Another Foster Facelift Coming Soon

IMG_4240The Foster District is getting a much needed facelift—and we’re not talking about the Streetscape Plan. Foster Plaza, the commercial strip between SE 64th and 65th, will soon be transforming from 70’s-era strip plaza with an oversized and imposing awning, to a historically-restored and visually appealing centerpiece in the “heart of Foster.”

Boston has the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Foster has a similar monstrosity in the heart of its commercial core.

IMG_4250Not for long, though.

The ugly, green awning obscuring the presence of Red Castle Games, the future Cafe Red, and Portland Ketchup Company is set to come down as early as tomorrow.

Yeah, tomorrow.

It may not be as expensive OR expansive as the Foster Streetscape Plan, but it will have a more immediate impact. And it’s this type of physical improvement that the city (and, presumably, area residents) hoped would be spurred by including the western stretch of Foster in the Lents Urban Renewal Area. Fortunately, this is already happening organically in the heart of Foster and beyond. See O’Malley’s and Nayar Taqueria as recent examples.

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These windows are currently being covered by the building’s awning.

And it may be proving contagious. The Bobwhite Theatre is getting fixed up inside, and there are plans to restore the marquis at some point. N.W.I.P.A. and Fat Yoga long ago placed planters and other green features in front of their respective spaces. And we’re currently seeing some semblance of a renovation project just west of Nayar. (Or so we’re told that’s what’s behind the black plastic covering the window.)

But back to Foster Plaza and that hideous green awning. It is hideous, indeed. Not only is it large and overbearing, but it extends farther from the building than the height at which it starts to protrude. It unnecessarily shades the shady side of the block, creating a long, dark corridor that makes it difficult to see what businesses are hiding beneath.

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Original windows will now be exposed to Foster Road

But it’ll be gone soon. And thanks to Hanna Realty’s openness to change, as well as the Portland Development Commission’s assistance through its Storefront Improvement Program, the commercial strip will be getting a shot in the arm. The building will be markedly improved visually with the absence of the awning. That much is for sure. But in its place we’ll also see the original architecture exposed, which includes another layer of of windows currently being covered.

Permits are already in place, and the first step will be demolition of the awning. As mentioned, that could take place this week (tomorrow?). After that, work will be done to restore the original facade (including said hidden windows) and install new transoms.

Foster in its heyday. Original architecture of Foster Plaza sans awning.

Foster in its heyday. Original architecture of Foster Plaza sans awning.

This times perfectly with the late-fall opening of Cafe Red, as well as the marketing of the last remaining vacant space in the commercial building. And more importantly, it will make Foster that much more appealing. It will be a significant upgrade for a commercial stretch that is threatening to “pop.”

With improvements already happening, and more to come, Foster is seeing a renaissance of sorts. Or at the very least, we’re getting sexied up a bit. Thanks to the folks at Red Castle for being proponents of removing the awning, as well as the efforts they’re making to push the commercial core to the next level.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

It’s been nice knowing you, August. We’ll squeeze what we can out of you over the next couple days. Hopefully all you Foster people out there make the most of it. By the way, is it me or is there a ton of energy on Foster right now that screams, “We’re a rad little neighborhood and getting radder.”?

Here are your weekend tidbits…

- There was a lot of excitement and disappointment when an upcoming movie schedule at The Bobwhite was released. The excitement was for obvious reasons, while some were disappointed with the pricing. What seemed like a steep asking price for $7.50 movies soon became a talking point between new owner, Nick Haas, and many of you in the community. In the end, the discussion led to the lowering of ticket prices, with added discounts for kids and earlier shows. That receptiveness to the community was unseen in previous ownership/management, so let’s be encouraged. Oh, and support The Bobwhite when you can. It has the potential to be a huge asset to the community.

- Foster Row gets a nod in Neighborhood Notes’ most recent rundown of new Portland businesses. Peep it here.

- Our drinking options on Foster seem endless, and I know most of you don’t need any hints on where to go for a drink. Just a quick little reminder, then, that the Pod Bar at the food carts has $2.50 pints on Thursdays. And they don’t serve shitty beer, so that’s a good deal.

- For all the planning wonks and community-involved out there, check out Foster United’s rundown and quick tutorial on how to make use of the city’s Comprehensive Plan Map App as Portland planners seek to finalize/update its guiding map for growth and development over the next 20 years. Kudos to “FU” for keeping track of all the nuts and bolts of city planning and policy that impact our neighborhood.

- Bar Carlo is getting into the local music scene, evidenced by their Sweet Reggae Sundays. But they’re going further than that, as they have plans for regular live jazz on Wednesdays (starting Sept. 10), as well as hopes to get some hip-hop spinning on Saturdays (any DJs out there interested?).

- The fourth and final workday for the Foster-Powell Tree Inventory is next Saturday, 9/7, from 8:30 am – noon. Volunteers will meet at Carts on Foster, which means you can fill up on something from the Egg Carton, and then finish with a beer and whatever else you may fancy.

