The trend of new businesses seen sprouting up in October, November and December shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. A diverse array of businesses opened in January that, when cobbled together, include candy, pizza, bottle, and specialty burger shops, a Doctor Who-themed English pub, a modern musical and improv theater-cabaret-bar, and a retail store that sells, among other things, handmade oddities, antiques, sweaters, kimchi, tacos, and beer.
Caps & Corks
Northwest District, Slabtown
Sheila Scott says it was simply time for a change. In early-January, she shuttered her business of nine years, the Emanon Cafe, took on a business partner, Ellis Bremer, remodeled the space, and, within a week, reopened it under the name Caps & Corks, a new bottle shop that carries about 135 wine varietals and 400 labels of beer. Come in for a six-pack and decide you want to enjoy a bottle of suds while watching the final minutes of that Blazers, Timbers or Ducks game? A $1 "corkage" fee lets you drink from it on-site. Don't feel like drinking from the bottle? Caps & Corks has a full bar, with an emphasis on Scotch and bourbon, and no fewer than seven rotating draughts. They also have plenty of pub fare to soak up the wet stuff, like poutine and the Greater Tater Casserole (made with tots and beer-braised beef). They even serve brunch every Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., during which you can share (or not) a Bloody Mary for two, which is served in a bucket and garnished with plenty of "salad."
Caps & Corks, 1000 NW 17th Ave., 503.222.6435
Lion Heart Kombucha: The Brew Shop
NW District, Nob Hill
Lion Heart, local makers of homemade kombucha, isn't new. Since 2008, its proprietors, Amanda and Jared Englund, have been teaching interested parties how to brew their own kombucha at home. In 2010, they expanded operations and began bottling their Lion Heart brand, distributing it to markets and co-ops all over the city. But their "brew shop" is new, and what you'll find inside are two taps of fresh, seasonal kombucha that enthusiasts can purchase by the glass. Amanda says those enthusiasts can also bring in their own containers and fill them up at wholesale prices. Of course, the couple also sells starter kits with the hope that they can encourage kombucha lovers to give home-brewing a shot, enabling their customers to brew the teas that best suit their personal tastes. When they're not brewing, you can find the Englunds in their shop, Thursday through Saturday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Lion Heart Kombucha: The Brew Shop, 1720 NW Lovejoy St., 503.956.8716
Ristretto Roasters Nicolai
NW Industrial, Slabtown
In 2005, Din Johnson opened his first "roastery" in NE Portland where he medium-roasted beans imported from all over the world. Within a few years, his business had taken off, and, in addition to providing blended roasts to restaurants and grocers all over town, he opened a second coffee shop in the Boise neighborhood. Now, he's opened a third location situated in the Schoolhouse Electric building, which is home to a growing number of local, independent businesses. This third spot, which seats nearly 40, might be the west side's answer for the coffee connoisseur who wants to knock back a snack and a couple of espresso shots while conversing or working remotely. And if that weren't chic enough, the third location opened within days of Zagat naming Ristretto one of the nation's 10 coolest indie coffee shops.
Ristretto Roasters Nicolai, 2181 NW Nicolai St., 503.227.2866
In September 2010, Joe Rapport, a classically trained chef, opened Joe's Burgers in Tigard. Within a year, a second Joe's (Joe's Burgers & Bar in SW Portland) took the place of Rapport's now-shuttered JoPa's. And now, there's a third Joe's location serving up fast, hot, often locally sourced, classic American fare in the heart of downtown. Grab a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a fresh, hand-spun milkshake and dig into a variety of sandwiches (chili cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, and veggie burgers), all of which can be wrapped in lettuce for the gluten-sensitive. Rapport says his classic cheeseburger is his best seller, while his Diablo Dog (an all-beef frank wrapped in bacon, deep-fried and topped with cheese, onions and pickled jalapeños) raises the most eyebrows. But his personal favorite is his chili cheeseburger. Is such a burger so messy that the only way to eat it is with a fork, knife and maybe spoon? "Not a Joe's chili burger," Rapport says. "The chili's been thickened so that you can eat [it] with your hands." Open seven days a week, Joe’s winter hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
Joe's Burgers, 625 SW 4th Ave., 503.248.5637
For those who don't yet know, there's a new Sizzle Pie on the west side's heavily worn footpaths across from Powell's where Rocco's Pizza was located. The new W Burnside shop opened on New Year's Eve, one year to the day after the pizza makers established their original E Burnside eatery just across the river. You can expect the new spot to offer much of the same as the “old” spot, including late-night hours, loud music, East Coast-style classic and vegan pies, and sauces and dough prepared daily. Plans are also in place to open the Quality Bar, featuring plenty of draught beers and signature cocktails, in the unoccupied space where Rocco's short-lived bar once stood.
