Category: New Business

AYCO Opens Center at TBN site

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) recently relocated to Montavilla on NE Glisan. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the group offers support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. The expanded space obtained through this move allows their programs to grow, even while social distancing during COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive Director Jamal Dar founded AYCO in 2009 with an emphasis on athletics and mentoring. Over its first decade, the organization expanded its offerings to include health and education services. Added support for families continued the programs’ growth trajectory, supporting parents and people caring for special needs children.

AYCO seeks to strengthen a sense of cultural identity within the immigrant community while facilitating integration. Like the community they support, many of the team at AYCO immigrated from East Africa. Staff leverage that personal experience to guide newly arriving families adapting to this country. Their youth programs develop academic and team-building skills in a culturally familiar environment. Health services provide assistance navigating healthcare and disability resources, understanding the language and culture of those seeking support.

In 2015 AYCO opened its first location at 1390 SE 122nd Ave. That space allowed the organization to expand the services offered substantially. However, with increased community need, that location became too small. The building on NE Glisan offers the room need to grow the organization further. The new Center’s increased footprint will feature a gym to help the children embrace athletics beyond soccer and basketball. The new location also allows for a clinic to support children of all ages and abilities.

AYCO leased part of the single-story building from Metro, which acquired the site from Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The previous owners used the building as a TV studio and broadcasting facility before selling the property in late 2019. Metro plans to develop the site two years from now and sought short term tenants. “The building where AYCO is leasing space will eventually be demolished, and the new housing that will be built in its place will prioritize families and households with very low incomes.” Said Constantino Khalaf, Senior Communications Specialist with Metro.

Metro happily made space in the building available for AYCO, reducing the rent to support the group’s efforts. “We’re excited that such a great, community-serving organization can use the space during these early stages rather than let it sit vacant.” Explained Khalaf.

Regardless of the short-term lease on the space, Dar looks forward to the site’s pending development. He intends to become a tenant within the new development’s commercial area when completed. NE Glisan Street is close to the community AYCO servers, and Dar feels it will be an ideal home for his organization.

When the pandemic’s risk has subsided, Dar hopes to interact with the Montavilla community more. Until then, his organization plans to continue to their outward community engagement through support for the hungry and unsheltered. Look for the location to become more lively with youth activities over the coming months, and visit the AYCO website if you want to know more about the organization.

Union Rose Open in New Location

Union Rose completed the move one block east to a new location. Now at 8029 SE Stark Street, the longtime Montavilla retailer has doubled the shop’s footprint. The storefront exchange, completed two days ago, was briefly documented on the shop’s Instagram account with pictures and a video tour.

The new location also has update hours of operation. The store is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sundays. The store is now closed on Mondays in alignment with the neighboring children’s retailer Beanstalk.

The impending move was previously reported at the beginning of December 2020. The former location of Union Rose will soon be available to rent. Located at 7909 SE Stark street, the vacant shopfront is between Vintage Cocktail Lounge and Redwood restaurant. Union Rose owner, Rita Hudson-Evalt, describe the previous space as “a fantastic location” that the store just outgrew.

The paper is down from the windows at the new Union Rose location. Stroll-by the shop and peek in the expansive storefront windows anytime. Shoppers can drop in to see some of the new items filling the larger store, and everything is also available online for local pickup.

Arc Thrift Store Opens Thursday

Montavilla’s newest business opens tomorrow, Thursday the 7th. The Arc Thrift Store, located at 8304 SE Stark Street, will host its grand opening this week. The secondhand apparel and home goods store sells items that it received as donations.

Starting tomorrow, the store will open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5 PM. Already a wide range of clothing and other unique items donated to the organization’s NE Halsey Street location fill the storefront. The parent organization, Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas, provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some donated items directly support those individuals and their families. With sales through the new thrift store, excess donations will provide financial support to other services the group offers.

Shopping at this store can help save customers money and support a worthy organization. Keep an eye on the store’s Instagram for images of notable items for sale, and stop by the store starting Thursday to find something to bring home.

Food Cart Pod Underway

With approved permits expected by the year’s end, Montavilla’s newest food destination could open by Spring. The Yard At Montavilla began development over a year ago. Now, after a long wait for approval, the developers expect to break ground by mid-January.

Located at 8220 NE Davis Street, the future food cart pod is across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary. When completed, the site will host 17 food carts. Owners Jeffrey and Kevin Dennis have leased six of those spaces already. One of those signed vendors is Scout Beer, a veteran of beer cart operations. In 2009 Scout started as a cart vendor. A few years ago, Scout Beer opened The Lot @ Scout, a food cart pod on SE Division.

The Dennis brothers faced an unexpected wait as the pandemic slowed the permitting process. The project only recently started to gain momentum. “We just found out last week that our on-site permits were approved and are moving through the pre-issuance department at the city,” explained Jeffrey Dennis. The construction process will be relatively fast. Dennis predicts that the project will take three or four months to complete after work begins.

Montavilla lost a cluster of food carts with the demolition of Beets Auto BodyThe Yard At Montavilla is a welcomed return of food carts for local foodies and the many people working in the area. The Dennis brothers share that enthusiasm. “We’re very excited to be bringing this to the Montavilla neighborhood, providing a space for 17 other small businesses to operate and thrive.” Look for work to begin in the new year and watch the business’s website for updates on carts joining the pod.

Tinker Tavern Opens Tonight

After a successful weekend of soft-opening events, Tinker Tavern will officially launch tonight. Starting at 4 PM Monday, Montavilla’s newest bar begins daily operation. In compliance with regulations, only outdoor dining and take out will be offered.

Tinker Tavern will open at 4 PM every night. Closing time is flexible, between 9 PM and 11 PM, based on demand. As business increases, they will start opening at noon on weekends. Space is limited outside. The tavern has two picnic-style tables that can accommodate four people each. Covered street-side bar seating will fit three groups of up to four people. Customers can place takeout orders in-person, and staff will happily make you a drink while you wait.

Tinker Tavern took a year to come to completion. COVID-19 delays in construction and navigating operational restrictions tripled buildout timelines. Not wanting to waste time, owner Erik Mahan used the delay to perfect the tavern’s menu. Taking inspiration from his business partner’s Buffalo New York upbringing, Mahan developed the deli-pub classics into his own Portland creations. Not all items are available at opening, vegetarian and gluten-free options are in development, but some core dishes are well tested and ready to impress patrons.

Mahan looks forward to the day that he can welcome guests inside. When the most recent restrictions expire, Tinker Taverns will have an additional six to nine indoor tables. The centerpiece of the tavern is the large dark-stained bar. Unfortunately, the guest will not sit along its edge until the pandemic is under control. Until then, staff will serve customers under tiffany style lights at one of the many tables along the outside walls.

Montavilla residents are excited for this location to open. A new destination feels like a piece of normalcy that is missing from our lives this year. Swing by this week and wave hello, have a drink and a quick bite to eat. The staff of Tinker Tavern will appreciate the warm welcome to the neighborhood.

Tinker Tavern is located at 7980 SE Stark Street.

Tinker Tavern Opening Next Week

UPDATED – Tinker Tavern opened Monday

Tinker Tavern will open for takeout and outdoor dining next week after months of COVID-19 delays. The restaurant and tavern announced on Instagram their intent to have a limited opening in mid-December. A newly completed covered Parking Plaza sits on Stark Street outside the business’s front door.

Tinker Tavern’s website describes the general flavor of menu offerings. “A fantastic beer line up with local collaborations, local and imported wines… Well-crafted collection of Buffalo, NY inspired bar food.” The tavern’s Instagram provides more details, displaying pictures of future menu items. The image captions read as probable menu descriptions and receive enthusiastic responses from Instagram followers.

  • Tangy marinara, gooey mozzarella, and crispy curly pepperonis on a crunchy French roll.
  • Housemade mild Italian sausage topped with spicy Weber’s mustard, Kewpie mayo, and a pile o’ peppers and onions on a mini Lavin roll.
  • Beef on Weck: A kümelweck roll piled high with juicy roast beef, horsey sauce, and just a *kiss* of au jus.
  • Housemade spicy Portuguese linguiça with chimichurri on a Lavin French roll.
  • Cured meat Italian sub: Stuffed to the gills with capicola, salami, prosciutto, provolone, and all the fixings on a sturdy Portland French Wedge roll.

