Month: September 2021

Zuckercreme Opens Friday

On October 1st, Zuckercreme will open a new Montavilla location at 414 SE 81st Ave. After less than a year in the Brooklyn neighborhood, owner Brittany Sigal decided to relocate the shop closer to home, taking over the former INVOKE space. The store will sell a curated selection of locally produced products and menu items.

Seasonal variety guides the selections offered to customers at Zuckercreme. Starting Friday, the shop will feature items under the collective theme of pumpkin spice & everything nice. They work with different bakers to offer a special rotating menu, along with coffee and tea drinks. Seasonal treats and drinks are only one part of the shop’s offerings. Each theme will encompass a selection of fitting homewares, vintage items, artwork, clothing, accessories, and ceramics. The space will also host scheduled workshop events.

The idea of seasonality is essential for Sigal’s vision of Zuckercreme. “I love the idea of a shop telling time. Rotating themes and being in sync with the time of the year means I’ll always be moving forward, and I’ll never get bored.” Sigal imparts her excitement for seasonal transformation to the customer through all the senses. “Zuckercreme is meant to create a temporary world where you can fully immerse yourself in an experience and enjoy the tastes, smells, colors, and memories of that season. Food is a big piece and what I believe connects us to each other. I wanted a way to work with people that would allow them to participate based on their own nostalgia, culture, and personal taste.”

Like the store’s aesthetic, Zuckercreme’s name stems from nostalgia. “Zuckercreme is sugar cream in German. My family is German, and I’m from the good ol’ midwest, Indiana. Sugar cream pie is Indiana’s state pie and what I always grew up eating.” Explained Brittany Sigal. 

The business began last June as a Saturday market titled the strawberry museum. It contained a small retail area and space for food vendors to sell treats. By July, they had expanded into a cafe. Thursday and Friday featured morning cafe service with retail and the occasional workshop. Saturday continued as the collaborative market day, and Sunday featured a special brunch. By August, they started offering dinner service on Thursday nights.

Although expanded food service seemed to be the direction Zuckercreme would grow, the location did not fit. “I was unsure of the future of the space, and the cafe didn’t work as well because the shared space I was in was more of a destination spot rather than somewhere that would have foot traffic, which is what I needed,” explained Sigal. Over the few months at the shop’s last location, they were able to test out ideas and figure out what worked and what needed to change. “This [experiance] very much shaped my future shop because I realized I wanted to do more retail and workshops with a small cafe and still host the community markets. I needed a better spot to make that successful, where there would be foot traffic, and I could make my own hours.”

Mural artist Brianna Vizcaino (@briannasinpajamas) painting shop’s wall

These discoveries were not something that Brittany Sigal could instantly implement. It was not until the space in Montavilla opened up that the future iteration of Zuckercreme became a reality. “I don’t think I would have moved forward with taking on the risk of running my own space if I had not gotten the one I’ll be in,” commented Sigal. The new space does not contain a kitchen limiting the menu at this new location. However, according to Sigal, food is still an essential part of the shop’s future. “We will either have the seasonal coursed meal experiences off-site if we find another pop-up spot closer to Montavilla or do menus that don’t require a full commercial kitchen.”

Many details regarding Zuckercreme are in development and will likely continue to transform over the years. By design, the space will appear different to customers between visits but remain familiar. By continually changing, customers will need to visit often to see what’s new. Fortunately, being located within Montavilla Town offers a good amount of foot traffic to pull the curious and adventurous person of the street and into the shop. Starting this Friday at 9 AM, consider adjusting your path to stroll along SE 81st Ave and see what creations are for sale at Zuckercreme. The store is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. Sundays, they host a community market from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Two House Project on NE 93rd

Work is starting to shift forward on the development located at 717 NE 93rd Ave. In February of this year, crews completed foundation work on the three-story residence situated at the back of the property. Now, the back home is nearly complete, and work is beginning on the front house. Both detached structures will share a single lot.


Original article published February 3rd, 2021

The foundation is complete for a three-story home located at 717 NE 93rd Ave. It is the first of two houses planned for this unconventional lot. The new structure sits at the wider back portion of the lot and shifts north towards the property line. Construction vehicle access dictates the back building must proceed ahead of the front structure on this tightly packed development.

