T-Minus 30 Days: Portland Mercado Grand Opening, April 11

Ahhhh gyeeeaahhh…
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It’s about to get real.
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The indoor-outdoor public market, fully intact with food, produce and beer/wine vendors (among many others) is set to open April 11.
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And Foster will never be the same.
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Seen in FoPo

Peter Pot Pusher…at a corner by you.
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Handmade and Vintage Clothing to Join Current Lineup of Tacos, Bikes, and Records

IMG_0334Well, it didn’t take long to fill the former Renaissance Guitars storefront. (We didn’t think it would, as that stretch of storefronts has definitely upped its profile over the last several months—new tenants, facade upgrades, etc.)

Now coming to the commercial stretch that includes Meticon IMG_0333Bikes, Nayar Taqueria, Green Noise Records, and Mike’s (?) Antiques: Velvet Goldmine.

The new storefront will be home base for the owner’s line of handmade and vintage clothing. While we’ll miss the guitar store that occupied the space before, it’ll be nice to have a continued retail presence in that location. And with the addition of vintage and handmade clothes, that’s one less reason you have to venture outside the neighborhood for new (old) apparel.

Film4.com

Film4.com

* As a side note, we don’t know if the new space was inspired by the movie of the same name depicting a 70’s-era glam rocker. If, indeed, it was part of the inspiration, we’ll just go ahead and categorize this as a pretty rad addition to the neighborhood.

We ran into the owner the other day, and she was already adding her touch to the interior. No word yet on opening IMG_0348date, but it appears to be on the fast track. For now, check out the Velvet Goldmine Shop on Etsy.

Also, on a related note, the last space in the same row of storefronts appears to be getting fixed up. (And to be fair, being fixed up is a stretch; it’s becoming less dilapidated.) Who knows IMG_0335if it could ever meet code and become another storefront, but, at the least, the improvement of this commercial stretch continues.

And that’s encouraging. (Though, we won’t hold our breath on this building quite yet.)

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

I’ll just put my climate-change-end-of-the-world fears on hold for a sec and say, “Holy Jeezus, this weather is glorious.” Enjoy it while you can before 1) the rain returns or 2) it gets hotter and hotter and we all dry up and whither away. Have a nice weekend, y’all.

Here are your (belated) weekend tidbits…

– Hot damn, food carts galore: Big-Ass Sandwiches makes its debut at Carts on Foster tomorrow, and the Portland Mercado just rolled in their cavalry of carts, too. (And they match the colors of the permanent structure that’s been signaling the April grand opening.) And about that Mercado…Ron Wyden has already had a visit and sneak peek, which shows the magnitude of this project; grand opening is April 11.

– The Bob White Theatre caught the attention of KATU news, and they ran a brief story about its history and the efforts of Nick Haas as he attempts to purchase the building. Check it out.

– Happy Birthday, Red Castle! Five years in…good work, gang. And if there was any question about what businesses have helped usher in Foster’s resurgence in recent years, look no further than the neighborhood game store. They, along with a few other key businesses, have given the commercial district a bit of quirkiness, vitality, and variety…oh, and a constant flow of people. Celebrate with them this weekend as they put a selection of games on sale and serve up some birthday cake.

– Weekends don’t have to end on Sunday. Keep it going into Monday with the following (share if you know more): comedy night at Starday Tavern, Makers Monday at O’Malley’s,  RuPaul’s Drag Race at Bar Carlo, and now…Burger Mondays at N.W.I.P.A. The latter will be limited to 12 burgers a night, each on buns from Roman Candle; different burger each week, starting at 6 pm.

– If you’re interested in getting involved with the FoPo Neighborhood Association, their monthly meeting is this Monday at Foster Burger (6:30 – 8 pm). And if you want to get really involved, there are some board vacancies they’d like filled, as well as volunteer opportunities for those who want to help with organizing some of the yearly events they put on. Check ‘em out…

– Happenings this weekend:
Starday Tavern- Church of Surf, Merle Jaeger, and Joe Emery (Friday); Euge Organ Trio (Saturday)
Red Castle Games- weekend birthday sale; cake-cutting (free for customers) Saturday at noon
Gemini Lounge- DJ Encrypted (Saturday night)
N.W.I.P.A.- Jeff’s Wine Class (Sunday, 4 – 6 pm)
SMART Collective- live music and benefit for Friends of Outdoor School (Saturday, 5 pm)

Be cool, Foster people. Enjoy the weekend.

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Red Castle Endures Five Years of FoPoPDX Crush

We here at FosterPowellPDX have not been shy about our local business crushes. Our first love was Guapo Comics and Coffee (and we feel sorry for you if you never knew them). In fact, I still pretend they’re around just to make the days go by easier. (Fortunately, NWIPA’s tasty pints and Pieper Cafe’s mochas make forgetting a little easier.)

But Guapo left us. So we filled the void elsewhere. We toyed with crushing on Knuckleheads, too, when they were around, but mostly because we were fascinated with the leathery, rumbling toughness of the Harley-riding masses that came and went. In the end, there was way more intrigue than actual patronage.

