Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Well, this might be the weekend of summer weekends. There’s a lot–A LOT–happening in the neighborhood, and it’ll be hot and sunny unlike any stretch we’ve seen this summer. Enjoy it folks. Check out the news and tidbits below…

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– In case anybody’s in to burgers and fanatically eats them in abundance during yearly Portland Burger Week, Foster Burger is again a participant. You have through this weekend to get in on it.

– Speaking of Burgers, quick shout-out to Angry Unicorn. These dudes not only slang amazing burgers at Carts on Foster, but they’ve also set up shop recently at Foster Buds and Starday Tavern. Combined with the occasional food cart parked in front of NWIPA, I’d have to say this is a trend worth supporting and hoping for more of. The night/bar/street scene in the “Heart of Foster” can absolutely support it food carts, and it only adds more vibrancy.

– So about this weekend. There are multiple events, many of which overlap on Saturday to make for an epic lineup of music and art on Foster. First, tonight’s action: Bar Carlo will be celebrating the opening of their adjoining record shop, Foster Sound. Their will be DJs in the house making use of all the new (used?) records and playing some good music for you all from 6 – 10 pm.

– Tomorrow brings us music and art gallore. The music will come (mostly) courtesy of Volume Bomb Records’ event, This is Portland Not Portlandia. That event will bring 29 bands to Da Hui, Double Treble, Starday Tavern and O’Malley’s. SMART Collective will be hosting an all-ages musical lineup, too, and Green Noise Records will have a band playing in-shop as part of their participation in Second Saturday Foster Art Walk. That brings the total number of bands performing on Foster tomorrow to well over 30. Wow, just wow!

– But the art, too! In addition to the live music on Foster tomorrow evening, the following galleries/shops are hosting August’s installment of Second Saturday Foster Art Walk: Flat Blak, Latchkey, Green Noise Records, Backstory Books, Po Boy Art and Outlier Gallery. In addition, Bar Carlo is showing the art work of Jadene Mayla, whose acrylic paintings will be on display. This showing should bridge the geographic gap between the galleries on the western stretch of Foster to BenWill Gallery on SE 67th (just north of Foster). BenWill is having a preview show for all the local artists participating in PDX Open Studios. And for shits and giggles, it’s worth noting that Richard Melloy’s art work is still on display at NWIPA. By our count, that’s nine galleries/shops for you to stop in at.

– The former Busy Bee lot at (roughly) SE 51st and Foster, just next to Speedboat Coffee, now has a fence lining its perimeter. As far as we know, this has nothing to do with the planned development of a four-story mixed-use building on the site. Rather, enough complaints about a homeless camp on the gravelly lot finally forced the City and property owner to address neighbors’ concerns. The result: dumpsters and fencing showed up a couple days ago and the campers got the boot. We’d have to say this is a microcosm of what’s going on all across the city.

– Hammer and Jacks is now open. The kids toy store and play space rounds out the commercial plaza that also includes Henry Higgins Bagels, Rose and Dagger Tattoo, and Red Castle Games. With a coffee shop (Pieper), new record store (Foster Sound), multiple bars and places to eat (NWIPA, Da Hui, O’Malley’s, Bar Carlo, Starday, Bar Maven), a yoga studio and soon-to-be community market, we’d say that the “Heart of Foster” is looking pretty healthy these days. And lets not forget that it’s book-ended with I Heart Retro, SMART Collective, a family-friendly taproom in the works and the Portland Mercado on the east, and more restaurants (Nayar, Torta, Tambayan), bars (FoPo Tavern) and retail (Green Noise, Velvet Goldmine, Backstory, art galleries and pot dispensaries) to the west, Foster’s looking pretty good these days. (And that’s just a small sampling–we didn’t even touch the cluster of rad businesses further west and east.)

Have a good weekend, y’all. Try to stay cool.

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Foster Sound and Bar Carlo Celebrate the Opening of New Record Shop

Well, we already planned your Saturday evening. Might as well let us cover your Friday night, too.

imageBar Carlo is partying. And they have every right to, just as you do. And you should. The double-sized restaurant, bar, famed brunch spot, and overall rad neighborhood joint is set to be part record shop, too. They will still be all of the aforementioned things except “double-sized restaurant.” They’ll now be regular-sized restaurant, bar, famed brunch spot, overall rad neighborhood joint AND record store. Welcome, everybody, to Foster Sound.

Party with them to show how much you like the addition. (Or party with them just ’cause you like them.)

Foster Sound will be making its official opening this Friday (tomorrow, guys). The party starts at 6pm and goes until 10. DJ’s…there will be DJ’s. And records, of course.

Be there.

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Let us Help you Plan Your Saturday

There is no more “Fun on Foster,” the once yearly street fair that brought vendors to Laurelwood Park and celebrated our local business district. It’s ok, though, we can leave that to the Belmonts and Divisions and Mississippis.