The project proposed a year ago will host two detached houses. The back home is a three-bedroom, two and a half bathroom structure. Being accessible only by a walkway along the north property line, the house will not offer any onsite parking. Although being a secondary dwelling, it has many desirable features. The entire third floor is a master suite, and the main floor maximizes the limited space in an open floorplan.

When completed, the front unit will feature an attached garage and four bedrooms. It has two full bathrooms and two half bathrooms. As with the back building, this unit also spans three-stories, with its main floor on the second level. Another distinct feature is the position of the fourth bedroom on the ground floor. That room has both an interior and exterior entrance. A small half bathroom next to the bedroom provides some limited autonomy from the rest of the house. This extra bedroom would be an ideal home office for someone needing to see the occasional client.

Addressed as 713 NE 93rd Ave, the front house will span 20 of the 30-foot wide property frontage. For ease of construction, the back house must complete framing before the front house blocks truck access. Although progressing slowly, this project now seems to be moving forward at a faster pace. When completed, it will create a unique property that has built-in rental revenue for the owner.

March 2020

Lux Lash on SE Stark

This month, Lux Lash and Beauty Bar opened in the red mini-mall located at 8838 SE Stark Street. Owner Donna Myer-Phimmasone, with the collaboration of Colleen St. John, brings near 30 years of combined lashing experience to the new business. The two full-time staff offer lash extensions, lash lifts and tints, and facial waxing.

The experienced staff can create precisely the look a customer wants. “It can range from just looking like they have naturally amazing lashes to super glamorous,” described Donna Myer-Phimmasone. However, the shop prioritizes the customer ahead of the product. Over many years working with people’s lashes, the pair have seen other lash artists become complacent. “When lashes are put on carelessly or when the client is wearing something too big or heavy for their lashes, it can cause long-term damage.” Lux Lash is committed to maintaining high standards so their clients can safely stay in lashes as long as they’d like without damage. “Our first concern is always going to be the long-term health and well-being of our client’s lashes,” explained Myer-Phimmasone. 

Image courtesy of Lux Lash and Beauty Bar

A licensed esthetician since 2012, Myer-Phimmasone has owned a shop before. However, the timing of that venture did not work out. Working with work Colleen St. John, they divide tasks based on each person’s strengths, creating a harmonious workplace build for success.

Donna Myer-Phimmasone always knew she would open a shop again but needed a fitting location for the business. “I had been looking for exactly the right location for a while and knew this was it as soon as I saw the listing. Montavilla was our first choice neighborhood, and everything lined up to make it happen.” The Stark Street mini-mall offers appropriately sized space for small groups while providing storefront visibility on a major road.

Lux Lash and Beauty Bar is open by appointment only. The building offers parking in front of the shop accesses from SE Stark Street. Clients can schedule an appointment online or by calling (503) 734-8549.

Sanctuary Tattoo on SE Stark

On September 15th, Ian Mcvay opened Sanctuary Tattoo and Piercing with his partner and wife, Drea Mcvay. Located on the second floor at 8504 SE Stark Street, the new shop offers body art in a welcoming and inclusive space.

After twelve years working at other tattoo shops, Ian Mcvay felt it was time to head out on his own and create a friendlier tattoo atmosphere. “I really wanted to create a place where all of our clients felt very comfortable coming in and that the people who worked there felt comfortable being there.” Mcvay explained some other shops play loud metal music or have artists who push clients towards a specific type of tattoo. Drea and Ian Mcvay instead built a warm and inclusive space that anyone could drop in for body art.

Owners Ian Mcvay and Drea Mcvay

Ian Mcvay knows the importance of trust and comfort for this type of business, explaining that “tattooing is a very personal experience.” Drea Mcvay added that it shouldn’t be a stressful experience, and it should be accessible to all kinds of people. Ian explained that his temperament lends itself well to the inexperienced client. “I always prided myself in being very good with nervous or new clients… Doing people’s first tattoos is one of my favorite things to do because I know that I’m a little bit more gentle and a little bit more easygoing.” 