Sizzle Pie, 926 W. Burnside St.
Carol Ellis and Serge Ouattara are advocates for dogs and cats, and for the last four years, the two have operated the pet shop Tré Bone in St. Johns. Ellis says the shop has proven so successful that she and Ouattara decided to open a second shop across town. The spirit of their new Hillsdale shop is the same, providing pet owners the choice of several safe and healthy options for toys, leashes and, specifically, food. In fact, Ellis says the foods Tré Bone carries are locally sourced when possible, and are always free of corn, wheat and chemicals. And to give pet lovers peace of mind, they monitor the ingredients listed on every container of food they carry to ensure they never stock a product that could harm an animal. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m., weekdays, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. Dogs are welcome.
Tré Bone, 6325B SW Capitol Hwy., 503.265.8060
Concordia, Alberta Street
Amy Dotts was born and raised in Portland, but she studied art and sculpture in San Francisco. When she returned to Portland at the end of 2009, she decided she would put her sculpture engineering expertise to use as a clothing designer and set out teaching herself that trade. Within months, she had a booth at the Saturday Market where she sold lines of her own classic and colorful designs. And last month, she opened her first brick and mortar, which features her blankets, bags, and tailored dresses (made and altered to complement any woman's shape), plus the works of other local designers who make crocheted hats, jewelry, and belts from recycled bicycle tires.
Amy Dotts, 2916 NE Alberta St., Ste. A, 503.516.0567
Vernon, Alberta Street
Susannah Kelly says her friend, native Englander Neil Perry, was at a football match in Scotland a couple of years ago when he ran into some Portlanders (and Timbers fans) who sold their city to him by highlighting its soccer and arts scenes. Soon, he moved to the States and got a job at Salt & Straw, where he met his fellow employee Kelly (a drawer and painter like Perry) who would daydream with him about opening a gallery. Now their dream has come true as the pair just opened the doors to Antler, a small art gallery in the Alberta Main Street offices, where Kelly says they curate and highlight the works of visual artists, both local and otherwise, they've always admired. For now, Kelly says, their visiting hours are limited (they're open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday), but she points out that they keep their lights on until 11 p.m. so window shoppers and the curious can peek in after hours.
Antler, 1722 NE Alberta St., 626.408.4450
Rose City Park
Kim Boyce is a busy woman. The pastry chef published her first cookbook, Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, in March 2010. By June of that year, she and her husband, tired of living in Los Angeles and in search of a higher quality of life, settled in Portland. In May 2011, she accepted a James Beard Award for Good to the Grain, and just last month, she opened her first, appropriately named, Bakeshop in NE. Now famous for her Figgy Buckwheat Scones, Boyce says visitors can find all kind of goodies in her shop's pastry case, including maple Danishes (on weekends) as well as sweet and salty cookies made with milk chocolate, raisins (golden and dark), chili flakes, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Her shop also offers a variety of seasonal fruit pies. Production for large orders happens every day of the week, but if you're in need of a quick, sweet bite, you can drop by her shop from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.
Bakeshop, 5351 NE Sandy Blvd., 503.946.8884
Native Arizonians and retail and service industry veterans Daniel Matt and Maya Rose both like to cook, and they both like collecting, for lack of a better word, the stuff they find on road trips. They’ve now combined their shared experiences, hobbies and aesthetic, opening up the 1,200-square-foot Lowell where shoppers (and eaters) can find eclectic and collectible found oddities and folk art (snake vertebrae and sterling sliver, Native American jewelry) and clothes (locally made sweaters) alongside congee, kimchi, tamales, tacos, and beer. Matt says he and Rose wanted to create a space where shoppers would feel as if they were visiting someone's home; their business cards simply read: "shop, gallery, food, drink." Because their kitchen is so small, Matt says they have "a lot of room to be creative and change things up on a daily basis" in order to "keep the menu fresh." And he says, except for the beer, everything on their specials board is gluten-free. Expect outdoor patio lounging in the summer as well as locally sourced sculpture and art installations. Hours are noon-8 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.
