A couple weeks ago, the Willamette Week included this snippet in their weekly scoop:
“WORLD FAMOUS FOR A REASON: In 2009, Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Cafe became the first cafe in the United States for state-authorized medical marijuana cardholders to socialize and safely medicate. The cafe quickly became legendary—it really was world famous—but after an upgrade to its Montavilla location, it closed in June 2014 after the city requested costly seismic improvements, and new laws eliminated the ability for patients to medicate onsite. Now that Measure 91 has passed, and anyone 21 and older will be allowed to consume marijuana on private property, the World Famous Cannabis Cafe is reopening. The new building will be on Southeast Foster Road, and founder Madeline Martinez, former executive director of NationalOrganization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ Oregon chapter, hopes to make it the best version yet. “Third time’s a charm,” she says.”
Obviously that caught our attention. But Foster is a long road. Very long. They could be setting up shop in Pleasant Valley for all we know. But then the Willy Week followed up the rumor with an article about the World Famous Cannabis Cafe’s owner, Madeline Martinez, in last week’s issue. Here, it is again reiterated that the shop will be on SE Foster, with some added details on what to expect:
“…The new cafe will be on Southeast Foster Road, and Martinez is looking forward to making it the best version yet. Former cafe customers can expect the reinstatement of stoner bingo during the day (“Seniors love that—and they always giggle when we call number 69,” Martinez says), standup comedy, and live blues and funk on weekends.”
Ok, this is definitely not happening in Pleasant Valley. So where, then, will it be?
We definitely have enough dispensaries. But this is a cafe—maybe there’s no competition between the two. If so, I’d venture to say we’re looking at somewhere between the Lents Town Center and SE 52nd.
So on a slow blogging day, let’s just take a few stabs in the dark:
– First, there’s the former dispensary at SE 61st and Foster. (And we’re not so sure it’s a former dispensary—as in, the once-dispensing-green-pharmacy that was there ceased to operate as a business, but barbed wire remains, as does the occasional coming and going of people.) The bones are there; space; history in the industry; multi-use building; heavily trafficked and near the active night/bar scene just a few blocks east.
– Second, we have the Bob White or Wurlitzer Warehouse. The Bob White’s recent sale was done so in a shroud of mystery. And even after the purchase….silence. If not the former theater, the Wurlitzer Warehouse behind it already has a makeshift bar setup (which can serve as a cafe counter); a stage for live music; and an industrial feel that might make such a use not so blatant near a residential area. And let’s not forget that Mr. Storie, the Bob White’s former owner who still has control of the Wurlitzer, once stated a passing interest in a grow operation in the space. Whether he was joking or not, the curiosity remains.
– Third, the mystery space next to Torta-landia (on the north side). Again, we’re not trying to start rumors, just posing hypothetical landing spots. While this space is not technically on Foster, it is only one block off the main thoroughfare. It’s also conveniently located next to (not one, but) two Mexican restaurants (Torta—duh—and Nayar Taqueria). Once home to a Kambucha company, renovations have been slowly going on for the last couple months (see frosted windows to the left) Oh, and we were recently told by someone that they thought storefront improvements on that space were to prepare for a proposed dispensary. If that rumor is true, could dispensary = WFCC?
Who knows. Maybe they plan to open at the former Fruit Face (on 92nd). Maybe they will be in Pleasant Valley after all. Maybe they’ll sandwich themselves between Henry Higgins Bagels and the future Cafe Red to throw everyone for a loop.
I suppose we’ll find out soon enough, at which point we’ll actually have real content to share, not just speculation fluff.