Category: Event

Dance Party Weekend at Moto PDX

Starting this Friday Night, Moto PDX will host a weekend full of dance parties. Beginning at 9 p.m. DJ Good Things will take over the cafe at 8826 SE Stark Street, playing music from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. The music returns Saturday night at 9 p.m. with the Disco, Funk, and Boogie sounds of the 1970s. Both evening events are limited to those 21 years old and up. Event organizers will provide an all-ages dance party on Sunday afternoon starting at 2:30 p.m. All dance events are free to attend.

The Moto PDX Cafe opened last December, offering cafe dining and performance motorcycle maintenance. In the evenings, the space can transform into a nightclub for events like this weekend’s festivities. Pick your dancing day this September 23rd through the 25th, and head over to SE Stark Street for a special night out in Montavilla.

Burger Thursdays Return to White Pepper

The new owner of White Pepper recently resurrected a popular neighborhood dining event. Over the last few years, the catering company and event space at 7505 NE Glisan Street remained closed to walk-in customers. Its thriving business instead focused on cooking for weddings and hosting baby showers, keeping the crew of 22 food service staff busy during the peak summer seasons. However, feeling a need to connect with the neighborhood and wanting to reignite a tradition started by the previous owners, Abel Ley decided to bring Burger Thursdays back to his business.

White Pepper will offer Burger Thursdays through March, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the potential for other special events scattered in-between. The menu includes their Classic Burger, which is a smash burger with double patties and double cheese, topped with onions, lettuce, tomato, and mustard. The staff created the Signature White Pepper Burger to upgrade the mainstay dish. “That one we fancy up a little bit. We do a little feta aioli on there, some seared pork belly slices, and roasted tomatoes… to bring it all together,” Ley explained. The menu also contains salad, appetizers, and an alliterative to a beef burger. “We have a fried chicken sandwich that’s very good with our house-made summer squash Pickles and a white Alabama BBQ sauce,” said Ley. Diners can pair their burger with house-cut fries and an assortment of drinks. White Pepper features a full bar and sometimes collaborates with other local businesses like Threshold Brewing & Blending.

White Pepper owner Abel Ley

In 2010, Abel Ley started his career in Arizona, completing Culinary school and working all over the food service industry. After climbing up the ranks to executive sous chef in a high-end hotel, he soon desired a more creative environment with a balanced work life. After the arrival of a second child, Ley and his wife decided to relocate the family to Portland, arriving in October 2020. In an interesting turn of fate, Ley interviewed for a position at White Pepper but declined the job offer, instead pursuing another opportunity. When the catering company became available to purchase a few years later, he felt it was a business he could put his creative energies towards. “White Pepper as a company has been around for about eight years. I took over in April,” explained Ley. “It was this space that really drew me to White Pepper as a business itself. I thought there was a lot of potential with being able to connect with the neighborhood, and it’s right here on the corner, very visible. The idea that I could create any type of concept or restaurant do pop-ups and have some fun during the offseason, that was very exciting to me.”

White Pepper seats 25 to 30 people at a time. Staff served upwards of 40 people during the inaugural Burger Thursday last week. Many of those guests previously attended the weekly events before the pandemic and were ecstatic to see it return. Although walk-in food service is fun for the White Pepper staff, Ley explained that catering will always be core to their operation. “Our bread and butter is our summer weddings, and that’s basically what we focus on.” Those events, and other catering jobs, feature foods that highlight seasonal ingredients of the Northwest. However, their smoked fish offerings are what they are best know for. “One of our main sellers is our Pacific Northwest salmon that we smoke on cedar planks, and we put a little parsley pesto right on the top. A very simple, lightly smoked fish, and I think that’s a perfect example of what we do here,” said Ley.

Burger Thursdays is a fun, community-focused project where the White Pepper culinary team can break out of their catering menu. As the nights get darker and colder, people have a new dining option in a warm and vibrant space along NE Glisan Street. Make sure to visit them some Thursday evening or book the restaurant for the private gathering if burgers are not to your liking.

The Neighborhood Dumpster Day Returns

After a two-year hiatus, Montavilla’s Dumpster Day returns as part of a new Portland program. Area residents are invited to drop off bulky household items on Saturday, September 24th, at the Montavilla Church parking lot on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and SE Hawthorne Boulevard. This free program allows residents to dispose of many large items not collected in regular curbside bins and prevents trash from ending up on the streets.

Two years ago, Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life (Civic Life) discontinued a similar program once offered through neighborhood associations. Those programs provided an annual opportunity for residents to dispose of mattresses, broken furniture, and other trash that did not fit into regular collection containers. The events also served as a primary fundraiser for the nonprofit neighborhood organizations. Trash haulers will collect bulky items left on the curb during weekly pickup days if residents notify them ahead of time and pay a fee. However, some people do not have the means to arrange for those collections and instead leave items on the corner with “Free” signs attached. Those items can contribute to the City’s trash problem and congest public spaces.

The absence of a free dumpster program in Portland left a noticeable mark on the City’s trash collection system, prompting officials to create a new program. This weekend’s Montavilla Dumpster Day is the first in a series of events organized by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), with funding through the City’s Public Environment Management Office. For this event, the City will pay members of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) and the Jade District to support the Dumpster Day operations. In the future, BPS will hire contractors to run events held in other neighborhoods.

People are encouraged to bring mattresses, furniture, and certain small appliances like a toaster, vacuum, or microwave. Some treated lumber and wood stumps are accepted but need to come from households, not businesses. Tires, large appliances, electronics, and hazardous materials can’t go into the dumpsters. However, Oregon Metro staff at the drop-off site will assist people in finding the proper disposal agency for items not taken at Saturday’s event. A complete list of allowed and forbidden items is available on the BPS website.

Although a Montavilla-based event, organizers secured ample dumpsters to accept items from local residents and neighboring areas. However, space is limited, and the event staff recommends people come early. The entrance opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. or when the dumpsters are full.


Disclosure: The author of this article will work at this event and may receive payment for his participation.

A SE Division Party on Saturday

TriMet will host a grand opening celebration for the new FX2-Division bus line this Saturday. Activities will span three festival locations in SE Portland and Gresham. Each site features entertainment, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Attendees can take unlimited free rides on the new articulated FX buses along the route between noon and 6 p.m. on September 17th. The new service begins regular operation on Sunday the 18th, offering high-capacity and fast bus service along Division Street. Montavilla residents should arrive to the event at the SE 82nd and Division stop near Portland Community College, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue.

Raimore Construction partnered with TriMet for this Grand Opening Celebration. The construction company is the prime contractor for TriMet’s Division Transit Project. As a minority-owned firm, this project represents the largest contract awarded to a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Oregon. It is a notable success for the City’s Inclusive Contracting initiatives.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left. April 3, 2021

TriMet posted full schedules for each event location on its website. Guests are encouraged to take the bus between each celebration site at OMSI Station, PCC Station, and the Gresham Farmers’ Market. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a giant “paint-by-numbers” mural project. Event coordinators placed sections of the mural project at each of the three event sites. Cascade Behavioral Health building on SE 42nd and Division will host the completed public art project.

Attendees should plan a long day exploring SE Division Street and experiencing the new FX bus service. Drivers in the area should anticipate a change in bus operation beginning tomorrow as the new extended transit platforms go into service with more frequent service. Bus riders not attending the events should plan for higher than usual usage of the number 2 bus route. However, the new higher-capacity vehicles should accommodate the surge in demand.


Title images courtesy of TriMet

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Board for a group partnering with TriMet on this event.

Last Show for Montavilla Movie Night

The Montavilla business district will host the final free movie night of the season tomorrow evening. For all of August, the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) presented weekly group viewing events in the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. Local businesses sponsored one movie each Wednesday, with other area businesses offering special concession packages. The 1986 film Labyrinth by Jim Henson will close out the successful community entertainment series on September 7th.

