Category: New Business

NE 82nd Food Cart Pod Opens July 4th

Montavilla’s newest culinary destination opens next month. The Yard At Montavilla began development over a year ago, and now construction is nearing completion. Food carts will start arriving this week as electricians install the hookups necessary to power the mobile kitchens.

Last week crews paved the asphalt surface covering most of the corner lot at 8220 NE Davis Street. Workers will complete a shared trash enclosure and other finishing touches in the next few weeks. Several small changes to the infrastructure caused permitting delays that pushed back the original opening date. At this point, not too much more can delay the opening of this highly anticipated eating destination.

Co-owner of The Yard At Montavilla, Jeffrey Dennis, explained that they plan to host a trial run ahead of the official launch of the cart pod. “We’re hoping to open the weekend of June 25th for a soft opening and have July 4th be a Grand Opening weekend.” He went on to say that they have rented all but three of the 16 food carts spaces. Below is a listing of vendors at the cart pod, including Bai Yok Thai Food, who operated a restaurant in this same space before it burned down in 2016.

  • Guisados PDX – Mexican Food
  • East African Cuisine
  • Kings of Steak – Philly Cheese Steaks
  • Bai Yok Thai Food
  • Wood Fired Pizza
  • Shawarma Express – Mediterranean Food
  • Bobablastic – BobaTea, Poke Bowl, Hot Dog, Fries
  • Scout Beverages, Inc. – Beer & Wine
  • Taj Mahal Punjabi – Indian Cuisine
  • La Taquiza Vegana – All Vegan Mexican Street Food
  • Little Bear – Bingsu Tofu Popcorn Chx
  • Esan Thai Food Cart – Thai Food
  • Ricky’s Sushi – Sushi Rolls & Appetizers

Being located across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary, this is a prime location to serve a hungry community. Its launch date coincides with a national easing of COVID-19 restrictions and just in time for summer adventures. Expect new carts to start showing up soon and a buzz of activity as people ready for the imminent opening.


Images courtesy The Yard At Montavilla

Family Auto Sales at 82nd and Stark

Hood To Coast Auto Sales is relocating to the car lot at the corner of SE 82nd Ave and Stark Street. Owners Lindsey Barber and Matt Barber started the business two and half years ago in its current location near NE Sandy Boulevard and NE 138th Ave. Having outgrown that building, the couple and their two employees will relocate to Montavilla sometime next month.

New signage and banners at 428 SE 82nd Ave reflect the pending change to Hood to Coast Auto Sales from the location’s previous occupant. For many years the site housed an RV resales business. The Barbers signed a three-year lease on the property but are already looking to becoming long-term occupants of the space. Matt Barber expressed his excitement for the move into an active and welcoming community.

Matt Barber brings nineteen years of automotive experience to his business. However, his partnership with his wife is what shapes the company most. “We offer a family atmosphere where people will not hound-dog you when you step onto the lot,” explained Barber. The company values a hassle-free shopping experience where quality used cars sell at a reduced price.

The new location’s opening date depends on transferring the phones and inventory of used vehicles across town. Look for the car lot to fill up soon, but until then, a listing of the cars for sale is available online at hood2coastautosales.com. Call them at 971-347-3195 with specific questions, or drop in as soon as they are open. 

Wink Vintage on Stark Street

On April 10th, Wink Vintage opened a new shop on SE Stark Street. The owners merged two successful online vintage businesses into their first physical store. Located at 7909 SE Stark Street, this collaboration from Jennifer Strom and Courtney Kimball provides a curated vintage store where anybody can find something they like. 

Having taken over the recently vacated Union Rose space, the store only required minor updates before opening. Outside of painting walls and sanding the floors, the shop was in a usable condition. “They left it in good shape, so there wasn’t a lot of work to be done,” explained Strom. “[We] just adding our own flair,” added Kimball.

Courtney Kimball and Jennifer Strom

Although both are veterans of the vintage sales market, they had day jobs that provided additional income propr to opening this new shop. Kimball has worked for 20 years as a hairstylist and continues to see clients one day a week. Strom left a five-year-long bartending career to pursue her passion for vintage retail full-time. Both are enthusiastic about their new location in Montavilla and have already found foot traffic encouraging when neighboring businesses are open.

The owners are still adding items to the shop, particularly expanding non-clothing goods. However, they are intent on not overcrowding the shop. Items on the racks represent a fraction of what the pair have collected. They regularly scour garage sales, estate sales, and private collections for the best vintage items. Additionally, they invite people to sell items directly to the store. The expanded collection outside the store allows the business to provide personal shopping services. The store staff can hunt for particular items or recommend something based on past interest. They continue to sell online for the many customers across the country and have a devoted audience on the company’s Instagram.

Vintage clothing will not be the extent of the store’s apparel offerings. Working with a local seamstress, Wink Vintage will produce an in-house line using selectively sourced textiles. The backroom will soon become a workspace for clothing production and the occasional alteration of purchased items.

Only a month old, and the shop is already vibrant and active. They are open from 11 AM to 7 PM Wednesday through Saturday and 11 AM to 5 PM on Sundays. Visit them online and in person to get an idea of what items they have, and don’t be shy about asking them if they can find you a particular item.

Sebastiano’s in More Places

Sebastiano’s Sicilian Deli is venturing outside the four walls of its storefront at 411 SE 81st Ave. Starting this Friday night, the restaurant will open Aperitivo Sebastiano within a food cart located in the back parking lot behind the shop. This endeavor joins Sebastiano’s inaugural participation in the Montavilla Farmers Market last Sunday. Both new locations feature unique menu items and serve expanded tastes.

Many restaurants use food trucks to spread out to new locations, but co-owners of Sebastiano’s, Elise and Daniel Gold, are taking a different approach. Their food truck is parked behind the original restaurant, enhancing that location instead of transporting the business elsewhere. “Months ago, having no sense on where things would be at with covid, we came up with the idea of a food cart for summer. As a way to continue to grow but do it outside”, explained Daniel Gold. Traditionally, the deli serves the lunchtime crowd. By adding the food truck, customers can now enjoy a pre-dinner appetizer and drink on select nights. In Italy, an aperitivo is a pre-meal drink specifically meant to whet the appetite. This cultural tradition is the concept driving Aperitivo Sebastiano’s menu. Customers can start their night at the cart and then move on to dinner at another Montavilla eatery.

According to Gold, the food truck’s kitchen opens up a host of culinary options for the nighttime menu. “We’re pretty excited to be able to offer more types of food, essentially because now we have a full kitchen. We have fryers, we have a grill, we have four burners, more refrigeration, and the space for a cook to work safely.” The Golds optimized the restaurant’s existing food-prep for a deli operation, making the most out of limited space. Baking and pan-based cooking dominate that workflow as most menu items rely on cured protein ingredients.

Daniel Gold believes that the Italian doughnuts will become a favorite item at the cart, and that is not something that they could have created without the complete kitchen out-back. The food truck’s fryer supports a focus on Sicilian street food, a cuisine that favors fried foods. Beyond sweets, the menu will offer Arancini (stuffed and fried risotto balls), Zeppole, and House-pulled fresh Mozzarella. As the summer progresses, the expanded kitchen will allow for experimentation in the menu. Vegetarian and Vegan options are prime areas that Gold wants to expand on.

Up to this point, Sebastiano’s has offered takeout only, except for reserved group events last summer. Now outdoor seating around the truck lets customers stop in and order food and drinks to enjoy onsite. They will serve wine by the glass, Spritz, Rosato (Italian rose wine), and some nonalcoholic cocktails. The tables will be open during Aperitivo Sebastiano’s hours of 3 PM through 6 PM on Friday and Saturday nights, with post Farmers Market service on Sundays from 2 PM to 5 PM. Customers can also order items to go and bring them over to Threshold Brewing and Montavilla Brew Works seating area.

The collaboration with other Montavilla businesses is core to Sebastiano’s operation. All beer sold there is from local breweries. Sourcing within the neighborhood for foods and beverages is essential to the Golds. That is what brought them to the Montavilla Farmers Market, first as buyers for their seasonal dishes and now as vendors.

Only one weekend in, the farmers market booth has already proven worthwhile for Daniel Gold. “We’re super excited and had an incredible first day at the Montavilla Farmers Market.” Just as with the food truck, some menu items are locations specific. Sebastiano’s staff bake Castelvetrano olive focaccia exclusivly for the farmers market. The market menu items feature favorite Sebastiano’s food like orange marmalade, sweet and savory brioche rolls, and a “tremendous amount” of Sicilian cookies. The Golds sold out within an hour and a half of opening at the market. They are going to double their efforts for next Sunday.

Elise and Daniel Gold

The farmers market project is pure fun for Golds. “It’s really a lovely end of our week to be outside and to be with our community and seeing a bunch of people that we now know,” said Daniel Gold. Sebastiano’s will keep a booth at the market at least through October. That coincides with the end of their food truck lease. At that point, they will reassess and see if customers enjoyed the expanded options.

The Golds started Sebastiano’s at the beginning of the pandemic. That challenge forced the couple to adjust their plans and create new ways of engaging customers. This summer, the Golds and their staff continue to push forward, with new ways to serve residents who are venturing out after an extended stay at home. Stop by behind the shop any post-work-week night for a pre-dinner visit, have lunch at the original shop on Thursday-Saturday, or wave hello at the farmers market. They would love to see you at any of their many places.

Amanda Morales at the Aperitivo Sebastiano window

Images courtesy of Sebastiano’s Sicilian Deli

UPDATED May 10th 2021 – adjusted hours listed in article to reflect a change and corrected spelling of menu item.

OnPoint Branch Opens

Last week, the OnPoint 67th & Glisan Branch opened inside the Fred Meyer Grocery store located at 6615 NE Glisan Street. Credit union staff are meeting with walk-in customers six days a week in the newly renovated bank branch, and a new OnPoint branded 24-hour ATM is active next to the grocery store’s south entrance.

OnPoint Community Credit Union is in the midst of the largest expansion in company history, opening twenty new branches located within Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Southwest Washington. This location previously functioned as a Chase Bank location until late last year, and its departure limited local banking options. This new branch will likely entice residents to create new accounts with OnPoint as few other financial institutions are investing in neighborhood banking.

The location is open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturdays.

Outside signage and OnPoint ATM

New Self-Storage Facility on NE Halsey

UPDATE – This week, crews began work on a four-story storage facility located at 1530 NE 67th Ave. Heavy equipment is resurfacing the site, and a Pile Driver is inserting new steel posts into the property line along NE Halsey Street. The posts will stabilize the road’s edge as soil removal clears the way for the building’s foundation.


Original article posted March 29th, 2021.

A new four-story storage facility will break ground on a long-vacant lot along I84. Located at 1530 NE 67th AveWest Coast Self-Storage has obtained building permits for the new structure and associated site improvements. It will join other nearby storage providers Public Storage and Extra Space Storage.

The project is across the Halsey Street overpass from Montavilla in a location that has reminded vacant for over twenty years. With a value of over Six Million dollars, the project will deliver a substantial building to that corner. Look for construction to begin soon.

Site before construction
Pile Driver is inserting new steel posts
Completed retaining wall May 2021

OnPoint Opening in Fred Meyer

Crews are busy at work transforming the former Glisan Street Chase Bank into an OnPoint Community Credit Union. Located inside the Fred Meyer Grocery store at 6615 NE Glisan Street, the bank space has remained vacant since last December. Freshly painted signage and new teller stations indicate that banking services will soon return to this location.

The swapping of financial institutions is part of the largest branch expansion in OnPoint’s history. The Credit Union agreed in November of 2020 to open twenty new branches located within Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Southwest Washington. A month later, Cory Freeman became Vice President and Regional Manager of the in-store branches. During that announcement, the Glisan Street Fred Meyer was identified as one of those twenty new locations.

The opening of OnPoint is a welcomed change to a recent trend that is reducing banking options in the Montavilla area. Chase BankUS Bank, and Riverview have all closed or plan to close their nearby branches. Convenient banking is essential to small businesses dealing in cash. This new location may entice local businesses to move their accounts over to OnPoint. Look for the Credit Union to open in the next few months.

US Bank Property Sells to EyeHealth Northwest

Last month, the former US Bank location on NE Glisan street sold to a prominent eye care specialist. On March 5th, a Quick Claim Deed filed with Multnomah county shows United States National Bank of Oregon sold the building, and surrounding parking lot, to EyeHealth Northwest. Located at 6701 NE Glisan Streetthe site has remained vacant since the bank permanently closed in late 2020.  

EyeHealth Northwest operates a chain of eye clinics in the Portland-Metro region. Locations offer optometric services, including eye exams and eyewear sales. This property’s proximity to Providence Medical Center makes this an ideal place for the healthcare provider.

The quick sale of the site is a good indication of NE Glisan’s continued economic growth. Nearby businesses should see an increase in foot traffic when EyeHealth Northwest opens this office.


Disclosure: EyeHealth Northwest employs a relative of the author. However, that person did not provide information about the sale.

Harka Building Taking Form

Renovation work recently increased at Harka Architecture‘s new headquarters, located at 7631 NE Glisan Street. Crews are converting the 1940 Art Deco structure into a modern office with a classic style. Alterations to the building are significant. However, the building owner has taken care to keep the original architectural style intact.

As an environmentally focused architecture design firm, Harka is selective in how they are completing this project. “We are doing a very deep high-performance retrofit of the space while using non-toxic, healthy materials,” said Patrick Donaldson, Principal Architect with Harka Architecture. This development employs a low carbon construction ethic that favors reuse and building efficiency. Taking that approach has kept the renovation on a slower schedule. However, paperwork delays occurred before work could begin, pushing buildout dates further back. Donaldson had to clear decades of un-permitted work by previous owners before receiving approval on the new alterations.

Those project delays seem to be in the past, and the building already shows signs of improvement. While replacing the roof, the exterior wall height increased by several feet. New high-efficiency windows have replaced the original single-pane glass, and the second street-facing door became a new window.

The small building is full of 1940’s character, and work to date has only enacted those features. Months of construction are still needed to restore this building. However, the final form is now evident, reassuring this building’s admirers that it is in good hands with the new owners.

Pre-construction

Renderings provided by Harka Architecture

NE 80th House Becoming an Office

The house behind East Glisan Pizza Lounge is becoming an office. A recent permit for 510 NE 80th Ave calls for a change of occupancy from Residential to Business and some building alterations. The property last sold in November of 2019 to a group of four people.

Permit application 21-018436 will update the seismic stability of the structure and adjust the interior layout. Crews will relocate interior walls and doors to accommodate the new business. Installation of a new window located at the rear of the building is the only external alteration proposed.

The business planned for this location is unknown, and there are no external indications that the building is actively in-use. Repurposed houses can be a good fit for particular businesses. However, this property may need some street-side updates to accommodate walk-in customers. Keep an eye on this spot for a future near-Glisan business.