Farewell, Foster, it’s been fun.

Our time here is done, folks.

The love affair with Foster will continue, but the blog can now be stored away into the archives. Soon to be ancient history; a bygone era documented in blog form.

img_5779It’s been fun, y’all. And we consider ourselves quite fortunate to have experienced Foster from this vantage point. In our time, we’ve seen Foster change a lot—sometimes more than we prefer, and sometimes not as much as we’d like—all the while maintaining its rough-around-the-edges allure.

We’ll forever remember fondly the original Foster Art Night and the art salon above Bob and Alice’s (Starday Tavern); the sign guy in front of EuroClassic who danced feverishly on Foster years before they took their sign game to an unfortunate display of anti-Foster-improvement protest; Guapo Comics and Coffee; Gemini Lounge; the tweakers who ensured the Foster area wouldn’t become the next Alberta any time soon; Crazy Eddie; Smokey’s Tavern; LRSD breaking out their drums for occasional practice in front of O’Malley’s; when Pieper took over the space formerly known as Yo Mama’s Coffee and Tea; when Foster Plaza became more than just a poker room and head shop; when places like Knuckleheadz and other rough-and-tumble bars dominated the strip; when the last of the rough-and-tumble biker bars finally left Foster; when the Neighborhood Association put into motion changes and safety improvements soon to come to Foster (many, many moons ago with protest, pleading to the city, and townhalls including the likes of Sam Adams); the yearly “Fun on Foster” in Laurelwood Park, even if a sad display of low turnout; affordable housing; when Isaac Hayes’s likeness graced the outside of O’Malley’s in mural (now found inside); when we thought the Bob White Theater would live again with movies and live music; when we first had spam musubi to soak up the booze at Da Hui; when the Portland Mercado opened and proved to be the first domino to fall in Foster’s inevitable change.

No doubt, more change is on the way. And that is why we’re hanging our hat. Mixed-use development is coming; the Foster Streetscape Plan is less than a year from construction; there’s a brewery in the works; and a long-anticipated community market should be opening soon, too. All this is great, but it belongs to a new era and we simply don’t have the time or energy to document it. Instead, we’ll find our intrigue from the sidelines and enjoy the neighborhood as residents, not bloggers.

Before we sign off, we’d like to offer sincere thanks to all of our readers for following along in the journey. It’s been fun. And we get a kick out of the fact that others nerd out to all things Foster like us. Kudos to you.

We’d also like to thank all the local businesses who have been generous in sharing news, events and other happenings that gave us fodder for the blog. You have been instrumental in shaping Foster, and we couldn’t imagine a better core of small businesses to reflect the character of our neighborhood. We look forward to having a beer or coffee with you as neighbors, not the creepy writer always looking for news.

And finally, thanks to all of you keeping the spirit of Foster alive. It’s a funky place with funky people. And as Portland changes around us, I’ll take solace in the fact that Foster may always be just a little bit different. At least for now. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy it for what it is. And I’ll encourage you to stay neighborly, support your local businesses, and keep making the neighborhood as rad as rad can be.

Be cool, y’all. It’s been fun….

* If you’re looking for a fun way to stay connected to goings on in the hood via social media, check out these guys on Twitter: @FuckingFoster. They seem to strike the right balance between informative, snarky, and not taking themselves too seriously. 

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Welcome to your weekend, Foster people! We got sun, an art walk, a pub/restaurant crawl, and an opportunity to visit some of the neighborhood’s small businesses that you might otherwise not. Seems like a good weekend to make it out to the strip.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– We failed to mention in our post last week that Foster will soon be welcoming a Portland institution to the neighborhood: Crossroads Music. As reported by the Portland Mercury, the longtime SE Hawthorne record (and tapes, CDs, posters and audio equipment) store has now closed and already has a new home. Their new location at 8112 SE Harold is just behind Portland Fruit Company and Shimmers, and is anticipated to be open for business August 1.

– And speaking of epic moves to the neighborhood, it’s worth mentioning again that A.N.D. Cafe has officially moved (from its old location on Burnside) and merged with its sister restaurant, Off The Griddle. The merging now gives Foster another breakfast/brunch spot, and the new location means food will be served most of the day instead of just for dinner (with the exception of a two-hour gap between 2-4 pm).

– As we posted yesterday, Saturday should prove to be quite eventful for the Foster strip. The Foster Area Business Association, many local businesses, and the galleries who host the monthly art walk, are pairing events Saturday for a combined Art Walk and Foster Tasting Tour. You can read our post yesterday or check the Tasting Tour Facebook page here.

– SMART Collective is up and running at their new location. Check ’em out at 4533 SE 67th Ave, between Foster and Holgate.

– Have an idea to improve Foster or a neighborhood street through a collaborative, community-focused approach? Will it improve transportation safety, innovation, and offer a sense of placemaking? Need $20,000 to make it happen? Well, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for community groups to give money to for such a project. We urge any and all of you with an idea to network, reach out to the Neighborhood Association, Business Association, or other community groups to partner toward something potentially transformative in the the neighborhood. Read more about the grant opportunity here.

– Torta-landia is now open for lunch. Score one for the neighborhood mid-day eaters.

– Here’s your upcoming entertainment:
Second Saturday Foster Art Walk and Tasting Tourvarious locations, from 2 – 10 pm
Starday Tavern- Buzz Holland Band w/Paula Sinclair (6 pm) and Noah Peterson (9 pm), Friday night; Valley Soul, Saturday at 9 pm; Genghis Birthday Bash and Fundraiser, Sunday at 4 pm

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Foster gets busy this Saturday. You should, too!

Ok, here’s the gist of what your Saturday could and should look like.

Walk to Foster. Find a place to get a drink. Next, get a bite to eat. Check out one of several art galleries and small businesses in between.

Then do it all over again. Repeat at least two or three times, if not more.

Not much of a drinker, say you. No problem—just eat more and imbibe the arts. Not so much for the arts? Ok, check out our very own fortune cookie shop and see how the magic is made; explore the plethora of board games at Red Castle; get some used books. Either way, Foster’s got you covered. This is what we get when two neighborhood events collide for a grand dose of everything Foster.

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Foster Area Business Association / Starday Tavern – FB event listing for “Foster Tasting Tour”

Here’s the lowdown:

The second annual Foster Tasting Tour returns Saturday (2 – 10 pm) for a snapshot of the best that Foster has to offer. What we don’t have in the way of boutique spa treatments, artisanal pastas, and obscure Thai street food, can be made up with the abundance of quirky little gems dotted along the corridor. This year, the Foster Tasting Tour will touch on many of our neighborhood eateries, bars, and small businesses that run the spectrum of fortune cookies, used books, urban art, board games, stiff drinks, and a variety of diverse but inexpensive food. This is Foster, after all, so expect it to be a little funky, if not refreshingly un-pretentious. Check out the event link for more details.

To cap things off, the Foster Tasting Tour is coinciding with this month’s Second Saturday Foster Art Walk. So, in addition to food and drink and funky Foster businesses, you’ll also get a heavy dose of the local art scene. Several businesses and art galleries will be participating this month, with plenty of artistic diversity to capture all your interests.

Here’s what we know so far about the art walk:
Po Boy Art Gallery  James Flames art opening, 2-8 pm: art prints and rock posters by James Flames; several artists will be vending; DJ Joel Barber; beer and other refreshments
Flat Blak Gallery  Western Pop, 6-9 pm: original paintings by Rudi Broschoksy
Backstory Books  Sam Arneson, 5-9 pm: pet portraits
Latchkey Gallery  TBD
Off The Griddle  Jessie Jordan Art Opening, 4-8 pm
* It’s also worth noting that NWIPA always has art on display, and Pieper Cafe will have the art of Sheila Tracy on featured

So there you have it, folks. There’s a variety of art, food, drink, and rad Foster businesses on display for you. Our business district will only thrive as much as we let it, so show your support.

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News for your overcast Tuesday morning

We really needed that break.  But after a week and a half, Foster beckoned, and apparently there’s been some activity along the strip. We’ll try to get caught up here…

IMG_7864– First, we couldn’t help but to notice the new signage on the former Raven Ink Tattoo space. The “For Sale” sign has been replaced and the window signage advertising for available commercial space. This would indicate the building has been sold and the new owner will be renting out some of the storefront. There’s currently paper covering the windows, so we’ll assume there are some renovations happening inside. No word yet on who might already be lined up to occupy the building.

IMG_7889– While we’re talking renovations, it should also be noted that the long-vacant, infamously purple-and-yellow and graffiti-covered building at SE Boise/59th/Foster is getting a facelift. Literally. Not only have the windows been scrubbed clean of its graffiti, but the siding is quickly being removed. We’re unsure of what’s prompting the renovations, but it would appear at least one more commercial space on Foster may be added to the corridor. It should also be noted that the owner of the building also happens to own a restaurant downtown. We’re not saying the space is destined for a restaurant, and, for fear of getting too speculative, we won’t say more than that. Sorry to spark the rumor flames….

IMG_7863– In other commercial happenings, SMART Collective is slowly laying claim to their new space as they transition of their old storefront. While they’ll be missed along the quirky commercial strip that includes Pupdo’s Pet Grooming, I Heart Retro, and Futpool Portland, Smart Collective will be moving a few blocks away. Starting sometime in July, they’ll be occupying a space on SE 67th between Foster and Holgate. The space was recently home to BenWill art gallery.

IMG_7867– You all ready to party? The Foster Tasting Tour is back for round two. In its second year highlighting food and drink along the corridor, it will also coincide with Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk and show off several of the businesses along the strip. Last year it proved to be more of a pub crawl, while this year the scope will expand a bit. Fear not, there will be plenty of drinking, but it’ll be a good opportunity to show some love and support to other various businesses along the strip. July 8. Make it happen. And as a preview, here’s a list of some participating businesses: Backstory Books, Bar Carlo, Bar Maven, Barrio, Carts on Foster, Darling Press, Fat Self Center, Flat Blak Gallery, Foster Buds, Foster Burger, FoPo Tavern, Futpool Portland, La Arepa Cart, Portland Mercado, Nayar Taqueria, Pieper Cafe, Po’ Boy Art, Pod Bar, Red Castle Games, Starday Tavern. And we wouldn’t be surprised if a few more places joined in the festivities.

– Finally, we’ll wish farewell to Fat Yoga, who will be ending their tenure at 6340 SE Foster mid-July. The yoga studio and body positive center will be giving way to Fat Self Center, and will be carrying out some of the same self-love mission as the yoga studio before it. We don’t have many details, but if you click the link above, you’ll be able to read more about what’s to come.

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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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