Back in January we informed you all that Red Castle Games was taking over the world—well, conquering Foster—and that we’d love every minute of it. That claim was based on their planned expansion into the neighboring retail space, eventual creation of a late-night cafe, and their campaign to publish a new board game.
All big stuff for an aspiring game store on Foster.
We don’t know what happened to the board game, Big Fish River. And up until now, we didn’t know what happened to the expansion and cafe. We assumed it was a great idea that ran into bad timing.
….there were signs.
And now the timing couldn’t be better. In the six months that have passed since Red Castle announced plans to take over the last vacant space in Foster Plaza, we’ve seen a streetscape plan approved, a public market begin design and construction, and a couple business owners add some snaz to their storefronts (see Nayar and O’Malley’s). It’s as if our little stretch of Foster just swallowed a rad pill. Or we did, and just think this stuff is way cooler than it actually is.
Don’t expect it to stop. More is to come on Foster, spurred on by none other than what we’re already seeing: a strong (albeit small) core of local businesses, pride of place, and some city investment.
But about that coffee shop. Here’s our run-down from January:
“Red Castle will be taking over the last vacant space, and Foster will soon have its first board game-themed cafe. If for some reason you don’t think that’s rad, Lord help you. But if you need convincing, I’ll try. First, let’s remember that a few years ago this plaza was poker, pot, and two empty storefronts. Second, Red Castle Games may be the only consistent business that draws people to Foster who 1) aren’t necessarily from the neighborhood, 2) aren’t trying to score meth or scrap metal, 3) aren’t either drinking alcohol or coffee/tea, and 4) know what a “malifaux” and a “twink” is.
“Ok, so about this cafe. The idea is to create cross business with the game store, while also drawing people in who may not have otherwise been exposed to the joys of gaming. The intention, too, is not to compete with existing coffee shops, and thus will be more of a late-night hang. Anticipated hours of operation will be 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.. So there it is, Foster’s sole evening venue that doesn’t revolve around alcohol or under-age raving.”
And now for the first time in many, many years, Foster Plaza will be at full capacity. With the cafe and game store, they’re joined by the already existing martial arts studio and office for Portland Ketchup Company.
We may now be at the point where demand for usable commercial space is exceeding the supply. Cross your fingers some of the now-vacant spaces along Foster turnover for rent or purchase, because it looks like we’re in a growth pattern.