Happy Weekend, Foster People!

We hope this Friday finds you all well and ready for the weekend. Hopefully you have time to enjoy Foster and its environs. This time next week we’ll be looking at May, so get your April kicks while you can.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Foster got some major love in the Willamette Week’s annual Bar Guide this week, as our little strip of bars, restaurants and music venues were profiled in the article Foster: The People. While the article’s author, Matthew Korfhage, shares what many of us already know—Foster’s super duper rad—he unveils the secret to the rest of Portland. Specifically, he says, “The most important neighborhood in Portland right now is probably that little strip of bars along Southeast Foster Road between about 60th and 72nd avenues.” We can’t disagree with that. Nor can we argue with some of his other assessments; namely, that Foster is more resembling of a Portland many still yearn for but can no longer find (or afford) in the hyper-developed neighborhoods of Division Street and Alberta. Foster, then, is an under-the-radar alternative that is pretty damn cool in its own right. Cheers to Mr. Korfhage.

– New business alert: I Heart Retro is moving from its Hollywood location to Foster Road. The vintage/retro furniture and home decor store will be moving a little closer to home—the owners live in the neighborhood—and will be taking over the former Kidopolis space. They’ll now be calling SMART Collective neighbors and will help fill in the gap between the  stretch of activity hovering around Se 64th Avenue and SE 72nd, where the Portland Mercado has definitely invigorated that stretch of Foster. I Heart Retro plans to open on June 15 at the new location (6925 SE Foster).

– Fat Yoga was broken into recently, which left a good deal of damage to their space. The suspect responsible apparently started from the roof, where he was able to get through a skylight and work his way inside the studio. In any event, there’s a GoFundMe campaign to help them recoup some of the losses. Help out if you are so inclined.

– Earlier this week we reported that the Bob White Theatre is for sale. Again. This after a falling out between Nick Storie, the building’s owner, and Nick Haas, the hopeful buyer. It was just a week prior that the two had one of a series of offers on the table, only for it to be rejected and negotiations ended. We thought Haas walked away from the back-and-forth drama for good, but apparently the saga continues, as the younger Nick (and his team of investors) still has hopes of getting a deal done. According to his facebook page, he’s next in line if Mr. Storie doesn’t sell the building to someone who’s interested in using the space to store car parts. We emailed Nick Storie to confirm this, but have not heard back. With that in mind, we can’t jump to conclusions just yet. But it’s safe to say there’s more to the Bob White story to come.

– Don’t forget that the Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Associations are hosting their annual ‘neighborhood cleanup‘ on May 2. If you have household goods you need to trash, there will be several dumpsters for your dumping pleasure at Arleta Elementary. All money goes to the neighborhood associations so they can continue doing things like National Night Out, Movies in the Park, garden tours, etc.

– Starday Tavern has its customary showing of live music this weekend. Catch Radio Wolf (classic rock) and Harlis SweetWater (“greasy electric blues a la Canned Heat”) on Friday; Nomenclature performs Saturday.

Have a good weekend, all. Be cool, be safe.

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Seen in FoPo

Mini bottle party. Stay classy, FoPo…
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Theater For Sale…Tell Your Investor Friends

In just over three years we’ve seen the Bob White Theatre resurrected, rallied around, go dark again, re-lit with a series of raves, go dark again, and then pushed ever closer to becoming a legitimate music venue with a splattering of movies. But just as it reached that turning point, alas, it went dark again.

And that’s where we’re at now.

As we mentioned last week, the theater is back up for sale. This comes as negotiations between Nick Haas and the Bob White’s owner, Nick Storie, to buy the historic building went south. Obviously there are two sides to every story, but we do know that there were six months of back-and-forth negotiations, an increase in asking price, and a series of investors interested in partnering on the purchase. In the end, a deal couldn’t be had. And now we’re dark. Again.

IMG_0624So what does this mean for the theater’s future? Who knows. But save for a few renovations, we’re sort of back to where we were three plus years ago. There is one big difference, however: the theater has received a lot of publicity in the last few months. (Perhaps that’s why the asking price has been increased.) And with Foster’s neighborhood profile rising over the last couple years, the added publicity may fetch an investor with enough financial backing to get a deal done.

We spoke to Mr. Storie last week, and he wouldn’t comment on why a deal couldn’t be reached with Haas. (Haas’s journey to buy the theater, his plans, and an update on the subsequent failing of a deal can be found here.) But he did state that he won’t be “serving buttered popcorn” anytime soon, nor would he be hiring someone to manage the space. In essence, someone will have to buy the theater to see it become operational again. In Storie’s words, “For the price of two houses any member of the community can be the proud owner of the Bob White Theatre. Discounted trades accepted.” To be clear, that would be “any member of the community” who has two houses-worth of money.

When asked about trades, he made it clear he was talking about real estate (which is too bad, because I’m pretty sure my neighbor has enough scrap metal laying around his yard to get a deal done). And if you’re not trading real estate, it’ll cost you $450,000 for the theater. (It was bought in 2012 for $350,00; that price included the adjoining warehouse, which is not being offered as part of the current listing.)