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SMART Collective all-ages music venue

Foster is unlike any other business district in Portland. And as such, we don’t need to replicate what’s already being done elsewhere…and probably better than we could anyway.

That doesn’t mean we don’t get down, though. Indeed, we do. And we don’t just do it once a year. This is Foster, after all, and we’ve seen impromptu drumming performances take over the street; SantaCon turn Foster into its sinful North Pole; holiday tree-lightings that follow a rolling, artificial tree named Twiggy up and down the strip; meager art walks and rad art walks; pot-themed farmer’s markets; pub crawls.

And in the spirit of keeping Foster as Foster as it can be, with its grime and edge to balance the up-and-coming trajectory that we know to be true, a few bands will be celebrating the anti-Portlandia vibe that still tends to resonate in the neighborhood.

Actually, 29 bands. And when all’s said and done, there will probably be more.

That’s right, at least 29 bands will be performing on Foster this Saturday.

IMG_4677Welcome to “This is Portland Not Portlandia,” Foster’s first-of-its-kind music festival that celebrates a character that is unchanged by the growing fantasy-land that surrounds us. As one of the organizers, Saint Frank’s music states on Facebook about the event:
       “…This is a festival for the side of Portland that thrives in the darkness and laughs at life’s challenges. They will not be paved over with sunny urban lofts and plastered with cute little bird stickers! They shall remain and continue to rock!”

That’s all we needed to hear. But if you want to hear more, this is what we know:

29 bands will make up a musical lineup that will bring live music to O’Malley’s, Da Hui, Starday Tavern and Double Treble. That’s the official billing. Unofficially, SMART Collective will get in on the action, too, with their own assortment of bands rockin’ an all-ages compliment. Bands will perform through the night at the above venues starting at 5:30 this Saturday, August 13. Volume Bomb Records appears to be the official organizer, though Saint Franks music, too, seems to be playing a big role in bringing the bands to Foster. $5.00 wrist bands will get you access to all of the venues. Here’s the official event listing on Facebook.

So that’s the big event. But there’s more.

PoBoy

Po Boy Art Framing and Gallery will be participating in Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk

While we’re planning your Saturday evening, let’s not forget that August 13 also happens to be the second Saturday of the month, which brings us the latest installment of Foster’s monthly art walk. Second Saturday Foster Art Walk is decidedly more family friendly than the music fest, so if you have kids, you don’t have an excuse to not come out Saturday.

Check out the following:

– Flat Blak Gallery, as they host a pre-release party for a new Penny Edition;
– Po Boy Art Framing & Gallery, with featured art from Dan Stiles, as well as the work of other artists, DJ Joel Barber, and a live performance by Foster Kids;
– Latchkey Gallery with, among others, the work of LeRoy Gertz;
PDXOS– Green Noise Records, where Gleam Garden (from Japan) will perform live, and the work of Portland zine artist, Keith Henderson, will be on display;
– BenWill Gallery will be hosting a Portland Open Studios Preview Show, which will showcase local artists Cedar Lee, Nicole Bereczki, Shawn Demarest, Kelli MacConnell, Alison O’Donoghue, Ben Will, Jill Torberson, Vicki Wilson, and John Shlichta;
– We might as well mention that the work of local artist, Richard Melloy, is prominently on display and worth your perusing at NWIPA.

So that’s your Saturday evening in a long-winded blog post. There’s action from SE 56th to 67th. In a nutshell: live music at SMART Collective, O’Malley’s, Da Hui, Starday Tavern, Double Treble, as well as at Green Noise Records and Po Boy Art (in conjunction with Second Saturday Art Walk); art featured at Flat Blak Gallery, Latchkey Galleries, Green Noise Records, Po Boy Art, NWIPA, and BenWill Gallery.

Clear your schedule, get a babysitter, do what you need to do.

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Macro Brewfest Returns

It’s coming…
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More details to come.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

The weekend is upon us, and it looks like we’ll get a bit of a respite from the blazing sun. It’s still going to be warm and sunny, though, so hopefully you all find a way to get out and enjoy the neighborhood.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– As we mentioned before, Hammer and Jacks is set to open next week. August 10 is the targeted opening date, with the grand opening celebration set for August 27. If you’re a breeder with kids, you should probably make it out for both of those dates.

– We have art coming. So here’s the deal: Richard Melloy currently has his work on display at NWIPA; Darling Press is hosting an art opening tonight at Foster Row; BenWill Gallery is hosting the PDX Rube Goldberg Project at his studio tomorrow; Second Saturday Foster Art Walk is next weekend. Foster arts, y’all. Who’d a thunk?