Crafting the right image for Sanctuary Tattoo required finding a suitable location. “Well, we did a lot of searching for the perfect spot,” explained Drea Mcvay. They were looking for a section of Portland with a suitable culture and community. Additionally, they needed a neighborhood not over-served by other tattoo shops but still had a place for them. “We needed to find somewhere where there was space for us and also a welcoming landlord. Which was a little bit challenging.” Drea said that tattoo shops have a negative reputation among building owners, “they assumed we were going to be some rough and tumble biker shop.” Fortunately, the building they found previously housed a tattoo shop and was accepting of the business.

Ian Mcvay is currently the only tattoo artist on staff, but a second person will start work soon. Both of them are accomplished artists covering a variety of techniques. “I can sort of do whatever needs to be done. I can do fine-line or bold traditional work.” His tattooing experience also covers a full range of skin tones and placement. There are few limits to what Sanctuary Tattoo can provide. However, being well-rounded, Ian explained that they do not work on portrait tattoos. “I feel that if you’re doing portraits, you make that your career, and you really focus on that.”

Reception Desk between tattoo and piercing areas

On the other side of Sanctuary Tattoo and Piercing’s office is a glass display counter that will soon house quality piercing jewelry, and behind that counter is a private room used by staff piercer Xia Key. They are a licensed piercer and will work on people ages ten years old and up. Drea Mcvay stressed how important it is to have a professional piercer work on your body. She explained that some shops, especially the mall stores, offer lower quality jewelry, and the piercing guns used at those locations often cause infections. “Our piercer is registered with the Association of Professional Piercers, So they had to go through rigorous training and certification… Everything is extremely safe, extremely high quality.”

Front door leads upstairs to Sanctuary Tattoo and Piercing

The whole team at Sanctuary Tattoo and Piercing is excited to be in a business district where their company can expand along with the area as a whole. “We really want to be a part of the neighborhood,” said Ian Mcvay, adding “when we first looked at this place, we walked up the street up to the little area up there that’s got all the bars and restaurants, and we just got a really good feel for the area. We wanted to grow with the spot as opposed to just jumping into a place where we didn’t really fit.”

Sanctuary Tattoo and Piercing is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM. On Friday and Sunday, they are available from 12:00 PM to 09:00 PM. Walk-in customers are welcome, and staff will do everything possible to make you feel safe and appreciated.

BIKETOWN’s Free Ride Program

Last week, BIKETOWN announced an expansion to their discounted membership program for low-income riders. Called BIKETOWN for All, the program now offers free 60-minute rides and expands to include some college students with a free membership or subsidized rides. These changes should dramatically increase access to the electric assist bike-share for all Portland State University (PSU) students, people living on low incomes, and college students on financial aid.

Portland hosts a variety of colleges and universities, with students housed throughout the city. Most public transportation routes serve those schools. However, some students still need additional mobility options that will not burden their limited budgets. Now, students who receive federal financial aid will qualify for a free BIKETOWN membership. Additionally, PSU students not eligible for BIKETOWN for All will be eligible for a ride credit to cover up to $20 a month of casual user fees.

Previously the BIKETOWN for All program was limited to people using recognizes assistance programs, including the Oregon Trail card (SNAP), Oregon Health Plan, or affordable housing. Starting on September 16th, the program will now recognize Federal Student Aid as a qualifying determination for eligibility. However, only when received by students attending school on a Portland campus.

With the expanded eligibility, every BIKETOWN for All member will receive additional discounts. BIKETOWN now waives the $5 monthly membership fee and offers an unlimited number of 60-minute rides a month. Riders incur a $0.05 per minute charge after the first hour of the bike rental. Before this week’s changes, the per-minute change began instantly. The discounted program continues to offer free bike unlocks and $20 in ride credits every month.

Although these changes will make many trips free, a BIKETOWN for All members ridding less than an hour could still generate charges. Bikes not parked at a BIKETOWN station will generate a $1 fee, except in the East Portland SuperHub Zone east of 72nd Avenue. Additionally, bikes parked outside the 32 square mile service area would receive a $5 out-of-service-area fee.

Portlanders who qualify can sign up at BIKETOWNforAll.com. College students will upload a digital copy of their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) award letter. PSU students should sign up at the PSU BIKETOWN website. These changes are a significant expansion to the program that recognizes the financial struggle some college students endure and makes the BIKETOWN for All program practical for low-income riders. Expect to see more Portland residents using these bikes as people discover the updated subsidy program that creates an affordable and valuable tool to get around the city.

Metro Councilor Bob Stacey Resigns

Last Thursday, one of Portland’s representatives on the Metro Council announced his resignation. Effective October 15th, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey will step down from the position he has held since 2012. Not long after first being elected to the Council, Stacey was diagnosed with meningioma, which causes tumors to grow in and around the skull. Although his prognosis continues to be favorable, treatments for the tumors have begun to impact his ability to work full-time.

Bob Stacey represents Oregon Metro District 6, mainly covering Southeast and southwest Portland. Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The agency’s boundary encompasses Portland and 23 other cities. They provide region-wide planning and coordination to manage growth, infrastructure, and development issues across jurisdictional boundaries.

Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. However, most residents will associate his local efforts with the TBN redevelopment project at 432 NE 74th Ave. Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program acquired this site for residential development in 2019. The 1.65-acre property will become low-income housing within a few years featuring commercial use on the ground floor. It will be a transformative project for that section of NE Glisan, bringing an active residential density to the street and removing a block-wide parking lot. As seen in other areas of Portland, constructing socially active street-side projects increases safety and prosperity along those roads.

Councilor Stacey won reelection in 2020 for a four-year term. The Metro Council has until January 13th to appoint Stacey’s successor. According to the Metro Charter, that appointed person will serve until an election for the remainder of the term is held at the next primary or general election. This next election cycle, candidates will run for the remaining two years of the Metro District 6 Council seat.

Bob Stacey’s contributions to Oregon predate his work with Metro and will likely continue for many years after he vacates his elected position. Colleagues of Stacey were quick to celebrate his career up to this point and thank him for his decades of service. “Bob is a titan of Oregon’s land conservation movement,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “His service and vision are obvious in all corners of our state, and his wisdom and nearly 50 years of experience is going to be missed on the council.”


Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro

Two Vehicle Crash on 78th And Burnside

UPDATE – 3:35 All roads are clear of large debris and open to traffic again.

E Burnside Street is closed at 78th Ave after a two-vehicle crash. At 2:45 PM, a car and pickup collided in the intersection, flipping the truck and its two passengers completely over. The truck landed upright on SE 78th Ave, where it caught fire. Portland Fire & Rescue responded by 2:53 PM, extinguishing the fire and providing medical aid to the injured.

All people involved in the crash were able to walk away from the accident. Expect traffic delays on E Burnside Street and 78th Ave while crews clear the crash debris and tow the disabled vehicles.

Dual Storefront Remodel on SE Stark

Yesterday, construction crews began installing the new aluminum and glass storefront at 7850 SE Stark Street. The owners of Flipside Hats bought this building at the beginning of the year to become the new headquarters and factory for their apparel company. When completed, two new shops will occupy this space.

The majority of the building will support hat production, retail, and other business operations for the company. However, Flipside Hat owner Jacob Wollner thought the showroom did not need to occupy the entirety of the storefront. There was an opportunity to split the space and create a second 609 square-foot shop for another tenant. That second storefront will have a separate main entrance and restroom. Wollner explained that it would be an ideal space for a small flower shop or jewelry store. Although prospective tenants have shown interest, none have committed to opening there.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

The buildout was delayed by a slower than expected city permitting process and a personal matter that took Wollner out of the country. Until recently, the installation of six gooseneck barn lights above the windows was the only outward sign of construction at the site. Now work has ramped up again, and progress is visible. Wollner’s full vision of the building has taken form now that the new aluminum and glass storefront is in place.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

The building began its existence in 1946, housing the Hook Cycle Shop. Later, Mt. Tabor Schwinn Cyclery took over the space until the mid-1980s. In 1998 a group bought the building for their business, Electronic Claims Services. At that time, the owners removed the storefront and transformed the structure into an office building. This current renovation work is restorative, bring back the shopfront appearance lost in the last century’s remodel.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

Soon, Flipside hat staff will relocate from their current store at 4438 SE Belmont Street to this new Montavilla location. For twenty years, the building has had its shades drawn and doors shut to the neighborhood. However, even before the store opens on Stark Street, this refacing project will reconnect the continuous retail on the block. Once again, the inviting light of shops will shine out onto the sidewalk and guide shoppers along Montavilla’s historic main street.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

New Adult Entertainment on Glisan

This month, a new adult entertainment venue appeared on NE Glisan near I205. PDX Peaches opened to the public on September 10th in the former Northern Pediatrics building at 9243 NE Glisan Street. The woman-owned business offers lingerie modeling services for men and couples.

Lexi, the manager at the location, explained that PDX Peaches strives to deliver a better class of lingerie-shop. “I [designed] it to have an upscale, clean, comfortable, and safe location for our models as well as our customers.” Lexie lives in the area and appreciates the opportunity to create a uniquely premier Adult entertainment club in the neighborhood.

The shop’s manager went on to describe the specific entertainment niche they fill. “We specialize in fetish and fantasy shows… [for] men and couples, but anyone is more than welcome to come get a show.” Soon they plan to offer a bachelor party and event-space room.

This section on NE Glisan is a mix of residential and commercial properties. The Top of the Hill Tavern sits across the street from PDX Peaches, but most properties on its block are homes. This area’s proximity to the freeway makes it a highly accessible location for businesses. Many of the houses along NE Glisan converted to commercial use over the decades, and the Commercial Mixed Use zoning in this area allows for that use.

Zoning Map around the property

This location supported a dentist’s office and pediatric clinic before its current use. There is no onsite parking for the building, and a number 19 bus stop prevents street-side parking on Glisan in front of the property. However, there is ample street parking on NE 92nd Ave.

9243 NE Glisan Street when it opened as Northern Pediatrics in June of 2020

PDX Peaches is a 24 hour a day business, and the staff is hoping it will quickly succeed in this location. They are open now and will respond to customer inquires through their website’s contact form.

Letter of Thanks from Family of Mel and Errol

This summer, Montavilla said goodby to Mel Hafsos, a beloved member of the community. His death profoundly impacted neighbors and the many customers of Taylor Court Grocery. As the pandemic continued to prevent large memorial services, people instead took to decorating his place of business with messages of appreciation for his contributions and support for Mel’s partner Errol Carlson. In recognition of the public’s admiration for Mel, his family wrote a letter to the community and asked Montavilla News to share it below.


Letter to the Community:

On behalf of the family of Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson I would like to thank this community for the many years of love and support you have shown to Mel and Errol and Taylor Court Grocery.

As Mel’s youngest Sister, I speak for our whole family and Mel and Errol as well. Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson owned and operated Taylor Court Grocery on SE 80th Avenue for 25 years. During those many years they rarely took days off or time away from the store. The community and neighbors became their family. They took joy in all the births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, move in days and so many other memorable events the neighborhood celebrated. They loved the children who visited the store for that “after school” treat or the cold soda or ice cream in the summer months.

I often visited and sometimes worked in the store during the years I lived in Beaverton. It was very evident the members of the community were woven in Mel and Errol’s lives. I loved attending the summer Block Party when hundreds turned out for the parade and festivities. The annual Halloween Event was one of a kind.

Mel passed away on June 18, 2021 after a brief illness. Mel grew up in a family of 8 children. We had 4 girls and 4 boys. He was probably the hardest worker of us all. He began at a young age in the orchards of our farming community near Yakima, Wa. Up until the day Mel left us, he had that mental list of one more shelf to stock, product to search for, or customer to take care of. We know now, Mel can check all those items off his “to do” list.

Upon Mel’s death, our family witnessed a huge outpouring of support and love for Mel and Errol. We want to THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. We understand they were loved by so many…we want you to know they loved everyone back. Thank you for those expressions of support and love during this difficult time of losing our brother. It is appreciated more than we can say.

Errol is still living in the community, just a few blocks from what he knew as home…in the community where he belongs.

Warmest thank you,
The family of Mel Hafsos & Errol Carlson—Owner/Operators of Taylor Court Grocery
Diane Dufault (Sister to Mel)