Lowell, 819 N Russell St., 503.753.3608
Irvington, NE Broadway
For the last couple of years, the Sakura Group, led by lead designer and owner Taka Nakagawa, has provided Portland homeowners, developers, architects, and interior designers with a comprehensive menu of home improvement services, including custom building design, solar design and installation, commercial and residential development services, and a roster of locally sourced, custom-built furniture. Lisa White, Sakura's marketer, says the group has now opened a showroom where prospective clients can get a feel for Sakura's design aesthetic, and examine his furniture up close as well as kitchen and bathroom hardware, cabinets and fixtures. "Our offices are in the back of the showroom," says White, "so we can offer everything you need under one roof." Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weekdays, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and 11a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Sakura Group, 2415 NE Broadway, 503.284.8944
The Box Social
After putting in long nights for the last five years at the Sapphire Hotel, co-owner Shannon McQuilkin could never seem to find a proper place to unwind near her home in the Boise-Eliot neighborhood. So, she took matters into her own hands. Not unlike The Sapphire Hotel, The Box Social, which she co-owns with her husband Eric, is an intimate spot to grab a snack and a cocktail. Sensuous in color and sexy in lighting, this modern "drinking parlour" has a simple menu of 10 signature cocktails, sandwiches, hearty sides like mac & cheese, and a variety of snacks, which include small plates of Goldfish (yep, the crackers!) and popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper. She says they also feature the best hot buttered rum you'll ever taste, made from an ancient recipe passed on to bar manager Michael Rowe from his grandmother. Open daily, from 4 p.m.-2 a.m., the lounge also features daily afternoon happy hours as well as late night happy hours, Sundays through Thursdays.
The Box Social, 3971 N Williams Ave., 503.288.1111
Art ala Carte
Portland's newest community-focused art space is part-studio, part-workshop and part-play space for children and, occasionally, their parents. Art ala Carte's owner, Aria Chittenden, says the children who visit can engage their imaginations at numerous studio workstations led by a team of volunteer artist-teachers. Included among the programs the studio offers are parent-child interactive sessions and workshops in photography, painting, sewing, and knitting. Parents can also unwind while visiting the studio's espresso bar and even, space permitting, drop off the wee ones on Friday nights before enjoying a night out while their kids create. Chittenden says she also plans to discount rates for families that may be unable to afford the price of admission, and would like to open the space up to public schools where art funding has been cut. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and parents’ nights out are on Fridays from 6-9:30 p.m.
Art ala Carte, 8535 SE 13th Ave., 503.750.0522
Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop
Sarah Leonard says she and her husband Shawn wanted to open a space "that would include family-friendly simple pleasures and indulgences." It was only natural that they opened the Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop where children, parents and grandparents can choose from 37 flavors of hand-stirred sodas (which she stresses are not made with high-fructose corn syrup), phosphates, egg creams, milkshakes, and countless old-fashioned candies. Customers can also pick their favorite flavor from some 200 labels of bottled sodas, including some adventurous concoctions that include bacon- and Buffalo wing-flavored. Leonard says she and her husband are also dedicating an in-store shrine to Portland's beloved, children's morning program host and button collector, Ramblin' Rod. Fizz also has free Wi-Fi but offers board games for those who like their fun a little more 20th century. Open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, 817 SE 34th Ave., 503.894.8980
Hosford-Abernethy, Central Eastside Industrial
Eighteen months ago, Trenton Shine and Andy Barrett founded The Unscriptables improv comedy troupe and, with about a dozen players, began putting on shows like the comedic, episodic Southern Gothic The Uninvited: Tennessee Williams with Zombies at their small North Portland theater. Now, Shine says, they've moved, opening the 99-seat Funhouse Lounge, an underground theater-bar in Southeast. "We're definitely calling ourselves a modern cabaret," Shine declares, as The Unscriptables will share the stage with all kinds of performers, including singer-songwriters, belly dancers and cabaret dancers, as well as using the space for all kinds of participatory events, like karaoke nights, trivia nights and audience sing-alongs. Their drink menu is simple: glasses of wine, bottles and cans of beer, and shots—besides the Bloody Marys and mimosas that they serve during Sunday brunches, they will not mix your drink. If you want a rum and Coke, order a shot of rum and a can of Coke to mix at your table. The food, Shine says, is inspired by the resourceful inventiveness of Portland's food cart scene, as evidenced by the hot turkey sandwiches garnished with curried sauerkraut, golden raisins and pickled onions. Hours are 3 p.m.-midnight, Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m.-1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday.
Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 503.841.6734
Jennifer Faust has always worked for herself: She’s been a model, a seamstress, a designer, and is currently one half of the local, musical combo known as Denim Wedding. Jeffrey A. Kyle has been a makeup artist (New York, Paris) and is the creator of Beadniks, his evolved take on early 20th-century, vintage crib toys. Both are thrift savvy. Faust collects vintage wear from estate sales and thrift shops while touring the States with her band, while Kyle has been seeking and selling vintage clothes for more than 20 years. Now, the two are ready to let you pick through their collection of classic, vintage threads that spans all styles of the 20th century. Grew up in the ‘80s and shudder at the thought of donning clothes you'd rather forget? No problem. Faust takes apparel from all eras and, if she deems them a bit off, will transform that ugly shirt or dress into a new work of art by changing the hemline or "removing a dowdy collar." Soon, Funkytown will also provide a place to wear those duds this summer when Kyle says they'll be putting on nighttime, parking lot drag shows, concerts and "other obnoxious spectacles." Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Funkytown Vintage, 4707 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503.756.8500
The Conquistador Lounge
In a town full of pubs, tap rooms and lounges, it can be a challenge for prospective business owners to differentiate themselves from their fellow drink-slingers. But the new lounge opened by Casey and Wendy Maxwell, proprietors of West Burnside's The Matador, might've figured out how to supply an experience that other places haven't. After all, any bar can dim the lights and serve drinks—it’s the little things that matter. The little things here include the food, the drinks and the music. The food, cooked up by Malati Rossington, who draws on the flavors of her native Venezuela, is comprised of all-vegan and nearly all-gluten-free snack options, including empanadas and housemade plantain chips. The drink menu features the grog-like Sweet Suggestion (Bulleit bourbon, J. Witty Spirits' chamomile liqueur, fresh ginger and apple cider), which can be served either hot or cold. And the music? Before retiring to a comfy sofa to share a pitcher of beer or engaging in a game of pool, pinball or shuffleboard, wander over to The Conquistador's vintage Rock-Ola jukebox to spin the A- or B-side tunes of nearly 100 old 45 singles. The vinyl rotates weekly and the tunes are free because the Rock-Ola does not accept cash. Hours are 4 p.m.-2:30 a.m., daily.
The Conquistador Lounge, 2045 SE Belmont St., 503.232.3227
The Piano Fort
Sixteen years of piano restoration could not have prepared Sam Evans for his latest endeavor. On select, weekend evenings, you can find the piano parts packed away and the sound system buzzing at Modcott Pianos as the workshop becomes a concert venue dubbed The Piano Fort. And the stage is better than a makeshift playhouse. No need to use your imagination, four grand pianos actually support the performers and the keys of a spinet piano are even used the final step to access the stage. True to Portland's DIY ethos, the new venue provides a house party atmosphere in a business location. Evans has averaged approximately a gig per month since June but looks to book with more frequency. Standard procedure includes a small door charge—often $5 to cover expenses—and shows are open to all ages, with a BYOB policy for those 21 and over. Plus, there's even a real piano available for use, somewhat of a rarity around town, especially since one of few venues that offered one, Sellwood's "other" venue, is recently deceased.
