In the last month, quite a few businesses opened their doors for the first time, including a new garage operated by a fellow who'll try to repair your bicycle within a 12-hour time frame, so you can ride it home from work. But some of these new businesses are actually old businesses undergoing various forms of expansion by either building up (Nuvrei Pastries is now also Nuvrei Pâtisserie & Café) or building out (Laughing Planet Café, Bunk Sandwiches). So get on your bike and explore, while the weather lasts, all things north, south, east and west.
Photo: Levy Moroshan
For the last year, hungry lunchers and famished late-nighters could order up quick eats from the figurative and literal hole-in-the-wall at the back of the Couture Lounge. A year later, the folks at Couture have decided that take-out simply isn't enough. Now, diners can meet to enjoy C Burger's menu in style, as Couture is opening its doors to the lunching public weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You'll still find your favorites like burgers, fries and buttermilk onion rings, but now they're offering salmon burgers, turkey burgers and entrée salads. Of course, the hole-in-the-wall will remain open Wednesday-Saturday until 3 a.m.
C Burger, 28 NW 4th Ave., 503.206.8866
Nuvrei Pâtisserie & Café
To complement its subterranean kitchen, Nuvrei—artisan bakers of all things sweet—just opened the doors to its new cafe and espresso bar. Included among the many new items Nuvrei now offers are lunch samplings like chicken, tuna, PBJ and Bratwurst sandwiches, as well as niçoise, shrimp endive and prosciutto endive salads. And, all day, every day, they offer breakfast dishes like quiche, bagels and croque monsieurs. Of course, they still serve up plenty of pastries, too. The space may be small, with interior seating for as many as eight or nine, but when the weather's fair, Nuvrei can seat you outdoors along 10th Avenue.
Nuvrei Pâtisserie & Café, 404 NW 10th Ave., 503.972.1700
Poseidon Seafood Bar & Grill
Until this year, the large, open space at the corner of W Burnside and NW 5th Avenue was home to the the inauspicious Cabaret Lounge. But within a matter of months, the joint has been renovated and painted to seat large parties of Portlanders eager for seafood. Among the many items on Poseidon's long menu are tilapia, steelhead, oysters, halibut, paella, sushi and fish 'n' chips, as well as cheeseburgers, steaks, pastas, salads, and bread bowls carved out to hold their chowders and daily soups. Of course, you can also choose your own live lobster or crab from the large tanks at the end of the bar. But if you're really hungry, Poseidon offers all-you-can-eat champagne brunches every Saturday and Sunday.
Poseidon Seafood Bar & Grill, 503 W Burnside, 503.525.4900
It seems that every year, portions of the small but formidable Bunk empire slowly encroach into different parts of the city. First, there was the original Bunk Sandwiches (known for its famously long lines) on SE Morrison in 2009. Then there was Bunk Bar, which opened on SW Water in 2010. Now Bunk has moved across the river and set up shop on SW 6th between Burnside and Oak. Here, you can expect the same soups, sides, sodas and 11 sandwiches you can find on the east side. But if Bunk's short history is indicative of all things worth the wait, you can also expect long lunchtime lines, and that the wait will most likely be worth it.
Bunk Sandwiches, 211 SW 6th Ave.
Laughing Planet Café
Since opening their first space on Belmont Street in 2000, the folks at Laughing Planet Café have fanned out across greater Portland, offering PNDs (Portable Nutrition Devices, or burritos) at locations north, south, east and west of the city center. And now, they've taken over a space in the modern and abundantly lit Cyan building downtown, which puts them in the same universe as the city's administrative offices, PSU's campus and the someday-to-be-occupied Oregon Sustainability Center. As always, you'll find, in addition to PNDs, a variety of rice bowls, soups, salads, smoothies, sodas, beer and wine. Of course, all the meat is hormone-free, and all the ingredients are, when possible, locally grown, making it an indiscriminately friendly place for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike.
Laughing Planet Café, 1720 SW 4th Ave., 503.224.2326
Elyse Bunkers Studio
Grant Park, Northeast Broadway
First of all, when you meet Elyse, pronounce her name as “Ellis”, as in the island. Bunkers, a Michigan native and a Portlander of eight years—six of which she has spent making jewelry, and four of which she has been a consignment retailer—has just opened a brick-and-mortar space in the Northeast that features several lines of necklaces, rings and earrings made from elements as disparate as silver and steel to pearls and the feathers of pheasants. Bunkers says she plans to soon open her shop in the afternoons, about four days every week, but adds that one can always visit by appointment.
