Category: New Business

Moto Cafe Pivots from Venue to Carts

Moto PDX Cafe could soon host up to eight food carts placed in its front parking lot at 8826 SE Stark Street. This next phase of supplemental business activity will follow a brief closure as staff remove the soundproofing recently added to the large glass windows at the front of the single-story building. The business owner installed that sound-deadening material in an attempt to contain the dance music played within. However, continued noise complaints encouraged him to abandon his ambitions for a local music venue and re-evaluate what business activity would work well for the surrounding community.

Moto PDX Cafe opened as a motorcycle-racing-themed restaurant and cafe in December 2021. Launching a new food service business during an already difficult time for restaurants hampered early growth, and cafe owner Brendan Jones looked for ways to supplement income for his young eatery. “Coming out of the pandemic after a less than stellar performance with the cafe, which has been very difficult, I was thinking we could get folks out to enjoy music events,” explained Jones. The initial performances were successful, and dance music during the evening hours was a growth area for the cafe. “That seemed to be going OK, and then I had someone approach me from the neighborhood.” A person living near the storefront could hear the music and felt it was louder than they liked. Jones proceeded to soundproof the front of the building around the beginning of the year in an attempt to contain the music. “The problem with sound is that it’s more art than science,” said Jones, and his attempts to block the noise seemed more challenging than expected.

After considerable expense and repeated attempts, Jones felt he had contained the dance music to the premises. After applying a new layer of foam material, he began playing music and walked the surrounding blocks to see how far one could hear anything. Feeling confident that his adjustments to the building worked and that he was not likely to disturb the neighbors, he continued to operate the dance venue. However, despite his efforts, the person returned with another notice about the excessive volume. Eventually, an official complaint came in, and Jones did not want to continue to press the issues. “The city notified me, and I didn’t wanna disturb the neighborhood, so we just stopped,” said Jones. “It’s not as if we were doing it to be jerks.”

Jones is always ready to adapt his business to meet demand, and food cart service has been an option for the property since he bought the building. With an end to the dance music, Jones felt it was time to move to the next phase. After reopening, Moto PDX Cafe will continue operating its full bar and offering a select menu. Jones has changed out the cafe’s food items several times since launching, and it now provides a small number of vegan/vegetarian options. Food carts will substantially expand the variety of cuisine while drawing more people in for adult beverages and coffee drinks. Jones acknowledges Montavilla has several food cart pods in the area but feels this space has an advantage. “I think one of the benefits of having the building in the rear is that during winter, it’ll be nice and warm and cozy.” Food cart patrons can enjoy their meals indoors with heat and restrooms while having access to a wide variety of drinks. Additionally, Jones sees the Stark Street space as nicely situated for patrons east of 82nd Avenue.

Expect Moto PDX Cafe to remain closed as they work on the property. The space will reopen after the cart tenants begin operation at the location. Food cart vendors can fill out a contact form at the cafe’s website to reserve a space or review terms.

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StormBreaker Opening in The Yard at Montavilla

This Monday, StormBreaker Brewing will begin its takeover of the beer service cart inside The Yard at Montavilla food cart pod located at 8220 NE Davis Street. Pod co-owner Kevin Dennis operates the existing Yard Bar at Montavilla drink station and will now turn over operations to the award-winning Portland brewery. This cart will join StormBreaker’s two other locations in St. Johns and on Mississippi Avenue.

The transition to the new cart operators will begin gradually with a Tap Takeover of the existing business. Starting at 4 p.m. on May 22nd, visitors of the food cart pod will experience the range of award-winning beers and seasonal brews offered by StormBreaker. After the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission approves their permit, the complete transformation of the bar can begin with branding changes and expanded offerings, including a variety of hard cider, hard seltzer, and wine.

StormBreaker’s owners are excited by the opportunity to serve Montavilla beer enthusiasts within the active food cart pod on 82nd Avenue. Kevin Dennis explained that alcoholic drink service is the backbone of a successful cart collective, and he has worked to keep a selection of beer available within his pod since opening. Dennis believes StormBreaker’s arrival in this location will boost his pod, attracting even more people to this two-year-old venture.

