’s home state of Connecticut.
Today, Oakshire Brewing and Sure Shot Burger, the across-the-street neighbors of Pizza Jerk’s Northeast 42nd Avenue location, are raising funds from beer and food sales, which will be donated to Habetz’s GoFundMe.