Happy Weekend, Foster People!

We hear the sun may come back this weekend, and perhaps for an extended stay. Cross your fingers, folks.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Off The Griddle has already made an impact on the neighborhood, both in food offerings and sheer presence and energy at the once revolving door of less-than-stellar-bars (with the exception of Gemini Lounge…RIP). You can see some of the transformation here. But, in addition to the swapping out of Harleys for scooters, and the addition of vegan fare to Foster, OTG is now aiming to make an even larger impact on the neighborhood. As announced earlier this week, OTG and its owners are shuttering their other baby, A.N.D. Cafe on 50th and Burnside, and bringing it south to the comfy confines of Foster. The merging of the two restaurants will take effect on July 6, which means your now favorite vegan dinner joint will also soon be your favorite vegan brunch joint. What’s more, A.N.D.’s artist-in-residence will be bringing her artwork along for the ride, and OTG will be participating in next month’s Second Saturday Art Walk.

We shared earlier in the week that the former Paldo Market will, indeed, become a brewery. And we now have a name to go along with the anticipation: Assembly Brewing Co. For those interested in what the transformation will look like, here’s a link to other projects by Assembly’s architects, Steelhead Architecture: commercial projects. Coincidentally, Steelhead now lists the Foster project as “Foster Pub” instead of “Foster Brewery.” We’re not sure why the change.

– The Annual FoPo Garden Tour is this Saturday, just in time for the arriving good weather. This is a fun way to see the neighborhood, get to know others in your community and get inspiration for your own gardening pursuits. Here’s a map of the route. This is the 10th go-around for the Garden Tour, which is a pretty awesome achievement. Check it out, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

– We can’t remember if we shared this already, but SMART Collective’s move from their current location won’t be a big one. They’ll be relocating to a space on SE 67th between Foster and Holgate. This is the same block that is home to Performance Works NW and the former BenWill art gallery. We’ll presume they’ll be setting up shop in the latter’s space, but we’ll see. Cheers to them staying in the ‘hood. Also, join them for a final two-day concert at the old space next Friday and Saturday.

– We didn’t do a weekend post last week, so we were unable to offer our congrats to Bar Maven, who celebrated their fourth anniversary. Props to Bashar and the Bar Maven gang!

– Happy Fathers Day to the dads out there…or to the moms that took on both roles.

– Here’s your upcoming entertainment:
Starday TavernBirthday Benefit for NW Dog Project (6 pm) and Amber Harlan Trio: My Blue Mood (9 pm), Friday; Sounds Visual “Origin Story,” a tribute to classic hip-hop, Saturday at 9 pm
NWIPAJamaican Tast pop-up, Saturday 6-9 pm

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Foster’s brewery-to-be gets a name

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-2-40-20-pmFrom a distance, nothing’s changed at all. An empty parking lot surrounds Paldo Market; the doors are even open. There seems to be little activity, but it isn’t obvious the Korean market has actually closed—just as it was hard to tell if it was actually open when it was in business.

But when you get a little closer, you see a completely gutted space inside. And, indeed, Paldo is just a shell of its former self, now simply a placeholder for what will soon occupy the building.

What we’ve been rumoring to be true for months can now be confirmed by a recent liquor license application for the property. An OLCC listing (below) for 6112 SE Foster indicates two things: a change of name and type of the current liquor license, as well as what kind of business will eventually be operating there.

And now we know, Foster will, indeed, be landing a brewery in the near future. Here’s an early welcome to Assembly Brewing.

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The former Asian grocer closed last year after years of decline, and it will soon give way to Foster’s newest drinking establishment. Not that we needed more places to drink, but a brewery would certainly be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

We’ll await more details regarding type of beer to be brewed, food offerings, and whether it’ll be family friendly or not. But for now, we’ll just sit back and wait for the renovations to get further underway—a liquor license is one thing, but there’s plenty of work to be done on the building before it’s ready for business.

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Second Saturday Foster Art Walk enters the summer months

Well, all of the sudden it doesn’t quite feel so summer-y. But as gloomy as this coming weekend may be, you can brighten it up a bit with art and patronage of your local businesses. Foster’s Second Saturday art walk is this Saturday.

You should be there.

Go for the art. Stick around for the snacks, beer and wine. Get to know your neighbors and local (and not so local) artists. Support Foster’s art galleries and small businesses.

Here’s where to go:

lipsticksquare_Proof1Champagne Room Gallery (5330 SE Foster, June 10 from 5-8 p.m.)
MANIC MUNDANE, featuring artworks and handmade accessories by artist INTERROBANGBANG!
About the artist: “INTERROBANGBANG! turns ordinary objects and imagery into saturated, quirky works of postmodern fantasy. Inspired by the big-eyed aesthetics of 1960s lowbrow art and industrial design of household items, Interro’s mixed media works and wearable accessories emerge from a self-consciously impulsive place, where blank stares and everyday objects are simply shapes to be combined with colors. Interior Bang Bang lives and creates in South Florida.”