The StormBreaker Brewing bar cart is open from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. They have expanded hours from noon to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with noon to 8 p.m. service on Sundays. The new cart operators hope to captivate seasoned beer aficionados and newcomers with their expansive drink selection. Patrons can enjoy their drinks in a lively atmosphere within The Yard at Montavilla’s covered and open-air seating areas.

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SE 76th and Division Pay to Park

Last weekend, the long-dormant parking lot at 7601 SE Division Street reopened its gates, officially welcoming vehicle storage again. Universal Parking operates this unstaffed location, charging $5 per day for parking. The Lot is open 24 hours a day, and customers provide payment through a mobile webpage accessed by scanning an advertised QR code. Outside a few new signs and a security camera, the site’s operator has done little to clean up the property. The parking facility still appears abandoned, as it has since 2015.

For decades, Kaiser Permanente owned this nearly full-acre corner parcel, most recently using it for staff parking. Nicholas Diamond of Capacity Commercial bought the property in 2015 and has since explored several development opportunities. However, those did not materialize into permitted projects. Now he is interested in earning revenue from the parking lot while considering development plans. “This is not leased nor owned by Universal Parking. Universal Parking was approached to operate this location by the owner and is currently operating this location in an exploratory manner,” explained Dimitri Moustakas, a Universal Parking representative. “We are monitoring this location closely for revenue, use, and any security incidents such as crime or homelessness, which may lead the owner to close this location again. If all goes well without incident, we intend to continue operating until the owner decides to do something else with the property.”

An enforcement patrol randomly monitors the site for parking compliance. However, Universal Parking cautions customers to secure their vehicles. “There is no security, no staff, and parking is always at the parker’s own risk and expense,” said Moustakas. Despite the lack of security, it is a fenced and secluded parking lot that could prove useful to some people, including those relying on street parking. This location is within walking distance of Portland Community College’s SE Campus, where the full-day parking fee is also $5. The success of this location has yet to be determined, and its current appearance could detract from its popularity. However, more frequent use of this property should deter abuse and further decline while it waits for redevelopment.

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Noble Woof Opens on SE Stark Street

Noble Woof recently opened its first brick-and-mortar space at 8502 SE Stark Street after six years of providing in-home private dog training. Staff use positive reinforcement methods to cultivate good behavior and emotional enrichment in dogs. In addition to various instructor-led courses, their day training program helps reinforce at-home training with the added socialization dogs benefit from. 

The owner of Noble Woof, Brie Blakeman, explained the importance of working with the base character of an animal in behavior training. “All dogs have several canine core needs that we can’t take out of them, and if we don’t satisfy those needs, we’re going to see maladaptive behavior,” said Blakeman. Dogs have a primal need to experience shredding, digging, chewing, chasing, sniffing, and social contact. Breed and a dog’s personality affect the mix of those characteristics. “We put a lot of focus on figuring out what each individual needs to have those core needs met, and we pair that with structured high-level training.”

Noble Woof owner Brie Blakeman

Currently, Noble Woof offers day training for six hours, two days a week. The drop-off times are staggered to accommodate different schedules, with one day offering drop-off starting at 8 a.m. and the other day’s drop-off beginning at 10 a.m. Behavior training is the primary focus of the program. However, Blakeman expects certain clients will want to use the space to enrich their pet’s life rather than just building on previous training. “Some people, for example, used to be able to take their dog to daycare, and then they hit social maturity and could no longer tolerate that environment, but they still really need care for their dog.” Said Blakeman. In those cases, they will welcome the canine into the group, provided it remains a healthy environment for the dog.

Staff recommend consistency and ask clients to drop off pets on a set day, allowing them to match animals of similar character in small groups. “That allows us to facilitate slow and thoughtful introductions to the other dogs so that dogs who are a little more sensitive to their own kind aren’t feeling pressured to interact,” remarked Blakeman. Day training consists of up to four participants with group and individual activities. Dogs participating in day training must have had some instruction before attending. “The ideal client for day training is someone who has done private training with us or one of our approved training partners. There are a lot of great trainers in the city that use the same methodologies as we do, and it’s important that dog guardians are doing the training at home and understand the principles,” said Blakeman. That requirement ensures constant feedback with the consistency needed for long-term success.

