Foster Buds Gets Some Competition

And Torta-Landia has a new neighbor…






…with a fancy new facade.









Say what you want about dispensaries, but this corner of Foster has an intriguing mix of businesses that could challenge the “Heart of Foster.” In addition to Botanica and Torta (pictured), Meticon Bikes is across the street, with Velvet Goldmine, Nayar Taqueria, Mike’s Antiques and Green Noise Records as their neighbors; and HeadsHigh Barbershop, the soon-to-be Backstory Books, Wild at Heart Salon and Tambayan Filipino  restaurant (among others) across the street in the other direction.


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Red Castle Empire Expansion on Hold. For Now.

Red Castle Games Web AdRed Castle has been many things over the years. It’s been an upstart game store; nerd hangout; an active presence that draws people to the corridor; even bigger nerd hangout; integral part of the Foster Plaza’s facelift and sudden marketability; budding empire with a neighboring, offshoot cafe in the works.

All this still remains true with the exception of the future Cafe Red. And while plans for the cafe have been scrapped, so, too, have plans for a remodel that became necessary after a drunk driver crashed into their building several months ago.

Red Castle IIDang drunk driver. And dang insurance policies that don’t cover dang drunk drivers.

See, the drunk driver was bad luck. But the insurance policy….that was icing on the cake. And since insurance won’t cover the cost of replacing the corner (entryway) of the building, nor the floor-plate that completely shifted upon impact, the cost of renovations become the burden of whoever owns the building. And if the landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover it, and the landlord himself won’t cover it, then it becomes the burden of Red Castle. In the end, that was too cost-prohibitive. So the plan to temporarily move into the future Cafe Red during renovations was scrapped.  And so, too, did the plan for a cafe at all, as adding more expenses did not compute well.

IMG_2378So where does this leave Red Castle?

Well, for one, they’re extremely grateful for the support of the community, as owner, Matthew Micetic, recently expressed to us. He’s also very proud of how the community came together to decorate the vacant window-front where Cafe Red was to be. But for now, he’s focused on selling games and hosting gamers. Also, Red Castle will be partnering with Pieper Cafe for the occasional cafe game night. Check with Red Castle and Pieper for more info on that.

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Meet Your Neighbor: Foster’s Ambassador of Comedy, Matt Styner

Foster does many things well. Chief among them is bars—we do bars really, really well. Sometimes we do better in quantity than quality, but we do hit on both fronts. And as such, the availability of live music, happy hours, karaoke and trivia is pretty on point. But many of you might not know that we also have comedy on Foster. Live comedy. And it’s been that way for nearly two years: first at Starday Tavern with “Laugh Yer Ass Off” comedy night, and now at FoPo Tavern with “Ferociously Funny Fridays.” And starting Tuesday, there’ll be a second weekly comedy night with a comic showcase at Double Treble (more on that below). Today we bring to you the man behind the comedy, Matt Styner. 

Matt Styner1) You run a comedy show right here in the neighborhood. For folks that never saw your weekly event at Starday Tavern or who haven’t been to FoPo Tavern, where you currently host Ferociously Funny Fridays, can you tell them what they’re missing?
Sure thing! I try to bring in a good mix of fresh Portland talent, as well as a mix of comics known around town and points beyond, but at FoPo, they’re all on the same playing field. Each comic gets the chance to do ten minutes, which is more than any other open mic in town. I try to make it feel more like a show than an open mic though.

2) It’s been nearly two years (???) since you started doing comedy on Foster (originally at Starday, now at FoPo Tavern) what’s the reception been?
That’s right, it’s been just about two years now. The reception’s been great, especially lately. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from both audience and performers for Ferociously Funny Fridays. Starting out at Starday on a Monday night was kind of Stynerrough at first, but it was fun, and it gave me an opportunity to do something a little different when we added Open Mic Of Doom! to the mix.

3) So in a addition to hosting a local comedy show, tell us a little about Matt. What’s your day job and how did you choose Foster for your comedy endeavors?
I live and work in the Foster neighborhood, right now I take calls and schedule appointments for Reliable Appliance Repair, which can be pretty stressful, so I like filling my nights with funny business. I live with a handful of other comics and friends and I’ve really enjoyed being out here. I chose to put my comedy shows here because of that as well as the fact that there wasn’t any other comedy night in the neighborhood, which I figured my neighbors deserve. 

4) Foster is slowly establishing itself as a night-time destination due to its cluster of bars and music venues. How do you feel live comedy fits into the scene on Foster long-term?
Absolutely! Comedy is a huge part of Portland’s entertainment scene, with things like the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Helium Comedy Club, and tons of shows and open mics all over. I’m actually even working on putting together another show in the area over at Double Treble on Tuesdays. That’ll be a little different though.