Elyse Bunkers Studio, 3543 NE Broadway, Ste. B, 503.481.8540
Green Garage Bicycle Repair
When it's six in the morning, and all the mister and missus fix-its from other bicycle repair shops are fast asleep, Bill Fasano is awake. He’s waiting for you and your out-of-commission bike, which he plans to repair by day's end so that you can participate in the ride you and your friends have spent weeks planning. Fasano's Green Garage is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., although he does take a "siesta" between noon and 2 p.m., which he spends on the road hunting for and fetching your repair parts. Fasano also says he's also aiming to organize local bike expos and swap meets sometime in the future. Either way, pedal by. Fasano says that if you see his Green Garage's sandwich board sign out front, stop in to say "Hi" and take in a classic bicycling race projected on the garage's big screen. Or simply invite him to join you for a quick ride. To get in touch with him, drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Garage Bicycle Repair, 2410 N Mississippi Ave., 971.227.4799
Boise, Historic Mississippi
Settling in next to Laughing Planet in the space once occupied by Lorenzo's, the not-too-short lived Italian restaurant, Samurai Blue is the northern district's newest izakaya, a casual-yet-upscale drinking establishment serving contemporary Japanese fare in a tapas style. In addition to offering beer, wine, sake and cocktails, Samurai Blue also specializes in sushi tempura-fried vegetables and edamame. And they also present the cuisines of other cultures with a Japanese twist, like their spicy salmon ceviche.
Samurai Blue, 3807 N Mississippi Ave., 503.284.1020
Kerns, Burnside East
Last June, Jennifer Thompson and her family left their home in Tucson, Arizona and settled in Portland. By July, Thompson started her search for a retail space. In August, she found it, and by October 1st, she opened the doors to what is now Charmed, where shoppers can find an assortment of handbags, activewear, hosiery and affordable, fashionable jewelry. To be fair, Thompson says, she put her plan in place two years ago when the former bartender decided that she and her family would save up the funds to move northwest and open the shop. So far, she says, the reaction has been good. And with an unapologetic pink sign marking that space that reads in part, "a girly store," she says Charmed has been getting a lot of attention and neighborhood support.
Charmed, 729 E Burnside, 503.235.0465
For more than a half a century, Lutz was considered the working man's Portland bar. Legend has it that Lutz was the first bar in the city to offer patrons cans of Pabst not because it was hip, but because it was cheap, in effect setting the stage for the cult beer's resurrection. But in 2010, it was unceremoniously shuttered. Now, more than a year later, it's been buffed, refurbished and is open once more under new ownership. Gone is Lutz's famed jar of pickled eggs, but there is a pub menu, a pool table, a full bar and a barstool dedicated to a now-passed regular where the bar curves and bends.
Lutz Tavern, 4639 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503.744.0353
With an existing location on NW 23rd, Sloan Boutique has opened a store on another of Portland’s most fashion-forward streets. The SE Hawthorne location keeps with the spirit of the original, offering thoughtful, eclectic clothing for women of all ages. The store’s mission, according to co-owner David Whitehouse, is to provide clothes for three generations of women. He adds that Sloan’s collection is “surprisingly affordable,” a trait that is not shared by many local boutiques. The shop caters to an array of tastes, from buttoned-up, formal styles, to breezier, hippy-dippy looks. So when feeling the need for something a little more stylish than what’s available in the myriad surrounding thrift stores, or when shopping with your daughter and grandmother, pop into Sloan.
Sloan Boutique, 3526 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503.232.0002
The Hazel Room
This new, cozy cafe has something for everyone, carnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike. Their menu features a wide assortment of high tea-inspired sandwiches, daily soups, Townshend teas, Trailhead coffee drinks and, with a full-time pastry chef, plenty of pastries. They're even experimenting to make some sampling gluten-free, and everything on the menu is local and mostly organic. They also plan on offering high tea services, and each Saturday and Sunday, they serve sit-down brunches.