Darling Press (5330 SE Foster, June 10 from 5-9 p.m.)
Art opening with Brooke Walker-Knoblich, featuring her oil-painted landscapes

18881862_1330023347045924_693805453393413355_nPo’ Boy Art Framing & Gallery (5444 SE Foster, June 10 from 2-8 p.m.)
Marq Spusta and Tyler Stout art show, featuring art prints, rock and movie posters, several artist/vendors, and live music from DJ Joel Barber
About the artists: “Marq Spusta was born in 1977 in Madison, Wisconsin. He was drawing prolifically within moments of leaving the womb. Marq continued developing his art along side graphic design while attending the UW-Stout. Marq has been living and working on the West Coast for nearly a decade, creating concert posters, album covers and all kinds of prints. His variety of subjects and projects are related in the same mind-spring that his illustrative and cartoonish nature can muster. His variety of projects ranges from designs of concert posters (Dinosaur Jr., Widespread Panic, Soundgarden, Further) to exhibiting intricate paintings, prints and beer bottle packaging. His “world” of characters is reminiscent of a fresh and original memory of Alice In Wonderland meets Where The Wild Things Are, doused with an arty hot-sauce formula that is the signature of the cartoonish intricacy that makes it a Marq Spusta.

“Tyler Stout has done posters for awhile, he lives in Brush Prairie Washington.”

Latchkey Gallery (6004 SE Foster)
* We’re not sure who’s featured, but this little gallery is well worth the visit.

EW_BIOPIC_1024x1024Flat Blak Gallery (6006 SE Foster, June 10 from 6-9 p.m.)
Elizabeth Waggett, opening reception, Gilded Works on Paper
About the Artist: “Eminently modern and free spirited Elizabeth’s artwork focuses on the confusion of today’s modern society.  She challenges the viewer to confront the relationship between humanity’s preconceived notions of value and worth, in our consumable world.  The Gold Standard, which has been used for centuries, is a perfect representation of humanity’s obsession with vain and valueless beauty….Elizabeth is a British Artist and Designer currently residing and maintaining full time studio practice in New York City. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK, USA and the UAE, where she began her career with her sell out solo show in the capital,  Abu Dhabi.  Most recently she has completed a commission for HRH The Prince of Wales and had a solo show at Soho House.  Her works are held in private collections in North America, Bahrain, Europe, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.    Various publications such as Cheshire Life Magazine,  Art Zealous, The Art Gorgeous,  Juxtapoze, Anti Heroin Chic, AIMO and Fashion Week have all covered Elizabeth’s work.  She holds an honours degree in Fashion and a postgraduate in Design from the University of Manchester.” (Read the full bio here)

Wild at Heart Salon (6008 SE Foster)
Artist Kim Davies will be featured in the salon, showing off her bright acrylic works

Backstory Books (6010 SE Foster, June 10 from 4-8 p.m.)
Cut paper art of Jen Rombach, whose “work is often political, such as the awesome March for Science posters she made in April.

Have fun, y’all. And don’t hesitate to get a drink or bite to eat somewhere on Foster along the way. Make a night out of it.

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Building boom continues

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As proposed, a 3-story, 15-unit apartment building may rise at this location,

Just to be clear, there is no actual building boom on Foster. To date, only one of the residential projects proposed for the commercial strip in the last year has actually been built—or even begun construction, for that matter. And that project, which added 30 apartments to 5811 SE Boise, is not technically on Foster (though, it’s close enough).

However, three other projects—the former Busy Bee lot, the YMCA rebuild, and 72Foster—are in the planning process. And combined, they’d add 188 units of housing to the corridor in mixed-use developments. That would constitute a building boom in these parts.

And those three projects could eventually be joined by a fourth, just off Foster at SE 61st.

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As proposed, a three-story residential building would rise at 6103 SE Cora and offer 15 rental units. Tucked just off of Foster and within site of the proposed YMCA project, adding more housing to this corner of the neighborhood could help boost the commercial strip on either side of Foster—there’s Kilroy’s Tattoo, Tambayan Filipino restaurant, Backstory Books, Flat Blak and Latchkey galleries, and Wild at Heart Salon on one side of the street; Meticon bike shop, Nayar Taqueria, and vacant storefront on the other; Torta-landia and Botanica dispensary are just around the corner.

It’s unclear if the entire project would be built on one single lot, as Portlandmaps lists to properties at 6103 SE Cora—one is a single family home on a 5,000 square-foot lot, the other is a Comcast utility station also on a 5,000 square-foot lot. The former was recently sold in November, 2016, so we’ll assume that’s the property being developed. Stay tuned as more details emerge.


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From hogs to scooters–Foster’s quick evolution in photo

Well, how’s this for a contrast? The recent and ongoing evolution of Foster might best be captured in these two photos—remnants of the biker scene that existed not long ago, and the newly opened vegan restaurant that replaced a string of bars that have occupied the space (RIP Gemini Lounge!) over the years.

The Foster as we know it may very well be a thing of the past. Or not (as you only have to walk a couple blocks—if that—to find the refreshing grit that was once more prevalent).

But if it is, indeed, changing. This is the proof in the proverbial pudding.

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Throwback Thursday

You all know about Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk. But who remembers Foster Art Night, its earlier and unrelated incarnation that helped lay the foundation for a regular art event in the ‘hood?

I’m guessing not many.

Today we’re going back a half-decade, a time when Foster was still finding itself, was a little rougher around the edges, and folks were very content with the “unpolished cool” of a mostly-overlooked neighborhood on the fringes of SE Portland…one that had a vibrant-in-its-own-right night life and unlikely arts scene.

Now that I think about it, I miss that Foster.

Much love to the old Foster United crew, Crafty Underdog, and all the people and businesses that supported Foster Art Night back in the day. Here’s a look back at 2012 (click here for the original):

Foster Art Night is Nearly Upon Us

Time to do your Foster boogie.  This Saturday

Check the lineup.  Figure out when and where you’ll join in the fun.  The FAN fun.

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