So the question still remains: who’s got the dough (plus what’s needed for renovations)? And until that gets settled, just as with the Phoenix Pharmacy, the Foster District will have another historic building exuding potential but sitting idly.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Ah, this is what we’ve all been waiting for, right? Pure sun and not-yet-unbareable heat. That alone presents a ton of opportunities: walk, bike, barbecue, garden, happy hour. We’ve got plenty of places to stroll to in the ‘hood, so make sure you do it. It’s good for your health, it’s good for the neighborhood.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Speaking of getting outside AND happy hours, GoLocalPDX included a certain Foster locale in their list of best places to drink outside. Yep, the Portland Mercado continues to get mad love, and GoLocalPDX listed Barrio—the somewhat Latin-themed wine and beer bar—as one of Portland’s top 11 places to drink outside. Dang. And they’ve barely been open. That’s some propers.

– While we’re at it, though, here’s our customary run-down of other places to wine and dine outside on Foster: Pod Bar and Carts on Foster, Devils Point, Foster Burger (patio), Slingshot (sidewalk and patio), FoPo Tavern, Nayar Taqueria, Bar Maven (sidewalk and patio), NWIPA, Bar Carlo, O’Malley’s, Starday Tavern, Gemini Lounge, Da Hui, Andy’s (patio, if you must), Spot 79 (patio). Sorry if we missed you. But, oh, there’s also Pieper Cafe, An Xuyen, and Speedboat Coffee if you’re not a drinker (though Pieper may soon have the best of both worlds). Ok, get it…there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the sun on Foster.

– Speaking of food and drink, we’ll briefly turn our attention to the Powell side of things. Dickey Doo’s (no joke, that’s what it’s called) Pub and Grub, at SE 66th and Powell, will be serving up good (we actually don’t if it’ll be good) eats on a weekly basis with their Soul Food Weekends. Mmmmm.

– Ok, back to Foster. I’m sure you noticed the crowds at the Mercado this week. But before we go on and on (and on) about all the great food, let us first give another plug to Kaah Market as a reminder that 1) the Mercado is more than just food carts and 2) Foster now has another reason to skip Fred Meyer for your grocery needs. The small neighborhood market specializes in fruits and vegetables (both organic and non), with a selection of spices, milk, cheese, tortillas, sauces, and pan dulce. Support them to ensure we have a continued presence of more healthy food options. Seriously, a walkable neighborhood market!

– Performance Works NW (on 67th, just north of Foster) is bringing another show to its space this Sunday, as they’ll be hosting Catfish’s release party and concert. Reed Wallsmith and the John Gross Duo will be joining Catfish in the mostly-jazz bash. $5, $10 for admission and CD – show starts at 7:30.

– Midpoint Food and Drink is getting in on the music action, too. Catch DJ Lee Denim and his collection of country gold tonight (Friday, 7:30) for some live-spun country.

– Don’t forget, Nong’s Khao Man Gai food truck will be posting up in front of NWIPA tonight, while DJ Doomhammer spins whatever he spins inside; Kim Jong Grillin will be slangin’ Korean fare from its truck Saturday. That’s a good two-day showing.

– Soooo…the six months (ok, it seems more like a year) of back-and-forth negotiations between Nick Haas and the Bob White Theatre’s owner, Nick Storie, are no longer back-and-forth. They just aren’t—no negotiations. And by no negotiations, we mean no deal is to be had. Which also means that theater will again sit in purgatory as Storie tries to find someone to pay half a million for the property. The younger Nick had placed multiple offers and had multiple investors, but in the end a deal couldn’t be worked out. The purchase price has also gone up in the time that they had been negotiating—it’s now going for $450,000 to be exact. We’ll touch on this more next week. But in the meantime, if you know anybody with half a fortune to buy and renovate a theater…

– With no more manager to run the Bob White, we’re not quite sure what it means for already planned shows. Specifically, we can’t say for certain whether Repo! The Genetic Opera will be having its benefit show for Red Castle Games tonight. But if they are, and you’re into this, check ’em out.

– Ok, just a couple more things: the Foster-Powell Community Garden is having its annual plant sale on Sunday, from 9 am – 3 pm, and the Annual Neighborhood Cleanup is May 2. Both raise money for a good cause.

– In addition to all the happenings listed above, don’t forget Starday Tavern always has live music on the weekends. Friday brings Hollowdog, StoneFace Honey performs Saturday.

Enjoy the weekend, all. Be cool, be safe.

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Food trucks galore. A bit of beer. Perhaps, some nudity.

Foster went from no food carts to one food cart (El Sultan’s been holding it down at Carts on Foster before there was Carts on Foster), then one food cart to a food cart pod. That pod might as well have been no pod, because the turnover was too great and quality questionable. But then it turned the corner and really can’t be touched—cheap beer, rad breakfast, lunch and dinner options and, hello Big-Ass Sandwiches. Add eight carts up the street to anchor the Portland Mercado, and now we’re bookended by some of the best semi-mobile food in Portland.

But wait, there’s more. Even if just for the next few nights.

To piggy-back on the Craft Brewing Conference this week, a few more food trucks are coming to the neighborhood. Tonight will see Devils Point get into the action, with a food truck parked outside to compliment the Sixpoint Brewing tap-takeover inside.

And up the street at NWIPA, where there will be decidedly less nudity, Roman Candle Pizza will be slangin’ pizza. But they’re not a food cart. The food cart shows up on Friday, as Nong’s Khao Man Gai will be parked in front of the bottle shop serving up their now-famous chicken. Saturday brings us Kim Jong Grillin.’ How can you fux with that? You don’t even have to like beer…just get some good grub. 

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Seen in FoPo

What once was will no longer be. Except for the telephone pole…that stays the same. Nice  bit of artistic perspective…
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