Noble Woof offers an evolving roster of training opportunities for both the dogs and trainers. Blakeman explained that many clients only seek focused training and do not use the drop-off option. “There will, of course, be some guardians who just want to bring their dogs six times to work on a specific skill.” Those sessions occur every other week to build experience over a long period. “It’s a relationship, which means it’s going to take time for them to understand how to communicate with each other,” said Blakeman. Additionally, some behavior is environmental, and not all goals are achieved in an off-site session. Consequently, they will continue offering in-home instruction or observation through their staff or partners.

Noble Woof is located in the former Unicorn Jiu Jitsu shopfront, left vacant after that business relocated to 9220 SE Stark Street. Blakeman took over the storefront on April 1st and now shares the space with handmade BioThane leash maker Tricia Case. Case’s company, Trailblazing Tails, operates out of the back half of this location, and the two companies collaborate wherever possible. Blakeman is still painting the walls and working to place black agility flooring over the concrete floor in the main training room, but much of the base functions of the space are up and running. Future upgrades will include outdoor areas offering a smelling garden and patio area to practice tableside etiquette. 

The four employees and five contract trainers at Noble Woof are committed to creating a trusted resource for improving canine behavior. Brie Blakeman and her employee working on the day training program have rescue backgrounds through work at the Oregon Humane Society. Blakeman emphasized the value of that experience when running Noble Woof. “When you work in rescue, you become really good at the management and prevention of problem behaviors, setting up a space as best you can to ensure the comfort of every individual. A rescue environment is quite hard, and there are a lot of stressed dogs who don’t know where their home is. I think people can bring their dogs here knowing that we have a deep knowledge of learning theory and behavior, but we also have a lot of applied experience working with dogs of all varieties.”

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Lane Closures on NE 82nd and Glisan Bring New Sidewalks

Work on the Jacksons convenience store and gas station at 515 NE 82nd Avenue closed one lane on NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street as crews construct new sidewalks around two sides of the 40,250 square foot property. Construction of the new fueling station pumps and retail building is nearing completion, and now cement masons will build wider walkways around the site. The southbound TriMet 72 bus stop in front of the property is closed during this phase of the project. Riders can use the temporary stop across NE Glisan Street by Washman Auto Spa.

Over the following weeks, one southbound lane of NE 82nd Avenue and one westbound lane of NE Glisan Street are closed to traffic near the property. Sidewalks detour pedestrians onto the roadway to bypass the construction. However, until workers complete the new walkway, it is recommended that people use the opposite sidewalks while walking in this area. In addition to the expanded sidewalks with fewer curb cuts to navigate, pedestrians will soon have a corner public plaza to rest at.

Site Plan as presented to the Montavilla Neighborhood Association by PM Design Group, courtesy Jacksons.

This location will soon become safer for people thanks to an expanded pedestrian realm and a reduction in places where a vehicle crosses the sidewalk. Developers reduced curb cuts into this area in half, taking six entry points down to three and pushing them away from the corner crosswalk zone. The project designers also relocated the convenience store closer to the sidewalk so shoppers not traveling by car can have safe entry. Expect construction to continue into summer, with a store opening date later this year.

TriMet 72 bus stop temporary relocated on the south side of NE Glisan in front of Washman

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Substance Addiction Recovery Center on NE Glisan

The Pathfinder Network will unveil its newest substance addiction recovery center on March 29th at an Open House event. This Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) funded location will aid those seeking peer support services for addiction recovery. The Resilience & Recovery Project office is located at 7901 NE Glisan Street and is open to individuals 18 and older in Multnomah County with current or prior justice-system involvement.

This recovery location is six blocks from the Pathfinder Network’s Oregon headquarters and Center for Family Success at 7305 NE Glisan Street. This new site’s proximity to the organization’s other resources and its central location in Portland’s Eastside made it an ideal spot for the Resilience & Recovery Project – Multnomah County, according to Kiley Yuthas, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Pathfinder Network. “One of the amazing parts about this location is if there are services that we do not offer at this location, but we do offer in our Center for Family Success, we can have a peer walk these [six] blocks with somebody, introduce them one-on-one to whoever is going to be able to support them and get them involved with other wrap-around services,” remarked Yuthas. She explained that both locations offer different programs, but people’s needs often overlap. “Referrals go both ways,” said Yuthas.

