Does anybody remember Grandma’s Funky Furniture?
They operated on the corner of SE 63rd and Foster, just next to Round Table Pizza and below the towering, yet often overlooked four-story Berg Christian Enterprises building. It was a brief moment in Foster history. But not so brief that Grandma’s didn’t continue making its mark in the neighborhood. After shuttering the SE 63rd location, Grandma’s Funky Furniture relocated to SE 73rd and Foster, where they continued selling used (and, yes, funky) furniture, though mostly of the outdoor (and decidedly more rusty) variety.
Their location at 7337 SE Foster was also brief and, before long, the used outdoor furniture that dotted the lot was replaced by used cars. It had multiple names over the last few years, but it’s mostly been home to used cars since.
Cool story, right.
Well, we’re actually going somewhere with this. Perhaps some of you have noticed that A-Boy Plumbing across the street has now also began stocking their lot with cars for sale. And there, it wasn’t long ago that A-Boy’s adjoining asphalt lot was home to an outdoor garden center. That didn’t work out too well for them, so they moved the plants and began renting cargo/moving vehicles a couple years ago. Apparently that wasn’t so lucrative either, hence the newish lot full of cars for sale. See, most places on Foster have gotten nicer. In fact, you only have to look a half block to the west, where One Inch Round and Badge Bomb have fixed up the former Lansing Linoleum building and began producing and selling an assortment of badges, magnets, and stickers. Or the more obvious example across the street from Badge Bomb, where the Portland Mercado has forever improved Foster.
Back to A-Boy and the former Grandma’s Funky Furniture lot. All of the sudden Foster has its own dealership row. For those that don’t know, car dealerships was supposed to be that part of Foster’s past, not present—after all, the Portland Mercado now sits on what was once the deserted remnants of Metro Auto Wholesale.
Perhaps someone didn’t get the memo that Foster will soon be losing some auto lanes.
Things might be changing, though. The lot west of the Mercado is slated to make way for a hundred apartments and retail space. And now we’re learning, as per an early assistance intake, the lot at 7337 SE Foster, where Grandma’s once called home, and across the street from A-Boy, could soon become a dental building.
We know, that was a lot of buildup for news of a dental building. But we like to think of it as addition by subtraction. And if the end result is jobs, customers, and people getting good dental care, all the better. Right? Right. Plus one less car dealership.
Now consider the positive change, even if in a long, circuitous route: former auto dealership becomes vacant lot, eventually making way for the Portland Mercado; former linoleum shop gets renovated nicely and sells funky and artistic schwag in the form of stickers, magnets and badges; grimy furniture store turns car dealership turns new dental building; vacant lot becomes mixed-use apartment and retail building.