Category: History

Remembering Errol Carlson

On June 17th, Errol Carlson passed away while staying near his family in Washington State. One year ago, on June 18th, Carlson’s partner Mel Hafsos passed away after a brief illness. Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson owned Taylor Court Grocery on SE 80th Avenue for 25 years. During that time, the pair lived together in a nearby house and ran their neighborhood store together, rarely taking time off.

After Hafsos’ death, Carlson resided in the Courtyard at Mt Tabor senior living facility. Nearly a year later, he relocated to Kennewick, Washington. After recently purchasing the store and house, its new owners intend to repurpose the historic grocery into another family-owned business.

Last summer, Mel and Errol’s family recognized the neighborhood’s support and admiration for the pair in a letter to the community. Last summer, pandemic-related concerns restricted communal gatherings to honor Mel Hafsos’ life. Now the family would like to have a joint service for both men. Skyline Memorial Funeral Home will host a memorial for Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson on Thursday, June 30th, at 11:00 am. Graveside interment will occur at 1:00 pm.



Update: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated they lived next-door to the shop.

Demolition on NE Holladay Street

In March, Riverside Carpentry purchased 8225 NE Holladay Street and now plans to demolish the 100-year-old single-family residence. A second demolition permit seeks to remove the detached garage and shed simultaneously. The property is adjacent to the Don Pedro Mexican Food restaurant on 82nd Avenue and outside the residential section of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan Map. Consequentially, the permits are not subject to a 35-Day Demolition Delay.

In the early 1900s, the property housed a small cottage on the land with an original address of 2049 Holladay Ave. Ivan Swift purchased that home sometime after 1911. According to the Sunday Oregonian, the Swift family celebrated the birth of their daughter at that home on September 5th, 1918. Sometime late in the 1920s, the Swifts updated the house, installing a sewer line and running water.

2049 East Holladay Ave Sanborn Maps 1924

The two-bedroom, one bathroom, 489-square-foot home’s real estate listing shows very few updates over its 100 years. However, it has received at least one addition at the back of the building, expanding the structure. The property is now zoned Commercial Mixed Use 2 and could support a variety of medium-scale redevelopment. Projects in this zone generally support four stories, except in locations where bonuses allow up to five levels and offer a mixed commercial and residential use.

Expect demolition crews onsite in the next few months. Workers will also remove the driveway’s curb cut, cap the sewer, and fill the basement cavity. Look for updates when the developer submits building permits for the replacement structure.

Deconstruction of 1900 Era House on NE 75th

The new owners of 319 NE 75th Avenue recently filed for a demolition permit to deconstruct the 122-year-old home. The dwelling retained some of its original design through several remodels but has suffered from neglect more recently. 

In March of this year, Everett Custom Homes bought the property and requested permission to clear the land the following month. The permit application seeks to demolish the single-family residence and attached garage. Crews will fill in the basement cavity, break up the driveway, and remove the curb cut leading onto NE 75th Avenue. The developer’s post-demolition plans for the site are not yet public. However, removing the curb cut and driveway could indicate a planned multifamily use of the property that does not support onsite parking.

This property resides on the same block as the 137 unit 74th and Glisan affordable housing project, scheduled to begin construction next year. The area already supports many multi-unit buildings, and redevelopment of smaller homes is likely to continue in this vicinity. 

87 (formally 411) East 75th Street North, Sanborn Map from 1924.

When constructed in 1900, the original dwelling was a modest single-story home with a basement. Over its first three decades, the City changed the house’s address two times. The building’s first address of 411 East 75th Street North was updated sometime after Portland annexed Montavilla in 1906. The house number changed from 411 to 87. Then Portland’s Great Renumbering of 1931-1933 changes the address again to its current designation. The Sunday Oregonian for May 27, 1917, notes that an early owner of the home, Mrs. E. A. Beals, was active within the community. As a Daughters of the American Revolution member, she was the featured speaker for the Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) event held at the Montavilla School.

Although this bungalow has many admirable characteristics, the listing photos for the property indicate previous owners had not updated the house over the years. If the new owners had opted to restore the house, it would likely have taken a significant investment and required reducing the habitable space. The demolition permit is pending the completion of a 35-day appeal period. That delay window ends at 4:30 p.m. on May 31. Starting next month, demolition crews can begin removing the structures and preparing the land for a new project.

SE Stark Commercial Building for Sale

The owner of 8502-8504 SE Stark Street recently listed the property for sale. The multi-story building currently houses Unicorn Jiu JitsuSanctuary Tattoo & Piercing, and one other tenant. Businesses in the building likely will remain at the location beyond the building’s sale.

The property contains two attached structures. A previous owner completed construction on the street-facing two-story building in 2004, while the original building dates back to 1922. First built as a two-and-a-half-story home, the property later featured a single-story office addition, constructed in 1962. All structures now interconnect to offer 4,128 square feet of office and retail space.

1962 plumbing permit showing new one-story office building

The current owner of the building, Base Line Properties, bought the location from Forbidden Body Art in 2018. Prior to that, the building housed DMS Electric and Dynamic Lighting. The site contains a paved parking lot with alley and street access. Other financial benefits to the property are listed in the real estate flyer.

1924 Sanborn map showing 2110 E Stark Street, the original address of the property

Commercial properties often take longer to sell than residential properties. However, this property could attract interested investors as a fully occupied building and find a new owner within a few months. Contact Cole Peterson with Windermere Community Commercial Realty at 503-319-4267 or GrahamColePeterson@gmail.com to learn more or make an offer.

Sunny 82nd Market Closes

Sunny 82nd Market, located at 944 NE 82nd Avenue, closed this week, ending a long history of food sales at this site. Since its construction in 1926, the single-story shopfront supplied highway travelers and area residents with groceries for almost 100 years.

Originally constructed as a storefront with an attached house in the rear, the building hugged the road’s edge at 228 E 82nd Avenue. It was the sole commercial property on the massive block owned by the Oregon Employment Institution for the Blind, now occupied by Montavilla Park and Multnomah University. City staff adjusted the building’s address to 944 NE 82nd Avenue during Portland’s Great Renumbering of 1931-1933. In September of 1934, the building’s owners relocated the structure further back from the street to allow for road widening.

1928 Sanborn Map

For over three decades, the R.B. Grocery and Meat Market served the community from this location. During its near 100 years, the property changed hands many times, most recently in 1987. The name of the market also changed. However, it has remained a destination for the hungry regardless of what people called it. The business owners first registered Sunny 82nd Market at this address in 1991 and let the registration elapse last year.

R.B. Grocery and Meat Market – 944 NE 82nd Avenue – 1934

The next chapter for this building is uncertain. No recorder property sales or real estate listings are available at the moment. Expect to see some transformation to the site over the next twelve months as this location once again finds a new purpose.

Two Townhomes Join 1925 House

The new owners of a 1925 era home at 400 NE 91st Avenue recently demolished a detached garage on the property, making way for two new townhomes. The 100-foot by 100-foot wide lot is across NE 91st Avenue from Columbia Christian School and abutting the campus’s northeast parking lot. Crews will remodel the original home during the site’s redevelopment.

Google Maps view of 400 NE 91st Avenue

The 1,328 square foot building at the site is part of the original four dwellings built on this block nearly a century ago. The single-story home wore the address of 102 East 91st Street N before Portland’s Great Renumbering of 1931-1933. The removed garage was not original to the property.

1928 Sanborn Map – 102 East 91st Street N

FX Homes bought this site in October of 2021. They now propose the construction of two single-story townhomes on the southern half of the property. The low-slung scope of the development will match the stature of surrounding homes in the area. Houses on this segment of NE 91st Ave are effectively situated within the Columbia Christian School campus, creating a unique residential atmosphere with street activities tied closely to the school’s schedule.

Although early in the process, redevelopment of this site appears to take queues from the existing architecture in the area and respect the scale of the neighboring properties. By retaining a classic Portland home, the developers should appease preservationists while adding more housing to the neighborhood. Look for increased construction work at this site later in the year and the creation of two new homes.

La Osita PDX Opening in Taylor Ct Grocery Building

Last Thursday, Elizabeth Guerrero and David Doyle finalized their purchase of the historic Taylor Court Grocery property. The pair own the La Osita PDX food cart located on 122nd Avenue near Market street. After renovating their newly acquired storefront at 1135 SE 80th Avenue, they will sell the cart and relocate their Mexican restaurant and coffee house to the Montavilla location.

La Osita PDX opened in a small food cart in January of 2018 after Guerrero and Doyle noticed a lack of a good breakfast location near their home in east Portland. The partners bought the cart from a friend and found space on 122nd in the parking lot of the Plaza 122 building. Combining a shared food service background and recipes inspired by Elizabeth Guerrero’s Mexican heritage, the partners brought Coffee and their unique brunch/lunch menu to an underserved area.

At first, the parking lot space was ill-equipped for carts, and they had to run their operation from a generator secured in a nearby cage. The location received strong community support, and business picked up throughout the year. However, before making their first anniversary, someone stole the generator and shut down the business. Fortunately, the building owners saw the value in the cart’s continued operation and allowed the installation of a dedicated electrical hookup.

Original cart Image courtesy La Osita PDX 

Business continued to grow, and they eventually upgraded to a larger cart. Unfortunately, the theft of critical equipment continued, prompting the group to consider a more permanent solution and give up the cart life. “Being a cart in Portland is kind of a bummer. You’re really exposed, and people think nothing of just stealing whatever they can off your cart that’s critical to opening up your store each day,” explained David Doyle.

Doyle expressed that remaining in their current community was a primary goal for the move. “A lot of the businesses on [122nd Avenue] come for lunch, and that’s a big part of the business.” However, searching for a suitable small brick-and-mortar location near the cart proved challenging for Guerrero and Doyle. An expanded search surfaced the Taylor Court Grocery, and they instantly saw the potential in the 100-year-old retail space. Although three miles from the original location, they hope customers will follow them to SE 80th Avenue.

In December, Guerrero and Doyle applied for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan and worked through the challenging process of acquiring the Montavilla property. The deal includes both the storefront and single-family home on a shared lot. To make the finances work, the new owners will need to rent out the house on the property. They are considering many options, including a childcare facility.

The grocery store building will require substantial renovations to transition into a restaurant. It will start with some sizeable deferred maintenance projects. “The storefront, we just wanna get it stable,” said Doyle. “We don’t know the extent of damage, but it looks like the roof needs a repair or replacement.” Once crews repair the outer shell, work will focus on the inside of the building. Contractors will add a commercial kitchen to the back of the building and an ADA-compliant bathroom. The new owners expect a large number of customers will take their meals to go. Consequentially, they will use a counter-service layout for the restaurant with customer seating upfront.

Guerrero and Doyle plan to refresh the street-facing appearance of the storefront but maintain the historic appearance, including the Taylor Ct Grocery sign. “We love that sign. It almost feels like a shame to cover up the Taylor Court grocery part of it, but we’re thinking we’re going to refinish it,” said Doyle. After repairing and weatherizing the sign, they will repaint it with the restaurant’s name but maintain its original shape.

Image courtesy La Osita PDX 

La Osita PDX offers an extensive menu from the cart, and the team does not feel they are missing many options. However, staff will grow the selection slightly after the move while keeping all of the favorite to-go friendly dishes. Guerrero plans to add Aguas Frescas and horchata to the drink offerings, with traditional Mexican pastries to balance out the savory options. Elizabeth Guerrero and her sister Maria Guerrero run the restaurant, with Maria playing a critical component in kitchen operations. They both are thrilled to move out of the cart and into the larger space. With the number of customers they serve and the size of the menu, space was always the constraining factor for La Osita PDX.

Much like the previous owners of Taylor Court Grocery, Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson, La Osita PDX is a family business wanting to serve the community. Look for construction to begin within the next few months and check for updates on the company’s Instagram page. Until the restaurant opens later this year, Elizabeth Guerrero and David Doyle encourage you to visit the cart on 122nd Avenue to explore the menu.

Pawnshop Closes on 82nd Ave

The pawn shop located at 933 NE 82nd Avenue closed its doors and boarded up the windows this month. The family-owned business has operated the shop along 82nd Avenue since buying the property in 1996. Before that, it was the motorcycle destination of the area.

Developers constructed the single-story storefront in 1961 for a Matchless Motorcycle dealership. During the next four decades, the location represented the great expansion of American motorcycle culture in the area. Matchless’s parent company, Associated Motor Cycles (AMC), filed for bankruptcy in 1966, and sometime after that, the business changed to Portland Motorcycles. Often featured in Cycle World magazine, the November 1977 issue described Portland Motorcycles as having an impressive selection of parts.

Matchless Motor Cycles dealership ad 1961, featuring a signpost from Portland Oregon.

“Portland Motorcycles has a parts inventory that dates back to 1968-’69. They service Moto Guzzi as well as Ducati and Suzuki. Mr. Hillis, owner of the shop, says the parts department is in 90 percent good shape 95 percent of the time and that the company has the largest parts inventory on the West Coast.”

In the 1980s, the location became better known as Portland Kawasaki and continued operation into the 1990s. The future use of the property is uncertain. However, the 4,590 square foot corner lot is suitable for mixed-use redevelopment. Look for changes at the property later this year.

Union Rose Moving Locations on Stark

Union Rose is moving down the street to a new storefront at 8029 SE Stark Street. Currently, they are located a block east on the same side of Stark Street. The larger space will allow for more onsite manufacturing of women’s clothing and expanded gift-items available in the shop.

Owner Rita Hudson-Evalt was excited to find a new place nearby. “I love being in Montavilla,” remarked Hudson-Evalt when describing the short move. Staying in the neighborhood is essential for the business and staying on the street ensures minimal disruption for customers. Union Rose has been in its current location since before Hudson-Evalt bought the store in 2014. The original owner, Nicole Prevost, opened the store on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in 2007 and moved to Montavilla not too long after that. Hudson-Evalt was a designer, selling to the store when Prevost was looking to leave the business. “I couldn’t handle the place not being around,” explained Hudson-Evalt when describing why she bought the shop.

Six years later, the store is continuing to survive in the pandemic thanks to a loyal customer base and the online store’s success. “We are going to make it through,” Hudson-Evalt said with a tone of relief. Doubling the store’s floor space affirms the businesses’ health and positions the company to be more flexible as the economy changes and recovers.

The rough outline of the future storefront

The store will shut down its old location on December 28th and reopen in the new storefront around January 6th. Hudson-Evalt will bring clothing production entirely onsite, moving from the basement studio where much of the work happens today. The back portion of the new shop becomes dedicated to product creation. A curtain behind the counter will hide overly messy projects, but most times it will remain open to show customers the process.

Union Rose’s location at 7909 SE Stark Street will become available in the new year. “It was a fantastic location,” according to Hudson-Evalt. Growing out of the space was the only issue for the company. Montavilla retail space is affordable with accommodating building management. “Both landlords have been great,” said Hudson-Evalt about the process of switching locations. For instance, the new owner of 8029 SE Stark Street upgraded the front windows to new energy-efficient glass, retaining the old appearance with improved comfort.

Sanborn Map 1924

The future home of Union Rose previously housed Tanuki and other restraints. The building’s history began in 1924. This particular space had an address of 2019 E Stark Street before the street renumbering of the 1930s. The first business listing at that address was for The Pastime pool hall. A 1926 advertisement in the Montavilla Times declares it “Where All Good Fellows Meet.”

Montavilla Times March 25th 1926

This move is an exciting shuffle of Stark Street businesses. Carmen Ripley, the owner of Beanstalk Children’s Resale Clothing, expressed excitement about Union Rose’s future move to the storefront next to her shop. The two apparel stores should complement each other’s business with minimal overlap in offerings. The new year will bring many changes to the neighborhood, and Union Rose’s move seems to be only positive for the community.

Vintage Store in Vintage Building

Tigersden Vintage recently moved into the storefront at 7035 NE Glisan Street. The vintage store has over five years of experience selling online with Etsy, eBay, and now a Shopify store. This year they opened the Montavilla shop on Glisan and are currently displaying merchandise street-side.

Tigersden Vintage describes itself as a curated clothing and home goods resale shop. Opening any brick-and-mortar store during a pandemic is challenging. However, this business has established roots in online sales, positioning it better than other local stores expanding into website retail for the first time.

The building is the former home of the 12 X 12 Club, an establishment offering meeting space for 12-Step Recovery programs. Founded in 1990, the non-profit organization used this location to support people in recovery through a host of services. An established recovery community took root at this storefront, as did other businesses before it.

The building’s origin begins in 1917 at the hands of the first occupants. The Schultz brothers built this two-story building to house their plumbing business. Schultz Bros. Plumbing operated at this location from construction through the 1920s. The business owners potentially lived above the store during those years.

Sanborn map 1924

The property had an address of 1807 E Glisan Street before being renumbered in the 1930s. The Morning Oregonian on May 25th of 1916 recorded the original construction price for the building. “SCHULTZ BROS. – Erect two-story frame dwelling, 1807 East Glisan street, between East Seventieth and East Seventy-first streets: builder, same: $1800” By March 4th, 1917, the brothers posted their first advertisement for services in The Oregon daily journal. “SCHULTZ BROS., 1807 E. Glisan St. Tabor 1154. Also Supplies”

On October 20th of 1919, The Oregon daily journal listed $100 worth of repairs to the store. Although listed as a repair, that description also applied to other building upgrades. As with the building’s construction, the brothers list themselves as the contractors performing work. Early in the 1920s, the business became a member of the Portland Master Plumbers Association. The brothers’ affiliation is advertised in The Oregon daily journal of July 5th, 1922.

Also, in 1922, The Oregon daily journal from August 2nd has a posting offering a reward for a lost item. “Lost – Khaki-colored auto tent between Portland and Cascade Locks. Liberal reward. 1807 E. Glisan Phone Tabor 1154.” Auto Tents were an early version of camping trailers designed to fit inside or attache to cars. They offered roadside camping to car owners and could cost a considerable amount. This post hints at the brothers’ recreational activities and demonstrates a level of financial success.

Schultz Bros. Plumbing quietly disappeared from records after 1924 when W. J. Schultz sold his interest in the business to George F. Schultz. In 1964 new owners are listed on a plumbing permit for the building. The history of businesses at this address begins again with the 12 X 12 Club, and now Tigersden Vintage.

It seems fitting that a vintage shop would take residence in a centuries-old building. Beyond its appropriate placement, having an active storefront in that location helps Glisan grow as a shopping and dining destination. Visit Tigersden Vintage Tuesday through Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday between 11 AM to 7 PM. Or online at tigersdenvintage.com.