News and happenings for the new year…

And we’re back.

After an ice storm, an entire holiday season, the turn of a new year, and a snow-induced city shutdown, we finally decided to pick up the old blogging pen. We hope you’ve all been well.

News has been mostly slow, and we’ve been mostly distant from local goings-on, but we thought we’d take a stab at some news and happenings.

img_6742Here goes it…

– As some of you may have noticed, Futpool Portland is now a thing. We discussed it a couple months ago when Eliseo, the owner of Nayar Taqueria, first started moving forward with his idea for a soccer-themed recreation space (and bar?). But in that time, abnormally cold weather prevented much of the renovations from happening—new flooring and its adhesive can’t be installed if temperatures are too low, windows don’t typically get replaced in inclement weather, and many services weren’t operating. With that being said, progress has been made. We’ll get you more details as they come.

– For those in party mode, Bar Carlo is your spot for Wednesday revelry. It’s hard to believe that Bar Carlo has been serving the neighborhood for 10 years, and that proprietress extraordinary, Mel, has been holding it down strong for a full decade. Celebrate their anniversary, as well as Mel’s birthday, this Wednesday with DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, dancing, drinks, and snacks. Do it, gang…even if just to show some love for Mel and her crew. 7 p.m tomorrow, y’all!

Bread and Roses Market is still in the works. We don’t blame you for being somewhat skeptical after a late-summer expected opening turned into a mid-fall expected opening, and then the winter months crept in without a market. Fear not, though, as the owner has, IMG_6744.JPGindeed, been hard at work prepping the community market-to-be. As previously mentioned, plans originally called for market space for healthy grocery items; fresh-squeezed juices; a coffee and deli counter; a sitting area; places for children to hang while their parents shop; and additional space for some form of community use. We are unsure how those plans have evolved, but we have it on good word that the one-man army painting, installing equipment, and building the space out, is making progress. Look for an opening sometime in the spring.

– Speaking of spring, we hear the planned mixed-use development 5054 SE Foster is expected to happen this year…possibly as early as this spring. We don’t have any confirmation on this, but it’s also worth noting that the same owners of the former Busy Bee lot, according to PortlandMaps, own property across the street, too. And with several other developments planned for Foster, we halfway expect this to be one of the first dominoes to fall in a changing landscape for the corridor.

– The excited anticipation for Off The Griddle, which will open in the former Double Treble (and Gemini Lounge, and Lizards, and Reno’s) space, continues. But hopefully not for much longer. The owners are crossing their fingers for a February opening, but even if it’s March, the wait is almost over. And it should be well worth it.

– And finally, on the other side of the neighborhood, Coaster’s, the local-as-local-can-get bar next door to 7-Dee’s Garden Center on Powell will soon be no longer. It’s a sad day for those in favor of local dive bar’s seemingly from yesteryear. Others may not even notice. We will, though. In an odd twist, however, the former owners of Club 21 (on Sandy Blvd) have purchased the bar and, according to the Willy Week, will be transferring Club 21’s decor to the Coaster’s space and re-naming it “Lay Low Tavern.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays, Foster People!

Um, it just dawned on us: Foster is the Portland equivalent to the North Pole’s “Island of Misfit Toys.”

As such, get your holidays on Foster-style. Bars and toy stores, banh mi and bagels, tattoos and game stores, tweakers, Twiggy the secular holiday tree, hipsters, strippers and artists, pot shops, brunch, the young and old, food from all corners of the globe, festive, not-so-festive, and all the glory in between.

Just how we like it.

We hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend, surrounded by loved ones and good vibes. We wish you a strong finish to the year, and a happy and healthy start to 2017.

Catch you in January, y’all.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

7 Dees property in store for large development, transformation

For those keeping tabs on the Powell side of the neighborhood, we’ve just learned of plans to develop 900 units of…

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-1-14-15-pm

Early Assistance Intakes–City of Portland, BDS

…of…of…

…self-storage.

Self-storage?

Yes, self-storage. 900 units.

Let that sink in.

Where, you ask?