5) Ok, since this is a blog about our love for Foster itself, we figured we’d ask: what draws you to the neighborhood and what are some of your favorite haunts?
FFFBannerActually, I think fate brought me here. My last house gave me the boot, and I had to move real quick. A spot opened up in the house I live in right now, and I took it, since I knew a couple of the other people in the house. At first I thought it would be temporary, but I ended up really liking the neighborhood. I usually hang out at Da Hui or O’Malley’s when I’m having a drink in the neighborhood. The happy hour and karaoke night at Da Hui are probably my favorite things in the area. Eddie who KJ’s there is friggin awesome.

6) And one more follow up question: if you were to liken Foster to a movie character, movie soundtrack, musician, or song, what would it be?
I don’t know if it’s the most accurate, but the first thing that comes to mind is Tank Girl. It’s charmingly gritty, a little bit foul-mouthed, but a lot of fun.

Much thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat with us, as well as all the time and energy he’s putting in to make Foster relevant in the comedy scene. You can now catch Matt hosting “Attack of the Killer Comics” every Tuesday at Double Treble, as well as his already running “Ferociously Funny Fridays” at FoPo Tavern; both shows start at 9 pm.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Our nice Fall weather continues. Sure, it’ll dip into the 60s today, but we’ll be above 70 tomorrow, and then hitting the 80s for a few days starting Sunday. Enjoy it folks—it won’t last forever. Let us know what your weekend is looking like, and if there are any happenings we should know about in the coming week.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Busy week, yeah? We learned that property on Foster is being marketed to developers; the Bob White is set to have its seats removed (but the Day Theater may take its place as the last great hope for movies/events space on Foster); you can now buy pot (without an OMMP card) at Foster Buds (and whatever other dispensaries are in the neighborhood); SMART Collective celebrated their second anniversary; I Heart Retro had its grand opening.

– You’re all soon to get another option for grocery shopping. WinCo, as many already know, plans to move into the former Food 4 Less space in the shopping center at SE Powell and 82nd. They expect to be open by summer of next year.

– Don’t forget…the Fall Fest at the FoPo Community Garden is on October 24, and volunteers are needed to help put the event together. Check their website for more info and to learn how to get involved.

– Speaking of volunteering…there’s a group of neighbors who are organizing regular “clean up” parties. Locations will rotate, but the idea is to keep the neighborhood clean in a group effort. Some of this may have been prompted by an uptick in needles and trash being found in our parks, so it’s fitting that this weekend’s cleanup will be in Kern Park. This will happen on the first Sunday of every month. Email for more info. As for this Sunday at Kern Park, meet at 9:30 am.

– Bar Maven’s food is on point. Just sayin’.

Performance Works NW is teaming up with LACUNA to bring a night of performance art to the neighborhood. This Saturday at 8 pm, catch performances from Lucy Yee Yim, Kelly McGovern, Future Death Agency, and Antibody Corporation. $10 suggested donation.

– More weekend entertainment:
FoPo Tavern- Ferociously Funny Fridays, comedy starting at 9 pm
Starday Tavern- Focus Focus, Ali Muhareb, and Cult Choir, Friday at 9 pm; Voices of the Sea, Blind Lovejoy, and the Toads, Saturday at 8:30 pm; Jankaraoke, Sunday at 9 pm
Performance Works NW- LACUNA Presents, Saturday at 8 pm
World Famous Cannabis Cafe- Justing James Bridges, Friday at 8 pm; Todd Armstrong Comedy Hour and Tribe Mars, Saturday at 7 pm

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The Bob White Coffin Gets Its Final Nail

The long, slow realization that the Bob White Theatre was never meant to be has been a  painful process. Mostly self-inflicted due to stubborn wishful thinking. Or denial. Probably the latter.

But the writing’s been on the wall for a while. And confirmation has come in many forms: the secret sale by Nick Storie after years of failed attempts to revive the theater; rumors that it would be used as storage space by the new owners; findings that new ownership, imageStacked Holdings LLC, is indeed not in the theater business (and oddly unknown what their business is at all).

Now comes the ultimate nail in the coffin. According to Portland Maps, a permit application shows the theater’s seats, both on the main floor and balcony, are set to be removed.

Not that we didn’t see this coming, but we were forever hopeful it wouldn’t. Now we can hold our breath that rumors of a Day Theater renovation down the block are accurate, and perhaps Foster will get its movie house and events venue after all.

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Minecraft and Micro Machines Do the Trick

imageWell that didn’t take long. The property (at 5816 SE Foster) that we posted about yesterday is now pending.

Apparently land is a hotter commodity now than it was last year, or even just a month ago when this listing was re-posted (and listed at lower asking price).

Or maybe it was just the fancy shmancy renderings that did the trick.

We’ll take the housing…let’s just hope whoever buys it is more visionary. (And maybe keen on affordable housing.)


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