Chantel Chinco of Redwood organized the evening events for METBA, growing the audience weekly. This year, movie nights shared the street space with another first-time Plaza program presented by Montavilla Farmers Market. The 79th Avenue square features an evening min-market on Thursday nights, running through September 29th. This public street venue is supported by the Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program

For the second year, the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street has driven community engagement into the business district’s core with events like the movie night and market. Public support for these events will influence their return in subsequent seasons.

METBA invites the public to view David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the Labyrinth this Wednesday, September 7th. The Show begins at 8:30 p.m., and people are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to the showing.


  • Aug. 10th: The Sandlot (Mr.Plywood)
  • Aug. 3rd: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Natural Furniture)
  • Aug. 17th: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead (Wink Vintage)
  • Aug. 24th: Dazed and Confused (The Observatory)
  • Aug. 31st: The Princess Bride (Redwood)
  • Sep. 7th: Labyrinth (Bonus Screening)

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.

Jade District Dumpster Day Overwhelming Success

Saturday’s Jade District Dumpster Day and Solve Oregon cleanup attracted dozens of volunteers and a stream of vehicles dropping off large trash items. Within the first hour of operation, people filled 30-yard dumpsters at two drop-off sites. Instead of closing three hours early, the events coordinator, Alisa Kajikawa, picked up her phone and arranged for additional dumpsters. Before the day was done, yet another cycle of dumpsters rolled in to accommodate the overwhelming demand for trash disposal.

Kajikawa, the Jade District Manager, organized this one-day event with funds from Oregon Metro and support from the 82nd Avenue Business Association. The four-hour-long program included a community cleanup and open dumpster access for neighborhood disposal of bulky items.

Volunteers with Solve ventured out with 33-gallon carts to collect trash throughout the area and bring back items of all sizes to the primary dumpster site, located in the Unicorn Inn’s parking lot at 3040 SE 82nd Avenue. Nearby campers used shopping carts to roll in trash from their area and help clean up the streets.

Jade District Manager Alisa Kajikawa and Metro Councilor Duncan Hwang stacking mattresses

The dumpster on SE 82nd Avenue, and one on SE 92nd Avenue, were open to residents seeking a free place to dispose of items not collected through curbside trash pickup. Demand for dumpster use far exceeded expectations, and both sites eventually had to turn people away. Even after staff filled the five 30-yard trash containers to capacity, a stack of mattresses remained awaiting pickup by a recycler.

The dumpster demand seen over the weekend signals a great need in Portland for more events like the Jade District Dumpster Day. In 2020, The City canceled a long-running program that worked with Neighborhood Associations to host dumpster days across Portland. These events acted as an annual trash release valve that reduced the number of illegal dumps. Now groups like the Jade District are scrambling to find funding to meet the demand for trash disposal.

The original budget for the event only included funds for two dumpsters. The added cost of the three extra dumpsters will need to come from grant reserves and other funds within the organization. The success of the cleanup is measurable by the tonnage of rubbish collected. However, it barely makes a dent in Portland’s trash problem. Based on the demand seen Saturday and the piles of illegally dumped items across the City, an event like this could run every month for years without slowing down.

Flyer for the now completed event

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the boards of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and Montavilla Neighborhood Association. He also volunteered at this event.

Gospel on the Grass Musical Event

Today, at 10 a.m. St Peter & Paul Episcopal Church will host a musical event open to the community. Located at 247 SE 82nd Avenue, the religious organization will present favorite and little-known gospel tunes for their Sunday service on the SE Pine Street lawn. Sunday, August 21, is the Gospel on the Grass event featuring musical guest Ethan Anderson, singer-songwriter and front man for the Seattle-based country-rock band Massy Ferguson.


Title image from Google Maps

Montavilla Jazz Festival Starts Friday

Starting this Friday, August 19th, the annual Montavilla Jazz Festival returns with in-person music performances. The three-day festival showcases emerging and established Portland jazz artists in four venues. Tickets are on sale now, with select shows live-streamed from the Portland Metro Arts stage.