6025 SE Powell Boulevard, currently known as Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Center.

It was this time last year that we posted about the 2-acre landscaping and garden center dividing its property for some kind of development. At the time, the proposal was to split the property, leaving half to remain as a garden center and the other divided into 9 sub-lots. It was presumed those 9 sub-lots would then be developed into homes to neighbor the remaining nursery.

A year later, the 9-lot subdivision appears to be morphing into plans for a three-story self-storage building. According to the city’s Early Assistance Intake list for the week, the three-story development would have 900 self-storage units and include parking and landscaping. It is not clear whether this development is tied to the subdivision application from last year, and, as such, we don’t know if the project is to encompass only part of the original 7 Dees property or a much larger portion. Hopefully we’ll learn soon what will become of the nursery.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Happy Weekend, Foster People!

It’s rare that the city gets two doses of winter-shut-down in a season. But here we are, a week later, and our second round of school/office closures and traffic-issues-galore has given many an extra long weekend. Or, if not, a lot of headache. We hope you’ve all found a way to enjoy the snow somehow.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– For a long time, it was hard to imagine just exactly what Foster’s growth trajectory was. Was it doomed to a fate of awkward, angular thoroughfare that was just close-in enough to be attractive but far enough out to be forgotten? Were we headed toward some massive renewal with fancy streetscape and business and buildings, only to transform in a way that many would not be comfortable with? Somewhere in between, where we retain our character but get some added amenities and spiffy additions that allow us to walk or bike to all that we need without really ever having to leave? It’s still unknown, but the changes-to-come are starting to take shape. We’ve posted a lot on planned developments and  potential new businesses recently. Here’s a recap of potential projects/additions in the pipeline: restaurant (Off The Griddle); market (Bread and Roses); indoor soccer bar (Futpool Portland); brewery (in former Paldo Market); remodel of 7-11 and former Winly building; mixed-use commercial/affordable housing project across from Portland Mercado; rebuild of YMCA with 54 units of housing in 4-story building; mixed-used development of former Busy Bee lot. Wow.

– With Christmas coming, some of you may feel the urge to shop. Might we suggest keeping your money in the neighborhood? Here’s a primer of all the things you can buy as gifts along the corridor: records, records, records; art, art, art; board games; role playing games; pot; craft beers; kids’ toys and games; bikes; gift certificates to several restaurants/bars/cafes; retro furniture, decor, and personal items; a variety of gifts from Latin America; locally made craftwork; used books and yarn; guitars and assorted musical equipment; art supplies. There’s something for everyone…and way more than we’ve listed. (And if your loved one is in to auto tune-ups, muffler repairs or granite countertops, Foster’s got you there too.)

– And while we’re plugging our local businesses, know that several are waiting to warm you up with a coffee, drink, or meal this iced-over weekend. Hit ’em up and get cozy.

– The Portland Mercado is hosting a weekend-long holiday party, with an array of food, music, craft-making, gift-buying, and lots of merriment. Check them out anytime Saturday and/or Sunday after 9 a.m.

–  We’re short on news this week, so let’s get into your weekend entertainment (weather permitting, of course, so double check with the venue):
SMART Collective- Dead Coyote//Sounding by Fathom//The Centaurs, Friday from 7-11 pm
Starday Tavern- Buzz Holland Band Happy Hour w/Paula Sinclair (6 pm) and “Tony Boardwalk is Turning 40” Birthday Gig (8 pm), Friday; La Rivera (6 pm) and Sixth Annual Holiday Spectacular (9 pm), Saturday; A Festive Evening w/J.C. Ruminski and Friends, Sunday at 9 pm
Portland Mercado- Fiesta Navideña, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am until after 5 pm
Hallowed Halls- Musician’s Day Off Holiday Party, Saturday from 4-8 pm
Performance Works NW- Complicated Women, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm; GIFTS, Sunday at 7 pm

Enjoy the weekend, y’all. Stay warm.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foster commercial building to get snazzy new upgrade

Foster’s on a roll these days.