The owner, Erik Mahan, committed to the new tavern just before COVID-19 shutdowns rolled out across the state. Not having staff to support, Mahan managed a slow buildout and could wait for the right time to open up. After many challenges and a near year-long startup process, it is finally time to open. Starting Monday, look for signs Tinker Tavern is open and try out Montavilla’s newest addition.

Tinker Tavern is located at 7980 SE Stark Street.

Tinker Tavern’s covered Parking Plaza

UPDATED – Added wording to specify Monday as the first open date.

Hinterland Coffee Roasters and Apparel

Hinterland will open its second location at 7112 NE Glisan Street, expanding from the existing store in Sonoma County, California. Although currently closed to the public, the new storefront will eventually offer prepared coffee drinks along with retail items. Until then, this location serves as the hub for online sales and production.

The Montavilla store houses a roastery for coffee bean production and a printshop for clothing and other items. Finished products are shipped back to the California store to sell from that location. Hinterland’s two owners decided to expand north, splitting store management between them. Owner Trinia Jean runs the Montavilla shop and is in charge of coffee and apparel production. Jean moved to the region due to its lower cost of living and proximity to the bulk of Hinterland’s customers.

Hinterland began in 2014 as a screen-printing collaboration that exclusively uses American made clothes for their prints. Before the pandemic, they decided to expand into coffee production. Jean has 16 years of experience with coffee preparation and sales. Durning the COVID-19 shutdowns, coffee sales kept the business healthy, with Coffee Subscriptions becoming a significant portion of the companies monthly sales. The store in Portland provides expanded space for coffee production and online order fulfillment.

The shopfront’s patina attracted the business owner to Montavilla. “The storefront was rough, and I like to improver places,” explained Jean. The 1914 building had the right character for the company’s esthetic, and the store’s interior buildout embraces those features. An old display case left in the store is now merged with a salvaged bar to form a key fixture for coffee service. Jean explained that “there will not be many new things” decorating the store outside of inventory items. Instead, aged and reused items are preferred.

Hinterland’s operational footprint expands beyond the single shop. Jean rents 7112 and 7114 NE Glisan Street, using the back half of Citrine Bloom next door for coffee roasting and product creation. Cooperation between the two stores will expand when they open to walk-in customers. A passageway between the shops let customers transition between coffee, clothing, and plant shopping.

An opening date is dependent on health and safety recommendations from the State and County. Fortunately, the company is not solely reliant on in-person customers. Shopping the Hinterland website is an equally effective way to support this Montavilla based retail and manufacturing business. Eventually, the storefront will be alive with coffee service and shoppers, adding to the Glisan Street revival.

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.

Excellent Cuisine Restaurant

UPDATE – Excellent Cuisine is now open from 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM daily. A new website for the business offers images of the menu and testimonials. They can be contacted by phone at 503-946-8830 or you can order delivery from any of these three services: Postmates.comGrubhub.com,  and Seamless.com.


Update from November 14th , 2020.

UPDATE – Excellent Cuisine had a soft opening this week with one Yelp reviewer posting his first impressions. The restaurant also now has a DoorDash page available for placing home delivery orders.


Original story from October 15th , 2020.

A new bar and restaurant will soon open in the former Wong’s King Seafood location. A recent Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) liquor license reveals that Excellent Cuisine is opening at 8733 SE Division, Suite 101.

The King Plaza building prominently displays a new Excellent Cuisine sign, replacing the Wong’s King Seafood sign. Not too much information is available regarding the new establishment. The liquor license application paperwork shows a checkbox for “Video Lottery Machines” on site. The application was filed by Y & W Trading LLC with owners Yu Xiong Zhang and Wan Fang Kuang. The owners’ names are listed on the application but crossed out and replaced with the LLC.

In the coming months, expect to see more information on the cuisine type and an opening date. Based on current indoor dining restrictions, it’s likely to be a while before they open. However, many are already excited to see this location filled with another restaurant.

Arc Thrift Store on Stark

Arc Thrift Store is opening at 8304 SE Stark Street this December. Inside the former H&R Block location, display fixtures are ready to showcase used clothing and home goods. This location is the first thrift store for the non-profit organization.

Although the Stark Street location is their only store, it is the second Montavilla location for The Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas organization. For over ten years, they have operated a donation center on Halsey Street.

The Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas provides support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Donation of items and shopping at the new thrift store support their advocacy work and the programs they offer. People are encouraged to follow the store’s Instagram account for updates and store photos.