Nearly two years ago, the Pathfinder Network relocated to Montavilla. The new site allowed the services group to merge their Downtown Portland offices with the Center for Family Success, previously located on SE 122nd. However, this Glisan street center is just one of eighteen locations in Oregon, nine of which are inside penitentiaries. For thirty years, the organization has served the needs of people navigating the post-conviction system. “The Pathfinder Network was founded in 1993, and our mission is to provide tools and support to individuals and families who are impacted by the criminal justice system,” explained Leticia Longoria-Navarro, Executive Director of the organization. Their work often begins within Oregon’s corrections facilities and extends post-release. “Most of the programming that happens in the institution is cognitive behavioral groups. The goal is to provide folks support and services through group-based intervention so that they can get the knowledge that they need to be able to start planning for their reentry,” said Longoria-Navarro. Beyond prison-based support, the Pathfinder Network has programs to guide people on parole or probation. “We have a suite of different community-based programs that are really focused on providing support to the individuals that are impacted by the system as well as their children and families. We know there are just a ton of barriers that people experience with involvement in the criminal justice system, and we also know that people are connected with other systems at the same time. Whether it be mental health, substance abuse, or child welfare. So our goal is to try to help reduce some of those barriers and increase access to resources.” Pathfinder Network staff is not necessarily the services provider but instead works to direct people to resources that can help.

Traditionally, this type of work centers on the person preparing for reentry into the community and expands to include the individual’s family after release. However, Longoria-Navarro explained that this is starting to change. “The majority of our programs are really focused on the individual who’s incarcerated, but we have evolved and expanded our programs to start that support for both the children and families when they’re still incarcerated.” The organization considers family support an essential part of the program, providing an intervention for children who are often collateral damage in the criminal justice system.

Playroom at the Pathfinder Network

Over the last three years, the Pathfinder Network has expanded its efforts to include substance addiction recovery support for those with mandatory treatment requirements and those looking to overcome their dependence on drugs. This avenue of services has expanded over the last three years due to funding from Measure 110. In 2020, voters approved a ballot measure to reclassify personal drug possession offenses to Class E violations that result in a $100 fine. That fine is waived if the person completes a health assessment at an addiction recovery center. It also redirects funds from the Oregon Marijuana Account to drug treatment and recovery services intending to handle the new influx of people seeking a health assessment or treatment.

It has taken years for the treatment side of Measure 110 to roll out to communities, while the decriminalization part of the program was immediately evident. However, Kiley Yuthas explained that the Pathfinder Network began working on growing these facilities early on. “This is the 5th location of our Resilience & Recovery Project in Oregon. We have three locations in Jackson County right now in Medford. That was our first location to open in 2021. And since then, we have expanded to two other offices down there in 2022. We opened the Resilience & Recovery Project – Marion County down in Salem, and now we’re opening this one.”

The need for more recovery locations is immense, and it is sometimes hampered by finding enough staff to guide those seeking treatment. “We’ll continue to grow rapidly, and if anyone wants to work in peer support, they should check out our jobs page,” said Yuthas, noting that personal history is an important part of the role. “One of the amazing things about our Resilience & Recovery Project is that all of our peers have lived experience of recovery and systems involvement. So they can say, ‘I have been in this position, and I took these steps, or I can support you in these ways to get you to a similar outcome as what I have achieved.’ so the qualifications for becoming a peer are to have two years of successful recovery and some experience navigating systems.”

Drop in resources area at the Resilience & Recovery Project with shared computer and literature

The Resilience & Recovery Project’s open house begins at 11 a.m. next Wednesday, with a short program introducing the space at 11:30. The peer program manager will speak about her experience, hopes, and goals for the program. Then one of the parent partners will talk about her experience coming to the Pathfinder Network as a participant and transitioning into a parent partner role. From noon until 2 p.m., the organization invites the public to look at the space and meet some of the people working to break addictions and make the criminal justice system a program of reform.