In successive weeks, we’ve posted on the following:
– Updated plans to develop the vacant lot at 5045 SE Foster into a four-story, mixed-use building with ground-floor commercial space and 33 units of housing
– Plans to renovate Paldo Market and convert the use from market/office into restaurant and brewery
– Conditional use review for updated plans to rebuild the YMCA building at 6036 SE Foster and add 54 units of housing in a three and four-story mixed-use structure

The transformation doesn’t stop there. According to an Early Assistance Intake with the city’s Bureau of Development Services, the 7-11 (and former Winly’s Cash & Carry) space is about to be remodeled. And after digging a little, that remodel may result in something resembling the rendering below:

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-8-58-12-pm

Woodblock Architecture — Foster Retail envisioning

Sure, it’s still a strip mall. It’s still 7-11 and company. And, sure, it could be any mini commercial plaza you’d find in Tuscon or Medford or Beaverton. But at least it won’t be this anymore:

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-8-58-57-pm

Google Image for 6144 SE Foster

And with a spruced up space, perhaps the former Blockbuster Video will find more stable tenants after seeing a failed attempt by a mattress store, then Winly Cash and Carry after that. And by the looks of the rendering, perhaps there will be multiple tenant spaces, which could enliven that mini strip mall a bit.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-8-59-18-pm

Early Assistance Intake–Portland Bureau of Development Services

Woodblock Architecture, the architects behind the renovations, have a lengthy history of commercial redevelopment. It is unknown if they’ll qualify for or utilize the PDC’s assistance for storefront improvements.

Woodblock will combine (presumably) with Steelhead Architecture and Leeb Architects to transform the block-long stretch that will include the aforementioned 7-11 building, as well as the Paldo and YMCA spaces respectively. (The auto shop at 6050 SE Foster—once a target of Red Castle Games—was recently on the market, too. It is unknown whether they ultimately found a buyer and, if so, what plans are for the space.)

Change is a’coming, folks.

Posted in News, etc., Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Weekend, Foster People!

For all those that got a long weekend because of the snow/ice, well done. For those that didn’t, bummer—hang in there, the weekend is nearly upon us. We should thaw out soon enough, and there are a few things to get into in the neighborhood…so enjoy.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Since Powell Boulevard does form our northern boundary, we sometimes have to remind ourselves to stray from our love affair with Foster to represent all corners of the neighborhood. On that note, check out the neighborhood’s newest bar, Local 66 Bar and Grill. We haven’t been in yet, so we can’t vouch for it. They’ll have some work to do to shed the curse of that location, but a new bar in the neighborhood is always worth checking out. Let us know what you think.

– We’ll put together a running list of local businesses to shop at for the holidays next week, but we figured we’d throw this out there: rumor has it that I Heart Retro may or may not be your local source for ugly sweaters. Just sayin’…

– If you’re not turned off by the rain—or even if you are—check out your local art galleries and other small businesses for this Saturday’s Foster Art Walk. More info here.

– The big news recently is the spate of new businesses and development projects in the pipeline for Foster. We’ve mentioned some of the expected business openings—Bread & Roses Market, Off The Griddle, Futpool Portland, and possibly a new restaurant and brewery to name a few—but there are a few mixed-use residential projects in the works, too. We wrote about plans to rebuild the YMCA and add 54 units of housing (at 6036 SE Foster) earlier this week.

– And speaking of new businesses, celebrate with Kaah Market as they open their new carniceria inside Portland Mercado’s market hall. They’ll be joining in celebration with Jouk Li Jou Haitian Cookshack Cafe, who will be celebrating their grand opening too.

Here’s your upcoming entertainment:
SMART Collective- Penalty Kick / Ah God / Grandfather / Rod & Frenz, Friday from 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Starday Tavern- Texadrine w/Billy Kennedy (6 pm) and Radio Phoenix (9 pm), Friday; Turbo Foster 80’s Night w/DJ Wretched, Saturday at 10 pm; Peter Knudsen Trio, Sunday at 9 pm; The Modulators, Tuesday at 6 pm
Portland Mercado- Grand Opening of Kaah Neighborhood Meat Shop and Jouk Li Jou Haitian food cart, 10 am – 8 pm
Various locations on Foster- Second Saturday Art Walk, 5 – 9 pm

Enjoy the weekend, all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment