Category: Event

Residents Invited to May 26th Vestal Event

Later this month, Montavilla’s Vestal Elementary School will host its annual Social Justice Night. Starting at 4:30 p.m. on May 26th, Students and professional artists will showcase their work featuring collaborative artistic creations focused on community diversity and family identity. These themes represent two of Vestal’s five pillars of social justice. Organizers anticipate that this evening full of art, food, music, and community will strengthen the school’s role as a hub within this diverse neighborhood.

Funded in 2022 by a Metro’s Community Placemaking grant, with collaboration from PSU’s Artist as Citizen Initiative and arts nonprofit Montavilla Jazz, Vestal Elementary expects to expand programming for the yearly event. A welcoming dinner will occur before the performance at The Yard food carts, located directly across from the school, with complimentary meals coordinated with support from Samira Mohamed, owner of Mira’s East African Cuisine.

Before the event, the Artist as Citizen Initiative will lead PSU Capstone students and Vestal 4th graders in projects designed to build artistic skills in storytelling, interviewing, and creativity. All works center on community diversity and family identity, using information gathered in interviews with fellow students and community members. The artists will display their student-led social justice exhibits at the May event.

Located outdoors on the playground and inside the gymnasium at 161 NE 82nd Avenue, the Social Justice Night will include performances by renowned jazz musicians, including Grammy award-winning trombonist Denzel Mendoza. He is joined by Machado Mijiga, saxophonist Mary-Sue Tobin, and other performers and educators from the community.

For those who can not attend in person, PSU students will create a multipart podcast documentary featuring themes from the evening. PSU’s Sonic Arts and Music Production (SAMP) students and Friends of Noise will utilize field recordings captured during the creative phase of the project and at the May 26th event. Montavilla Jazz will distribute the podcast on montavillajazz.org, in addition to broadcasts on local radio stations.

Vestal community members, partners, and neighborhood residents are all invited to attend. Come hungry for food, music, and artistic expression.

Easter Weekend in Montavilla

After a Monday snowstorm, the forecast calls for a comparatively dry and warm Easter Sunday in Montavilla. Several local businesses will celebrate spring with weekend events intended to bring people out of their homes and into the community.

The season-themed market, Zuckercreme, is leaning into the holiday with a Montavilla easter egg hunt this Sunday. The shop will open early at 9 a.m. to host the event. The coordinators ask participants to check in with store staff at 414 SE 81st Ave before embarking on the hunt. If the snow earlier this week caused you to forget about the spring celebration, Zuckercreme has you covered. They are open today and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., selling basket stuffers and the ability to order special pastry boxes for the holiday.

Threshold Brewing & Blending will host a beer launch party this Saturday, April 16th, from 12 noon until 5 p.m. In cooperation with Pup Passport, the neighborhood brewery will donate 5% of the beer and passport sales proceeds to the Oregon Humane Society (OHS). This event centers around the launch of Threshold’s Good Dog Guava, a new guava passion fruit gose beer. The event features BBQ from the local Heartbreaker PDX pop-up. Stop by the taproom at 403 SE 79th Avenue to try the new brew, enter the raffle for special prizes, or pick up OHS pet adoption information. Dogs are welcome.

Despite the recent resurgence of winter, it is the season to head outside and into the neighborhood. However, for those hoping to stay in, Montavilla has many sweet shops, including PDX Cookie Co and DB Dessert Company offering Easter-themed confectionaries to take home. Hopefully, one of these businesses, or other famed neighborhood shops, can make a memorable start to the warmer season for you and your family.

Indigenous Marketplace on NE Glisan

Starting the weekend of April 9th, the Indigenous Marketplace (IM) will open for monthly events at 432 NE 74th Avenue. The organization supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs by providing barrier-free, culturally respectful spaces to grow their businesses and educate the public through cultural arts. This year, IM will host its vendors in the large parking lot on NE Glisan Street, thanks to a rental agreement with the African Youth and Community Organization (AYCO).

The Marketplace will open from 11 AM to 4 PM on six weekends throughout 2022. Although intended as an outdoor marketplace, vendors will set up inside the building on rainy days. Next year, venue organizers expect to move out of the Montavilla neighborhood as developers plan to transform the NE Glisan site into affordable housing

  • April 9 & 10
  • May 7 (Saturday Only)
  • June 11 & 12
  • July 16 & 17
  • August 13 & 14
  • September 10 & 11

People interested in joining the mailing list, attending other IM programs, or becoming a vendor at the Marketplace, should complete the organization’s online form. Examples of current marketplace participants are available online at indigenousmarketplace.org/marketplace/. Look for activity at the site starting next weekend, and plan to attend one of the weekend events for a unique shopping and cultural experience in the neighborhood.

Academy Switches to First-Run Films

Next month, the Academy Theater at 7818 SE Stark Street will switch to showing first-run films after sixteen years as a second-run venue. Consequentially, the owners plan to raise ticket prices. The business partners feel this transition better positions the theater for post-pandemic success and stability.

The transition begins on March 4th with The Batman by Warner Bros. Pictures. On that night, tickets will cost $9 for adults and $6.50 for seniors or children. Food and beverage offerings will remain the same with beer, wine, and pizza from Flying Pie Pizzeria.

Owners Heyward Stewart, Julie Stewart, and Ty Dupuis moved to first-run films in response to market trends. Over the last few years, movies have increasingly transitioned to early in-home distribution, eating up the demand for second-run showings on the big screen. Recently, many studios have agreed to a 45-day theatrical release window for new films as a concession to theater operators. Although shorter than the old 90 windows, it offers movie houses the opportunity to present unique entertainment to patrons and draw people back into communal viewing.

Movie theaters suffered more than most businesses during the pandemic. They faced prolonged shutdowns and did not have alliterative revenue sources to lean on. After reopening, moviegoers were hesitant to return to the theaters while infection rates climbed. New online streaming options allowed people to stay home, further slowing the industry’s recovery. However, signs point to a turnaround industry-wide, with a strong rebound for theaters showing big-budget first-run films. The fate of second-run theaters is unknown, making the Academy’s shift necessary for the theater’s continued operation.

The Academy Theater opened in 1948, serving a welcomed role in the community until closing in the mid-1970s. After its resurrection in 2006, it quickly became an icon of Montavilla. Theaters need visitors, and the owners hope this change will bring people back. Keep an eye on the theater marquee for new first-run titles and consider spending an evening at the Academy. 

Thai street food pop-up Wednesday

Next Wednesday, Threshold Brewing & Blending will host a special one-night Thai street food pop-up event. The renowned traveling chef, Dream Kasestatad, will serve his creations from the taproom at 403 SE 79th Avenue on February 2nd from 4 PM until supplies run out. Kasestatad’s Pranom Pop-Up then moves over to Ruse Brewing on February 3rd and 4th before continuing its nationwide journey.

Kasestatad is an actor and director who recently created an autobiographically inspired pilot episode of The Noodle Man, available on Amazon Prime Video. As depicted in the screen version of his life, Kasestatad used his cooking pedigree to bridge the financial gap between acting work. What began as a side-hustle soon became recognized as the skillful work of a culinary artist. His traveling pop-up business continues four generations of family tradition sharing their Thai food with the community.

Meat and vegan option are available at Pranom Pop-Up. Threshold will also offer plenty of beverage options to pair with the meal. This special event will likely sell out early, so mark your calendars and swing by early.


Images courtesy Pranom Pop-Up

Xmas Tree Lots Return to Montavilla

It is the season to bring the outdoors inside with a Christmas tree or holiday wreath. The neighborhood is fortunate to have two reoccurring tree lots, allowing Montavilla residents local access to the winter decorations. This year, Red Shed Christmas Trees joins Montavillage’s location in the Vinje & Son‘s parking lot near SE 78th Ave and Washington Street.

In 2008, Lesle Janssen began selling trees in Montavilla Town. Janssen’s Montavillage tree stand started at 76th and SE Stark next to Beets Auto Body. The lot moved to 78th and Washington in 2015. This year, Montavillage merged with longtime Christmas Trees retailer Red Shed. Janssen continues Red Shed’s 20-year tradition of providing fresh local products in a warm, community-building atmosphere. They are open seven days a week, 10 AM – 8 PM. On Friday and Saturday, sales staff are available for an additional hour. Paying in cash is recommended for faster service, and delivery options are available.

Montavillage near SE 78th Ave and Washington Street

There is another reoccurring Christmas tree lot at the corner of NE 92nd Ave and Glisan Street for those closer to NE Glisan. This vacant lot hosts tree sales nearly every year. They advertise Douglas fir, Grand fir, and Noble fir trees.

Expect to pay a little more for a tree this season. A challenging growing season may have an impact on tree prices. If a cut tree is in your holiday plans, you do not have to travel far to find one. Check out these local lots and see if you can find the right tree for your home.

Tree lot at the corner of NE 92nd Ave and Glisan Street

Flipside Hats Opens November 1st

Flipside Hats officially reopens in its new location on Monday, November 1st. The apparel maker relocated operations to 7850 SE Stark Street from the 4400 block of SE Belmont Street this month, after an extensive renovation period. Many long nights went into the move, but staff have now settled into their new home and are ready to show off the company’s renowned product lines in the new showroom.

The owners of Flipside Hats bought the Montavilla building at the beginning of 2021. The decision to move to Stark Street stemmed from a desire to embed the business in the neighborhood, explained co-owner of Flipside hats Jacob Wollner. “We are a community business, and Montavilla is our home, our community.” Owning the building means they can safely put down deep roots as they further grow the company.

Until recently, staff would design, manufacture, and distribute the products from a single location. Before moving operations, Flipside Hats partnered with clothing producers to manufacture the company’s designs at different locations. Production remains local, with 90 percent of the product line made within the Portland Metro area. This new location supports the store and showroom upfront, with design, operations, and e-commerce fulfillment occurring in the back portion of the building.

Although not complete, the shop already emotes a mature retail experience. It features ample open space between intricate displays packed full of clothing accessories. Throughout the store, staff insert antique furniture and luggage into the layout, creating an antique aesthetic that softens the edge of the new construction. 

Although built-in 1946, the building received a substantial update this year. Crews completely replaced the storefront that previously served as an office. A modern aluminum and glass wall now extends the width of the building, offering expansive views of Stark Street. The extended height doors and taller windows pour sunlight onto the showroom floor. The natural finish of the reclaimed wood floor bounces that light around the room, creating a muted but rich illumination, even on a cloudy day. The owners removed the flat interior ceiling to reveal the barrel vault roof structure in a bold embrace of the building’s form. The curved wood planks show grey stains from their original use as forms for the building’s concrete walls. The rough finish overhead sets the tone for the function of this space. It is not only a place for retail but where creators design the next season’s products, just beyond the rolling barn door behind the cash wrap.

Flipside Hats’ store serves two roles for the business. It is principally a retail shop ready to provide customers with whatever new product the company offers, but it is also a showroom featuring the complete product line. Flipside Hats and their other brand, Hats for Healing, rotate product lines twice per year—retailers from all over the country stock their store shelves with selections from the Fall-Winter and Spring-Summer collections. This storefront allows buyers to view the company’s offerings in a retail presentation. Due to the variety in styles created here, very few retail chains sell the full assortment of products. This showroom is the one place that has all available items on display. Currently, all but 15 hat lines are out on the sales floor. Wollner expects to have the remaining hats out soon.

Starting Monday, the shop is open to the public from 9 AM to 4 PM weekdays and 11 AM to 6 PM on the Weekends. Staff plan to adjust store hours based on seasonal changes and customer feedback. They are excited to be open in Montavilla and ready to outfit you for the Winter weather or assist with your holiday shopping.

82nd Ave Culinary Event Kicks Off

Around the World in 82 dishes has returned after taking 2020 off. Starting tomorrow, the 82nd Avenue Business District will host a two-week-long celebration of dining diversity with an inclusive event featuring all food-related locations on and around 82nd Avenue. The event runs from October 23rd to November 7th, with an opportunity to win one of several $25 gift certificates by participating in the event’s social media contest.

To enter the contest, shop or eat at restaurants, food carts, and markets around 82nd Avenue during the contest dates. Then post about it on social media with the hashtag #82Dishes, including the location’s name and pictures from your visit. Event staff will select winners at random from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. People without social media access can participate by emailing a picture and location name to 82ndaveba@gmail.com.

The 82nd Avenue Business District extends from the Clackamas County line towards the Portland airport and features cooking styles from all over the planet. This annual event reminds Portlands of the culinary variety available to people along this street and encourages residents to explore the World in their own backyard. A list of eligible locations and other event information is available at the Around the World in 82 dishes website.


Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the 82nd Avenue Business Association board.

Montavilla Elections Tonight

Tonight, October 11th, the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) will hold Board member elections. Three new candidates and two returning board members are running unopposed for open seats. Attendees at the online general meeting will receive a link to the ballot at the beginning of the meeting.

First-time candidate, Scott Simpson, is running for Land Use & Transportation Chair. Simpson hopes to make Montavilla a more walkable, bikeable, sustainable, safer, and inclusive place. Both Ben Weakley and Holly Wilkes are running for Member at Large positions. Weakley recently moved to Portland and currently works as a physical therapist. Wilkes is a Principal in the David Douglas School District.

Sarah Hartzel is the acting Treasurer and is seeking election to that position for a two-year term. Hartzel brought her extensive finance and accounting background to the board in May to fill a vacancy. Matt Moore is seeking another term as Outreach & Communications Chair. He intends to continue providing design support to MNA communications and assist in community engagement.

Candidate statements are on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association website. Southeast Uplift will create an online ballot and count votes. If possible, election results will be available by the 7:30 PM Board meeting. The upcoming General Meeting and the election is on October 11th at 6:30 PM. Details are available on the MNA calendar.


Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board

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.