Venue tickets range from $5-35 per concert, sold through tickettomato.com. Event organizers offer discounts for advance purchases, students, and Arts for All eligible patrons. However, reduced pricing is only available for some concerts. A limited quantity of day passes for Portland Metro Arts performances on Saturday and Sunday cost $50-60, and all-access festival passes are available for $155-185. Event staff will stream the six concerts at Portland Metro Arts for free on the montavillajazz.org website with a suggested donation amount.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Montavilla Jazz relies on local business support, donors, and volunteers. Those contributions, along with ticket sales and support from other organizations, make the annual arts event possible. The Montavilla Jazz Festival is presented this year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, Mr. Plywood, and The Skanner News.

This weekend’s shows will provide a unique opportunity to experience some of Portland’s favorite jazz musicians. This exhibition continues to grow each year, working towards a large celebration in 2023. A recent investment of $18,730 from the Oregon Cultural Trust will support a considerable portion of next year’s event, including the Montavilla Jazz Festival’s 10th-anniversary concert at Mt Tabor park. Participating in this year’s concerts will help grow the organization and ensure the 10th anniversary is a huge success. 


Friday 8/19

Saturday 8/20

Sunday 8/21

Alberta Rose Theatre is located at 3000 NE Alberta Street. Portland Metro Arts is at 9003 SE Stark Street. The 1905 venue is located at 830 N Shaver Street, and Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop is in downtown Montavilla at 7835 SE Stark Street.


Images courtesy of Montavilla Jazz

Thursday Night Montavilla Market Opens

Last night at 4 p.m., the first Thursday Night Farmers Market opened to customers in the recently reopened Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. Representatives from Montavilla Farmers Market, Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA), and vendors gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by the traditional bell ringing to open the market. Visitors quickly filled the square to shop the five booths and refreshments providers at this min farmers market.

Starting on July 7th, farm and food vendors will set up in the Plaza on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Moorish RootsKulfiSebastiano’s, and Threshold Brewing & Blending are some of the inaugural participants making a regular appearance. An assortment of vendors will return weekly this summer, with the final evening market held on September 29th.

This mid-week market is possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program. The Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) is hosting this public space in partnership with Montavilla Farmers Market, which will program the Plaza Thursdays, in addition to its regular market held on Sundays at 7700 SE Stark Street.

The Plaza will also feature live music and other entertainment events throughout the summer. Plaza organizers will post updated information on the METBA events calendar. Visitors can shop at the Montavilla Thursday Night Farmers Market throughout the summer or sit and relax on the shaded seating. All people, families, dogs, and outside food are welcome in the Plaza.

KPTV FOX 12 Oregon’s coverage of opening night

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.

SE 79th Ave Plaza Reopens July 1st

Tomorrow, July 1st, the Montavilla Public Plaza reopens for its second year at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. The public gathering space will feature outdoor furniture and event space for community use. Last year, the space coordinators provided musical-themed programming to activate the area. This time, in a partnership with Montavilla Farmers Market, the Plaza will feature an evening min-market on Thursday nights.

Starting on Thursday, July 7th, five farm and food vendors will set up in the Plaza from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Moorish RootsKulfiSebastiano’s, and Threshold Brewing & Blending are some of the confirmed participants making an appearance. An assortment of vendors will return each Thursday this summer, with the final evening market held on September 29th.

This mid-week market is possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program. As with last year, the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) is hosting this public space to encourage outdoor recreation in the center of the neighborhood’s historic downtown area. All people, families, dogs, and outside food are welcome in the Plaza.

The Thursday evening Montavilla Farmers Market is in addition to its weekly market on Sundays at 7700 SE Stark Street. The Plaza will also feature live music and other entertainment events throughout the summer. Plaza organizers will post updated information on the METBA events calendar

Drivers who use SE 79th Avenue should plan an alternate path, as the roadway is closed to through traffic from SE Stark Street to SE Pine Street. Local vehicle access to homes and businesses on the Street is permitted. This year, METBA staff expect the Montavilla Public Plaza to repeat last year’s success, attracting residents and visitors to the area during the warm season. Look for activities to begin in the space next week and continue through September.

Update: Thursday Night Montavilla Market Opens

Sign from March 2022 PBOT event renewing Street Plazas

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.