– This week we posted about the possible relocation of Red Castle Games. First, we’ll just say a move is not imminent. Secondly, any possible move in the near future would be contingent on them closing a deal to purchase property for a new location. They’re currently working on the latter, with an environmental review underway as part of the process to acquire property at 6050 SE Foster. There’s a long way to go before this could become reality, but we’ll cross our fingers in the meantime. Meanwhile, they are still operating and will continue to do so in their regular location in Foster Plaza.

– Did we mention the art walk next Saturday? Oh, yeah, we did, but we didn’t mention that BenWill Gallery will also be participating in the event, which makes at least four galleries—Latchkey, Flat Blak, and Po Boy Art being the others—that will be open for the event. If Outlier Gallery brings its mobile gallery to Foster, that will make five in addition to the other businesses that participate, namely Green Noise Records and Backstory Books.

– But there’s more. In addition to next Saturday’s art walk, Foster will also be the scene of a multi-venue music festival, with over 24 bands performing at O’Malley’s, Starday Tavern, Double Treble and Da Hui; SMART Collective will have an all-ages event, too. We’ll provide more information on this at the beginning of next week.

– It’s been a while since we’ve provided updates on the Foster-Powell Community Garden. Folks, they’ve been fully operational for a year now. Crazy! The great folks behind the garden have done wonders with the formerly vacant lot, as well as the neighborhood overall. Not only should you check it out, but you should show some love back by helping at their August 20th work party. You can read more about it and the garden here.

– If you’re at all curious about the proposed mixed-use, affordable housing development at SE 72nd and Foster, you can access the minutes from a recent community meeting about the project: here.

– One last thing to put on your radar: the record store at Bar Carlo is opening soon. There will be a party to celebrate, but you’ll have to wait on details. Just assume it’ll be sometime toward the end of next week.

– Here’s your weekend entertainment:
Starday Tavern- Buzz Holland Band (6pm) and Hey Lover // White Glove // Manglor Mountain (9pm), Friday night; Livy Conner (6pm) and One Year Anniversary Extravaganza (9pm), Saturday night; Digisaurus, 7 pm, Sunday
Darling Press Studio- First Friday at Darling Press (wine, art, live music), tonight at 7 pm
BenWill Gallery- PDX Rube Goldberg Project, Saturday at 1 pm
Da Hui- Karaoke, Thursday nights. Just sayin…you guys are sleepin’ on Da Hui if you’re not frequenting it already
O’Malley’s- Trivia every Thursday night

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Former Auto Shop on Foster Finds Potential Buyer, Hopefully Environmental Inspection Doesn’t Get In Way

It was nearly three months ago when we posted that the land and former auto shop at 6050 SE Foster was for sale. In that time, developers, small business owners, and everyone in between has inquired on the property. After all, 10,000 square-feet within a couple blocks of the “Heart of Foster” should be considered prime real estate.

But it was one of our own, a local business with strong ties to the neighborhood, and one that has already made its mark on Foster, that just might have made the winning bid.

Ok, they actually did make the “winning” offer; the sale is now pending. But with the property once serving as an auto repair center, and with assumed pollution that comes with such a business, there are environmental issues that must first be addressed before a sale can go through. With that being said, if environmental cleanup is relatively small—shall we say, not too financially exorbitant—it’s quite possible that Red Castle Games will have a permanent home on Foster.

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Google Maps — 6050 SE Foster

Before we go any further, we should provide this disclaimer: the sale is pending, but there are a lot of “what-ifs” before the deal closes. In addition, the game store’s owner, Matthew Mičetić, felt it important to stress that there is no guarantee they’ll acquire the property with the many layers of process ahead. And as such, he wants to avoid any unnecessary disappointment if a deal cannot be had.

With that being said, there is reason for hope—even if just the idea that a permanent home base on Foster is something Red Castle is prioritizing. Because they are. Mičetić is very aware of the potential Foster has, and he has already invested a lot of his time, energy and resources (as business owner and chair of the Foster Area Business Association) in the district. They don’t plan on going anywhere. But they also know that rising rents on retail space will always be a burden. Hence the desire to own their own space.

The property in question currently has a free-standing building on it, sandwiched between the Y-Arts Center to the west and Paldo Market to the east. The existing building is comparable in size to Red Castle’s current space in Foster Plaza, though they’d be acquiring a sizable chunk of land in addition. That’s significant. And with a growing retail presence just a block and a half west (i.e. Backstory Books, Velvet Goldmine, Green Noise Records, and the multiple art galleries), they’d fit right in.

As far as we understand it, the environmental review will take 30 days, upon which a determination will be made to enter a second phase of environmental inspection or not. If the latter, there’s a high likelihood Red Castle will be moving to new digs sooner than later. If a second phase is required, more time will be spent determining just how extensive and expensive the cleanup will be. I believe that’s when things will get tricky. But with both a willing buyer and seller, there’s reason to be optimistic.

We won’t hold our breath, but we’ll certainly stay (eagerly) posted for updates.

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