Correction March 23rd, 2023: A previous version of this article said they were in operation for 20 years instead of 30 years. We regret this error.

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Reducing Violence Through Building Better Futures

Several months ago, the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center + Rosemary Anderson High School (POIC + RAHS) opened the Community Care office in a previously vacant building at SE Stark Street and SE 91st Avenue. From this location, they provide violence reduction programs that divert at-risk people into job training programs and provide support to those transitioning to a safer future.

POIC began in 1967 as part of the national OIC of America network, an organization dedicated to providing black Americans access to job training programs. In 1983, the Portland group shifted services to struggling youth, later opening its first high school named after Executive Director Rosemary Anderson. That initiative has grown to support over 3,000 students across four high school campuses and one middle school. The education and opportunities nonprofit continues to use work training to reduce violence and improve lives.

Serving the community from the SE Stark Street location, Hiag Brown is Co-Director of POIC’s Community Care Team and the Trauma + Violence Impacted Family Program. Brown explained that people come to the organizations primarily through referrals from Police, school district staff, faith-based groups, or community members. “Once they come in, we do a risk analysis and figure out where they fall. Are they extremely high-risk? Do they really need a life coach or an intensive case manager? Or are they on the verge of getting into a gang, where we can find them a mentor,” said Brown.

After evaluating the person’s needs, the Community Care staff determines the next steps. Those steps can involve setting up a safety plan for individuals needing immediate guidance. “Safety plans are with the intensive case managers. It’s intensive because, for the first three months, it’s daily contact, meeting with them three times a week face to face. It’s consistency that is needed over time. They haven’t had somebody guide them in the right direction. It’s an 18-month process and part of best practices,” said Brown. That process involves developing a cooperative strategy stemming from a series of questions. “Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What can we do? So it’s keeping them safe, keeping their family safe, making successful choices.”

A desire to remove yourself from a dangerous life is only the first step. It requires overcoming many barriers present in people’s environment. Brown explained that diverting someone into a job apprenticeship program is an essential part of their counseling work and a necessary step to making positive changes in people’s lives. “If they’re into that lifestyle, into drug dealing, that’s their source of income. So if you’re taking that away from them, what are you replacing it with?” Asked Brown. Even in a strong employment market, having a felony on your record can dramatically limit work opportunities. “As soon as they have a felony, people will just give up.” However, according to Brown, working around that limitation is where the organization excels. “We’re good at finding people jobs they can do with a felony and make a decent living. We’re putting them into these apprenticeship programs. We’re finding jobs through our work source, putting them into the culinary program if they want. So we’re finding all these positive things for them to do.”

Focusing on the future is insufficient to keep people on their chosen positive path. Counseling, mentorship, and continued support through life events contribute to POIC + RAHS’s success rate. “When there’s somebody that’s shot, our people get the call, and they’ll say, ‘my homeboy just got shot,’ ‘my brother got shot,’ whoever, it’s our life coach and intensive case managers there keeping them on track. ‘Remember what we’re doing. Do not lose sight of where you’re at. We’ll not step back into that lifestyle,'” explained Brown.

Hiag Brown acknowledges that gun violence is astonishingly prevalent despite the organization’s decades of work. He does not fully understand why there was a sudden increase but sees a few recent events contributing to the problem. “COVID did not help at all, but it was my opinion that when they got rid of the gun violence reduction team and didn’t have anything to replace them with, that hurt. Because those officers had built relationships with those high-risk individuals, and they weren’t as brazen as they are now, with carrying weapons and not worried about being pulled over.”

Despite that setback and increased community violence, Brown sees significant success in the organization’s work. “So they’ve done a great job of keeping them out of that lifestyle, and I couldn’t imagine what our shooting numbers would be like if we weren’t connecting with these people.” The increased attention to their work has helped expand operations, including opening up this centrally located office on SE Stark Street and raising pay for employees, many of whom come from the same background as the people they are helping. However, even as POIC + RAHS grows the scope of their work, keeping that support going after the shooting numbers come down will be a challenge. “Finding sustainable funding is a big part of it. [Eventually,] somebody says, ‘OK, now these shootings have gone down, we’re going to cut your funding.’ That’s usually what happens,” remarked Brown. A funding cycle that diminishes with signs of success can undermine the lasting effects of violence prevention programs like those that delivered historically low shooting numbers in the city before the pandemic.

