Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Welcome back to the weekend. We’ve got food for you, live music, news, and a recap of what’s been going on in the neighborhood. Unfortunately we couldn’t do better with the weather, though.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– New art studio in the neighborhood: BenWill / Studio. Sandwiched between Foster and Holgate on SE 67th (4533 SE 67th), the art studio-in-the-making will feature the work of Benjamin Williamson, who’ll set up shop only a few doors north of Performance Works NW. And with mixed-use space across the street available for rent, this side-street off of Foster is starting to add some energy. When complete, the studio will be primarily work space, but will open for events (time to bring back a Foster art night?) and appointments. And for those that didn’t know, there’s another art/work studio in the neighborhood: well known artist, Mel Katz, privately makes his art in the space next to Fat Yoga. And while Katz’s studio is private and mostly closed to the public, it goes to show there’s a definite arts scene in the neighborhood. Welcome, BenWill.

– A lot of people have been wondering, so we’ll just get this out of the way: the word is, Henry Higgins Bagels should be open within the next two weeks. Until then, and even after, don’t forget that Peiper Cafe has your morning bagels, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches covered, too.

– Speaking of food, Elizabeth Rose, from Examiner.com, recently visited and wrote about the Portland Mercado. And she seems to confirm the consensus: good food, good vibes, good for the neighborhood. We can’t argue with that.

– Oh, and speaking of the Mercado, there will be live music this afternoon/evening (Alex Li of Grupo Chayag) and most of Sunday (Oscar “Tito” Amaya, 12-3, and Barbaro Xavier imageTaveras, 4:30-7).

– And speaking of live music (we’re just gonna roll with these segues), how could you not go to this (right)? O’Malley’s brings it. For sure.

– Speaking of…(just kidding). So, we spoke earlier this week of plans for the YMCA (at 6036 SE Foster) to get a complete rebuild with the addition of multi-unit housing on the site. We’ve heard a range of opinions on it, from fears of over-crowding and another trigger for increased rents and property values, to fears of declining property values on adjacent streets and a distaste for the design and aesthetics of the proposal. We also heard cheer for increased housing, hopes for more affordable rental units, and excitement over new investment and growth along the corridor. We’ll try to follow along with the plans to keep you all updated, but it’ll be important to keep the conversation going, as I’m sure this won’t be a developers’ last foray into the neighborhood. The more folks talk about these things, the more neighbors’ concerns, hopes, and fears are brought to the table. To go a step further, you can take these issues (even if to voice support) to Neighborhood Association and Business Association meetings, and places like SEUL--they’re all designed to advocate for the people (or businesses) who comprise those organizations.

– We also learned this week that Starday Tavern is for sale. This goes along with a potentially pending (completed?) sale of the Bob White Theater, a Cafe Red still in wait-and-see mode, newly-available retail space next to Cafe Red-to-be, and the ever-waiting-to-open Henry Higgins. For a burgeoning district, there’s a lot of flux and limbo. But back to Starday…music venue, potential for a restaurant, booze, and an established night/social scene in the surrounding area. Sounds like a good opportunity for someone who can get their hands on a $100,000 loan.

– Live music for the weekend:
Portland Mercado- Friday afternnon/evening and most of Sunday (12-3 and 4:30-7), multiple musicians
Starday Tavern- Radio Wold and Three For The Silver, Friday; David Stoops and Ryan Freeman, and HollowDog, Saturday
O’Malley’s- Dwight Dickenson, Raw Dog and the Close Calls, Last Shot, and Mr. Plow…Saturday

As always, let us know what else is happening in the neighborhood. Be cool, be safe.

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