The Hazel Room, 3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503.756.7125
The Woodsman Tavern
The brains and muscle behind Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Duane Sorenson), Olympic Provisions (Jason Barwikowski) and Laurelhurst Market (Evan Zimmerman) recently inaugurated Southeast Portland with their highly anticipated Woodsman Tavern, which they've opened in the former trophy shop adjacent to the original Stumptown cafe. The new restaurant features four menus, including one for bar snacks, and offers up entrees like roasted trout, game hen and fisherman's stew, as well as handcrafted cocktails and more than a dozen imported and craft beers on draught. Woodsman's general manager, Carly Laws, says there are also plans in place to roll out lunch and brunch menus in the near future.
The Woodsman Tavern, 4537 SE Division St., 971.373.8264
Vine Gogh Artist Bar & Studio
A place to indulge in some of the finer things in life, Vine Gogh offers art instruction and libations to get the creative juices flowing. The Sellwood spot offers themed classes where students receive expert instruction while sipping on some vino (Vine Gogh is currently BYOB, but the Portland Bottle Shop is right next door). Suffice it to say that you won’t have any flashbacks to the silent, stressful painting class you took in college. Classes can focus on one particular work, including famous paintings like Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” or on a more general theme, like the recent owl painting party. Groups can also book the space for private events and fundraisers. So, perhaps with a little help from a nice glass of red, unleash your inner artiste.
Vine Gogh Artist Bar & Studio, 7956 SE 13th Ave., 971.266.8983
Kenton, North Portland
Located just a few doors down from Stone Pickle Deli, Lilac Wine specializes in Italian, French and Pacific Northwestern reds and whites. The space may be small—the walls are lined with a half-dozen shelves that each face out about 80 columns of bottles, running two or three bottles deep—but they also offer accoutrements for any good wine party, including a variety of olive oils, as well as staples like Maldon salt and jars of capers and roasted peppers. And it's not just retail, either, because they're licensed for limited on-site consumption. So if you're in the fence about purchasing the right bottle, ask for a taste.
Lilac Wine, 2121 N. Willis Rd., 503.327.3440
Stone Pickle Deli & Pub
Kenton, North Portland
About 15 years ago, John Albert owned and operated a deli before leaving the sandwich business for a 10-year exploration of the film industry. His most recent effort, the independent Eviction Notice, locally made with local actors, is currently screening across Europe. Now he's returning to sandwiches with Stone Pickle Deli & Pub, a lunch-dinner-and-drinks spot across the street from Kenton Park. At present, they offer about eight house sandwiches (you can also build your own), as well as a wide selection of beer, wine and specialty Italian soda-inspired Martinis. Albert says that, in the summer months, Stone Pickle will offer picnic lunches in which they'll provide you with a basket full of food and a blanket to spread out on for picnics in the nearby park. They also plan on offering regulars a secret menu. You can ask about it, but you might want to first develop with them a rapport that will keep you in the know.
Stone Pickle Deli & Pub, 2135 N Willis Rd., 503.839.3891
Overlook, Overlook Village
KK Hannegan is The Anchoress, but she is also an ordained minister, former behavioral health therapist, and a certified Tai Chi and Qigong instructor. And she has recently opened the doors to her practice, by appointment, to the public. Specializing in encouraging women on their journey through times of transition, she uses East/West healing methods for integrating wholeness and spiritual fine-tuning. Hannegan, who has studied with mystics spanning the globe, uses various modalities such as Jungian dream work, meditation practices, and qigong movement to support positive change.
The Anchoress, 1901 N Killingsworth St., 503.953.5250
The Old Gold
Overlook, Overlook Village
So, three friends open a bar. Actually, they spend four years dreaming of opening a bar before finally doing so in a space once home to an old auto body shop. And while the trio's collective background does not include experiences in the service industry, they seem to know what Portlanders want: mainly a limited menu of affordable food and drinks. In addition to serving up sandwiches, fries, popcorn and salads, The Old Gold features $4 draughts (unless you opt for a $2 pint of Rainier), and it's one of the few, if not the only, bars in the city serving locally made kombucha on tap, which they also feature in a few of their specialty housemade cocktails.
The Old Gold, 2105 N Killingsworth St., 503.894.8937