The SE Stark Street POIC + RAHS location is closed to the public. The office hosts many support groups for people who have suffered trauma from violence or need the support of a community with shared experiences. It is a safe space where the turmoil of a person’s life does not follow them. Instead of greeting people as they walk in the doors, POIC + RAHS staff are out in the community serving Portland’s Eastside residents. People looking to support the organization can donate or partner with the group by offering internship opportunities at a business.

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The Fairuz Room at Ya Hala

Last Valentine’s Day, Ya Hala‘s owners launched their new approach to fine Lebanese dining in the Fairuz Room. This recently remodeled space transformed an unused overflow seating area into a culinary event space adjacent to the family-run restaurant at 8005 SE Stark Street. The new venture from the Attar family hosts fixed menu events, catered gatherings, and curated pop-ups.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Mirna Attar and her husband owned a Lebanese grocery store in the restaurant’s current location. In addition to the packaged products imported for Portland’s growing Middle Eastern community, they offered freshly cooked counter-service meals. “We served a lot of ex-pats back then,” recalled Pascal Attar, Ya Hala’s General Manager. Eventually, demand for Mirna Attar’s prepared food outpaced the capacity of the service counter, and the family moved the grocery next door to the space currently housing the Fairuz Room. They remodeled their original corner shop into the Ya Hala restaurant, offering table service and an expanded menu.

Years later, they needed more space for seating and shifted the grocery store one more storefront east. Pascal Attar’s aunt now runs the store at 8015 SE Stark Street under the name La Bouffe International Gourmet. The family has other grocery stores, including two World Foods locations. The family-owned businesses outside Montavilla have deli counters serving foods cooked in the Ya Hala kitchen, keeping it at the center of the family’s operation. “Ya Hala is the flagship business,” explained Pascal Attar.

However, like most food service businesses, the pandemic changed how they fed customers. “COVID happened. There was a mandatory shutdown, and we shut down for a few months. We got together as a family and said, ‘OK, given everything that’s going on, how are we going to adjust our business model so it’s sustainable.’ Prior to COVID, we had about 100 seats with full service in both rooms,” recalled Pascal Attar. “We decided to go back to the original model of being an order at the counter restaurant. We slimmed our menu down from three pages down to one.” Cutting staff positions and a reduced selection allowed the restraint to survive. After a few years of operating in a simplified setup, they wanted to expand beyond the limited menu again, but not by reverting to the pre-pandemic format. “That wasn’t satisfactory for Chef Myrna, my mom because she’s a creative because she’s a visionary.” Said Pascal Attar.

Mirna Attar knew building unique menus must happen in a different footprint than their established restaurant. “She needed a space to create dishes that tie traditional Lebanese cuisine with offerings from the Northwest,” explained Pascal Attar. With Ya Hala back to its roots as a counter-service eatery with open seating, the family looked to the unused overflow dining area next door as a way to reimagine an expanded offering. That was the start of the Fairuz Room.

The Attar family styled the new reservation-only space to reflect the warmth and comfort of a Lebanese living room with the sounds and images of one of the country’s most notable performer. “Fairuz is a Lebanese icon, a national treasure. She is a singer. She also did a lot of theater, and she’s known very well across the Middle East. So we have her music on in here, and we have posters of her up in the room that were printed in Italy in the 1960s,” said Pascal Attar. The room’s theme lends itself to immersive dining, and the spacious layout allows visitors to feel at ease as if they are visiting a friend’s home for dinner. 

Dining events in this space will use hyperlocal sourced ingredients paired with selections from partner wine producers. The Ya Hala website will soon feature links to a reservation system for booking tables at future set-menu dinners. Some menus will focus on foods from particular regions of Lebanon, and others could incorporate all vegetarian-vegan selections.

Those interested in booking the Fairuz Room for a party of eight or more should email, and those wanting to reserve a table for a Fairuz Room dinner night should keep an eye on the company website and Instagram. The room fits 32 people at a variety of table configurations. When they begin regular service, Pascal Attar anticipates one to two dinners per week.