- Weekend happenings:
Starday Tavern- Joshua James and the Runaway Trains bring their pop and rock & roll Friday night; The Bakersfield Rejects play honky tonk Saturday night
Torta- Elliot Ross, Friday; Castletown, Saturday
Bar Carlo- Sweet Reggae Sundays, 5 – 10 pm: DJ Margo on the ones and twos

Have a good weekend, all.

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Seen in FoPo

The joys of alleyway dumps.
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Here’s our local baby-doll, alleyway overlord.
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Only in FoPo!

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Cascade Organic is Back, N.W.I.P.A. to Host Farmer’s Market

Pop-Up Farm Stand!

Pop-up Farm Stand by Sarah Kincaid

N.W.I.P.A. is set to host Cascade Organic again this Thursday, from 5 -8 pm, for its makeshift farmer’s market. For those that haven’t made it out for either of the last two events, you missed out on bunches of fresh and organic kale, broccoli, arugula, a variety of mushrooms, wild salmon, and more.

Not only is it a treat for the neighborhood to have easy access to fresh produce, it’s an opportunity to prove we can support a local market. And the word is these guys want to set up a storefront for their operation. It’s up to us to prove Foster’s the place to be.

Oh, and there might be some beer specials for those of you that wander in.

And if you want to put your orders in ahead of time to ensure you get what you want, here’s this weeks list:
Cascade Organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, it’s important that we keep these guys coming back with a good turnout. Contact jeff@cascadeorganic.com for any questions or to put in a request for above items.

#beerandproduceisawonderfulidea

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Here’s Your Movie Calendar for The Bobwhite

You asked and pleaded. You waited and eventually gave up. But then…

It happened–movies are coming to The Bobwhite. And they’re way more recognizable and less dated than one would expect.

IMG_4182Nobody had any illusions of seeing box office hits on Foster. Or at least any from this decade (or even last). Not any time soon, at least. All we really cared about was not having to drive up to the Laurelhurst or Academy to enjoy a movie with our beer, popcorn and/or pizza. (We don’t know what concessions will look like, but expect it.)

Well, it’s happening.

Here’s the rundown:
– Tuesday and Thursday movies, with 4, 6, 8, and 10 pm showings
– If ratings allow, 4 and 6 pm showings will be kid-friendly
– Sunday double features for the family
– 21+ for 8 and 10 pm movies
– $7.50 for adults, $5.00 for 14 and under, $10 for double features

October Bobwhite

Edited with updated pricing

I know what you’re all thinking: “$7.50? That’s way more than the Academy.”

Well, it’s a little more than $3.00 to be exact. But wouldn’t you gladly pay an extra $3.50 for Foster to have an operational movie theater? Sure you would. And you will. Especially if it means you get to see Big Trouble in Little China. That’s right, Big Trouble in Little China, as in Kurt Russell will be gracing our muthaf*#&in’ big screen.

Fun starts in October, just after Nick Haas throws a party for the community and to commemorate The Bobwhite’s 90th birthday.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

The weekend is here. You don’t have many left with sun, heat, and glorious Foster vibes. Make it happen, y’all.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

- The Bobwhite Theatre will be celebrating its 90th birthday with a weekend-long party in September. We’ll get a little more in depth down the road, but for now we just want you to mark your calendar. Parts of the event will be free; parts will be kid-friendly; some will be to celebrate the community; and the rest will be to have a good time.

- Tired of nuisance properties? File a report with the city. We are no stranger to households that serve as part scrap-metal-collection center and/or drug house, are boarded up, have broken down vehicles scattered across the property, or obvious unsafe/unsightly conditions. It’s a quick process to let the city know. And in many cases the city will enforce its nuisance codes. Here’s where you go: Report a Problem.

- Carts on Foster has a new food truck: Operation Wings. Yes, Foster finally gets its wing spot.

- Sweet Reggae Sundays commences this weekend (Sunday, duh) at Bar Carlo. From 5-10 p.m., there will be DJs playing reggae and hip hop, drink specials (alcoholic and non), a sidewalk BBQ, and a fundraiser for “Back To School Fresh,” a non-profit for inner-city students.

- If you want to build something or need a storefront for your business, a couple spaces came onto the market. One is for rent, one for sale. Peep it.

- Weekend music and events:
Starday Tavern — Pretty Gritty, featuring Keller Williams, Friday at 9 pm; Spanish Rock and Roll from Perros Olividados, Saturday
Torta— David Kelley, Friday at 7 pm; Lew Jones Trio at 7pm, Saturday
Gemini— Finn Doxie at 8 pm, Friday; Amber Harlan Granmo, Saturday night
O’Malley’s— Metal on Foster, Saturday night
Foster Row— Saturday Morning Cartoons (from 11 am-2 pm) and Bubble Cats and Summer Eyes (starting at 8 pm) 

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

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