The Piano Fort, 1715 SE Spokane St., 503.314.6474
Vinnie's at the Ford
Hosford-Abernethy, Central Eastside Industrial
For the last 17 years, San Diegan Vinnie Baglioni has been cutting hair, and with more than half of those years in his adopted hometown of Portland, he has attracted a considerable and loyal clientele. Now, he's opened his very own eight-chair barber shop in the Ford building where he and his stylists offer haircuts, colorings, conditioning treatments, eyebrow waxes, and other salon services at barber shop prices for Portland's inner-southeast residents. "We're all about hair," Baglioni says, pointing out that he and his fellow stylists rely on the skills of their craft rather than on what he calls the gimmickry, like bottles of beer, that other salons use to entice the business of men and women who are simply in need of a trim. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Vinnie's at the Ford, 2505 SE 11th Ave., Ste. 103, 503.234.4247
Let it Rain Art Gallery
After a stint in the U.S. Navy, Jeffrey Gabel returned to his hometown in Washington state where found work casting miniature pewter figures for the hobby gaming manufacturer Cipher Studios. There, he reconnected with Jasmine Shiver, whom he'd known since he was five years old. The two hit it off, and in early 2011, moved to Portland's St. Johns neighborhood for its small-town-within-a-town feel. After settling in, they explored the area and found that while it's home to lots of local artists, it had no central location for them to exhibit their work outside of their own studios. So, the couple found a 750-square-foot space and fashioned it into a gallery specializing in showing the paintings, photography, jewelry, and ceramic work of their neighbors. While they plan to occasionally display the works of artists from outside the city, Gabel says he and Shiver aim to show the works of Portlanders in general, with a particular focus on St. Johns artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.
Let it Rain Art Gallery, 7322 N Leavitt Ave., 503.285.0301
Tucked inside the Leavitt Station building among the shops operated by craftsmen-and-women specializing in graphic design, jewelry, and the art of metal carving is a new space, decorated in reds, whites and pinks, and dedicated to conservative and sophisticated women "who still want to have a little glam in their lives." Roslyn Hill, owner of ROZ, carries a wide array of products for such women, including pajamas, tops, pants, leggings, functional and stylish hats, and modern and repurposed furniture, like tables, chairs and vintage vanities. Hill says some of items on display are found objects that she has dressed up "to give them a new life." She also specializes in crystal jewelry because of its versatility, which she says allows the women who wear it to be glamorous without begin ostentatious. Hours are noon-7 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, and noon-4 p.m. on Sunday.
ROZ, 7441 N Leavitt Ave., 503.310.5301
The TARDIS Room
Overlook, Overlook Village
Expatriated Londoner Mick Shillingford has always enjoyed the television program Doctor Who. That's why The Fish & Chip Shop owner has built out the space adjacent to his restaurant, turned it into a proper, English-style pub, and decorated with Doctor Who paraphernalia. The TARDIS Room, named for the good doctor's time machine (and an acronym for Time And Relative Dimension In Space), may soon be a favorite gathering space for fanboys (and girls) who, in addition to noshing on traditional British pub fare and knocking back 20-ounce English pints, can expect to hear live music on weekends and during mid-week open mics. Plans are also in place to add HD big screens to show the program's most recent season as well as Doctor Who-inspired trivia nights. Of course, Shillingford says TARDIS patrons can also enjoy what he confidently insists are the only authentically prepared British fish and chips in the city.
The TARDIS Room,1214 N Killingsworth St., 503.232.3344
Inspired by the generosity of Oliver Lent, the man who settled the neighborhood for which he is named, Janelle Markovich, her brother, Bryan, and their cousin, Jeff, plotted to bring their community a place to gather and eat good, reasonably priced food. Oliver's Cafe, named for Mr. Lent, serves up wholesome helpings of eggs, omelets, breakfast burritos, hotcakes, French toast, burgers, melts, wraps, cold deli sandwiches, salads, and treats like scones and cookies. Two rotating, made-from-scratch soups also change daily. "We're here to serve the community," Markovich says, "and make this a place that the community feels comfortable coming to." With everything on the menu priced at under $10 plus seating for 50, including spots at their counter bar, they just may have done it. And, they also do catering. Hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Oliver's Cafe, 8931 SE Foster Rd., 503.954.2831