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Endure Vintage Furnishings on SE Stark

Last weekend, Endure vintage furniture opened at its new location in Downtown Montavilla. The store moved to 7848 SE Stark Street after relocating from a temporary space on E Burnside Street. The mid-century modern focused furniture store joins a handful of other shops selling classic items on SE Stark Street.

Endure began as a pop-up shop in late 2022, and its success kept the doors open. A steady interest in the store’s collection prompted the owners to relocate to a permeant storefront with more space. Although this business’ name is relatively new, co-owner Brandon Laws has eight years of experience selling furniture online and operates other vintage enterprises outside of Oregon.

During their location search, Laws and his partner, Stephanie Trimble, considered one space near a collection of vintage shops on SE Hawthorne Boulevard. However, they ultimately chose to take the storefront next door to Flipside Hats in that recently remodeled building. “The space itself is beautiful and has light and really good windows. I just kind of fell in love with the space,” explained Laws. “It just seems like Montavilla is in a better position of its arc. People are moving east in our city, and I feel like Montavilla’s time is just around the corner.” Said Laws. He recognizes the neighborhood is already an established Portland destination but feels there is plenty of room to mature, particularly around the growing number of Vintage shops clustering together on the main street.

SE Stark Street has featured antique shops for decades, but the number of shops has increased dramatically over the last three years. In this competitive market, Endure sets itself apart from the other shops by focusing on a particular era of furniture. “Though a handful of vintage shops have opened on that little stretch of Stark Street, we have a little bit different flavor of inventory than the other ones,” said Laws. “We’re a little bit more strictly mid-century modern than most folks. We focus on case goods, so credenzas dressers and things that are shaped like boxes.”

Article images courtesy Endure

The bulk of inventory comes from the 1950s through the 1960s, and store staff refinish most pieces, restoring them to their original condition. Laws and Trimble feel that those years were the best era for American-made home goods. “We’re drawn to things that are really well crafted. We focus on a time period where there was a lot of bounty in the United States, and there were actually big-name designers designing pieces of furniture, which stopped happening in the US after a certain amount of time,” explained Laws. During that time, people invested more of their income towards quality furniture made with hardwoods and other durable materials. 

The search for mid-century modern furniture takes a nationwide hunt by a group of enthusiasts. “I have a few friends that pick for me out in the Midwest and East Coast. We travel the country and load up the biggest truck we can get,” said Laws. They then transport those items to a warehouse or other storage locations to be cleaned up and made ready for a new home. On average, Laws and Trimble only display ten percent of the available inventory in the shop. Consequentially, they often have access to the particular item a customer wants. “We’re pretty good at finding things for people,” remarked Laws.

Article images courtesy Endure

Endure’s inventory is not restricted to vintage furniture. Stephanie Trimble has collected an assortment of vintage dresses over the last 15 years. The store will rotate through the 1000 peace collection, which covers styles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. They will also have a selection of new handmade items and works from Pacific Northwest artists, rounding out the store’s offerings.

Endure is open Friday through Monday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with extended weekend hours starting at noon. These limited hours will expand after they hire an employee later this year. Expect a rotating collection of mid-century modern furniture alongside other vintage items on display, and stop in to make special requests for that particular piece you are seeking.

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Black Diamond Barber Shop on NE Glisan

Five months ago, Alain Martinez Castellanos opened Black Diamond Barber Shop at 9047 NE Glisan Street after ten years of cutting hair in other US shops. Castellanos’s passion for his craft started at age 14 under the instruction of his grandfather and uncle in Cuba. This family profession and pride in work is the foundation of the barbershop, showing in the multitude of five-star reviews.

Castellanos chose this three-chair storefront because of its location close to his home and its position along a major road near two freeways. The shop specializes in taper fades, razor fades, and braids, with hair coloring services coming soon. Black Diamond is a classic barbershop that can handle the full range of hair types, offering a clean cut with sharp lines. Customers span all ages and styles, supporting basic trims to intricate designs.

Castellanos brings a passion for his work uniquely found in those who have immersed themselves in a professional field. The company’s Instagram account [@black_diamond_barber_shop] and online booking site feature images of some common cuts and services. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

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