Enter Red Castle Games. They helped transform the one-block commercial strip along SE 64th from the poker room and pot club that it once was. And they stole our heart from the onset.

IMG_4270So it is, our most consistent and lasting crush, Red Castle Games, has taken the cake. And now that they’re turning five—yes, five—I guess our infatuation with the little game store-turned-growing-empire is also getting a year older.

To celebrate with Red Castle as they usher in another year on Foster, join them for a weekend of discounts (up to 50%) on select games, as well as a cake-cutting ceremony on Saturday, 3/7 at noon. Cake will be free to all customers, so get in there and take advantage of their anniversary sales.

And for a little more background, here’s the release from Red Castle:

Red Castle Games, an independent local game store, invites the community to attend its Fifth Anniversary Celebration the weekend of March 7th and 8th. Special events include a cake-cutting ceremony at 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 7th with free cake for all customers and a sale of up to 50% off selected board games, miniatures, and role-playing games.

Red Castle Games Web AdRed Castle Games began as the dream of two young entrepreneurs looking to create a uniquely welcoming and family-friendly game shop for veteran and casual gamers alike in the Foster-Powell neighborhood. An influential part of Portland’s board gaming community, Red Castle has hosted and organized many major events for games such as Magic: the Gathering and Netrunner, helping foster a sense of community and allowing players to better connect with each other. Red Castle’s events have brought new life to its corner of Foster-Powell, and the store continues to grow as they work towards opening Café Red, Portland’s very first board-gaming café, next door.  

Red Castle Games is heavily invested in its community and customers, earning it a reputation as a pillar of Portland’s gaming community. Hosting events, providing a comfortable space for people play, and maintaining a wide selection of card games and board games are all important parts of Red Castle’s mission to become the friendliest game store in Portland. Red Castle Games is located at 6406 SE Foster Road, and is open from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight weekdays and 10:00am until 12:00 midnight on weekends.

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Bob White Takeover Hits a Snag, Fight Continues

Snafu. That’s the best way to describe what came between Nick Haas and his goal to buy The Bob White Theatre. It’s what came of a business deal that saw a private financier back away at the last minute.

At this time last week, escrow was near closing and a “changing of the guard” party was being planned for Friday. There may have been a party, but ownership is still solidly under Nick Storie’s name—not Haas’s. But if the younger Nick has a say, the latest snafu won’t deter him. And as such, he’s continuing to grind—and grind some more—until hope and perseverance (and maybe sheer will) call him owner of The Bob White.Bob White

He almost got the title last week, but a business partner backed out of the deal. Now financing again becomes the biggest hurdle.

Call us suckers for an underdog. Or maybe we’re just infected by the amount of passion, sense of history, and vision Haas exudes. And for selfish reasons, we’d also like to think this purgatory-esque chapter of the theater is almost over. (We want a theater, dammit!)

In the end, we don’t know what will come of The Bob White and/or Nick Haas’s attempts to buy it. But we do know this: he’s still fighting. And it appears as if KATU News has heard and will be making a story out of it. Nick Haas has invited the community to show up to the theater tomorrow (Tuesday) night to support the story, as well as to celebrate 91 years since the theater first opened. Tuesday’s event is a free, all-ages affair and will bring movies back for a night. There will be a double feature—Raiders of the Lost Ark and Big Trouble in Little China—starting at 7 pm. Free popcorn for all in attendance; donations go toward purchase and renovation.

Even if you don’t buy into the narrative, a free movie’s a free movie, and I think Nick Haas is trying to give the community what they want. And one point he tries to make clear, he wants The Bob White to be a community venue.

Here is a copy of Haas and The Bob White’s Business Values:

The Bob White Theatre Business Values

We believe our first responsibility is to the community of Portland and to all visitors of our city. Everything we do must be of the highest quality to aid us in constantly striving to reduce our costs in order to maintain reasonable prices.  Customers and performers must be given a one of a kind experience the moment they walk through our doors and leave with memories to last a lifetime.

We must respect and recognize the merit of our employees.  They must have a sense of job security, compensation must be fair and adequate and the working environment must be friendly, clean, orderly and safe.  They must feel free to give feedback and there must be equal opportunity for employment.  We must provide competent management in all areas from booking, accounting, programming, marketing, etc., and their actions must be ethical for the benefit of the community and for the bigger picture of creating memories for generations to come.  Word of mouth is still a great and inexpensive advertising platform.

We are responsible to the community where we live and work, as well as, to the world community.  We must be good citizens, support good works and charities and bear our fair share of taxes.  We must encourage civic improvements and a better Portland.  We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to own while protecting the environment and the natural resources around us.

Our final responsibility is to our investors.  Business must make a sound profit.  We must experiment with new ideas.  Research must be continuous, and mistakes must be resolved. New equipment must be purchased.  A restored, one of a kind facility must be provided. Reserves must be set aside to provide for during adverse times, but we believe 100% in our ability to deliver on all fronts.  When we operate according to these values, the investor should realize a fair return.

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