Category: New Business

Tub and Tan Reopens on Stark

After a lengthy pandemic closure, Portland Tub and Tan has reopened its location at 8028 SE Stark Street. The businesses owner, John Captain, struggled for months to resolve issues with Multnomah County fees and other taxes incurred during his forced closure that prevented his opening. However, last Friday, Tub and Tan returned with a limited schedule and will remain open until November 2022 before closing permanently.

With 25 years in business, Portland Tub and Tan has seen its fair share of ups and downs. However, the COVID-19 closures were unique in their disruption and length of impact on this small businesses. In 2020 pools and spas were only allowed to operate for a few months. That included the first months of 2020 and then during the end of summer through the beginning of fall. Officials kept indoor pools and spas closed during much of 2021 but did allow outdoor operators to open.

Captain argued that Multnomah County should have credited health permit fees from 2020 and 2021 that he could not use during the closure. Kate Yeiser, a representative for Multnomah County, explained that they had little flexibility to adjust the fee structure. “Unfortunately, pools and spas are not given credit for months that they closed in 2020. This is a State program that the county is simply operating. So the decision would have to be made by the Governor’s office on whether credits can be applied for months closed in 2020 or 2021.”

Without income, Portland Tub and Tan had a nearly insurmountable deficit to overcome in order to reopen. Mounting taxes and operational fees compounded over the years. John Captain said he had hoped that as a Native American, his business would receive financial support from assistance programs intended for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) establishments. However, that money did not materialize for him, and he ultimately had to pay for his taxes and the 2022 heath inspection license.

Portland Tub and Tan is open five days a week from Wednesday through Sunday. They open at 4 p.m. and begin the last hour-long session at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights have extended hours, with the final session beginning at 1 a.m. Tubbing for up to two people costs $70, with an additional $20 per person fee beyond that. Currently, customers should walk in to make use of the services offered. However, a prepaid reservation system will be available soon.

Until November, fans of Tub and Tan can once again make use of this recreation facility that has operated on Stark street for many years. After closing, John Captain plans to move out of Oregon. He feels that the cost of water, taxes, fees and rents are too high in this area to continue operation.

Indigenous Marketplace on NE Glisan

Starting the weekend of April 9th, the Indigenous Marketplace (IM) will open for monthly events at 432 NE 74th Avenue. The organization supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs by providing barrier-free, culturally respectful spaces to grow their businesses and educate the public through cultural arts. This year, IM will host its vendors in the large parking lot on NE Glisan Street, thanks to a rental agreement with the African Youth and Community Organization (AYCO).

The Marketplace will open from 11 AM to 4 PM on six weekends throughout 2022. Although intended as an outdoor marketplace, vendors will set up inside the building on rainy days. Next year, venue organizers expect to move out of the Montavilla neighborhood as developers plan to transform the NE Glisan site into affordable housing

  • April 9 & 10
  • May 7 (Saturday Only)
  • June 11 & 12
  • July 16 & 17
  • August 13 & 14
  • September 10 & 11

People interested in joining the mailing list, attending other IM programs, or becoming a vendor at the Marketplace, should complete the organization’s online form. Examples of current marketplace participants are available online at indigenousmarketplace.org/marketplace/. Look for activity at the site starting next weekend, and plan to attend one of the weekend events for a unique shopping and cultural experience in the neighborhood.

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.

Highway Tattoo Opening on NE Glisan

Next month, Highway Tattoo will open at 7110 NE Glisan Street next door to Hinterland. After ten years working for others in multi-chair tattoo parlors, tattoo artist Christina Platis is creating her own shop. The move will allow Platis an opportunity to embrace her artistic style and create a secluded tattoo experience for clients.

Platis began tattooing near her hometown, where it was easy to train in the field. However, building a career there was never her intention. “I had always wanted to move out of Southern California, where I grew up. But once I started tattooing down there, I felt kind of obligated to stay there and work, getting experience.” After honing her skills for several years, Platis moved to Oregon. “I wanted to try something new, and I came to Portland because I had friends here, and I wanted to stay on the West Coast but get out of a big city,” Platis explained.

Highway Tattoo owner Christina Platis. Photo by Kait De Angelis

Over the past four years, Platis worked at tattoo parlors in Saint Johns and Southeast Portland, building a sizable customer base. “I have some pretty loyal clients that will be following me, but I hope to expand into this neighborhood,” said Platis. The move to Montavilla brings her work close to home and establishes the new business in a supportive area. “I’m happy to be part of this community, especially on [Glisan]. There are quite a few women-owned businesses, so I’m sure that that will help expand my client base.”

Christina Platis will be the only artist working at the tattoo shop when it opens. At just 350 square feet, it is a smaller space than she first envisioned. Platis explained that she would work in the shop before contemplating a second tattoo area. “There might be room to expand with one more artist if once I get in there, I feel like there’s enough room, but I was just gonna start it off solo.”

As the only tattoo artist in the shop, Platis will have a deliberate and focused relationship with her customers. “People are just coming specifically to get tattooed by me, whereas a lot of shops I’ve worked in, it’s walk-ins where people just want to get a tattoo that day, and it doesn’t matter who they get tattooed by,” explained Platis. “My main focus is to create a space that’s welcoming and safe for my clients, and it’s going to be a small space, so it’ll just be a space where I get to have my creative freedom.”

With years of experience, Christina Platis can comfortably work on a wide range of clients and create the body art they desire. However, she is known best for a specific style of work. “I specialize in American traditional tattoos… color or black and gray, I like both, but a lot of people come to me for my color work,” said Platis. Beyond the art, customer experience is an essential part of her process. “My main goal is to provide a really comfortable and safe feeling space for my clients, ’cause that’s super important when you’re getting tattooed.”

Workers are preparing the shop for an expected April 1st opening date. They removed the dividing walls during the remodel, making one open room and maximizing the available floor space. Christina Platis will bring her flair to the interior, creating a fun and exciting location “a little bit different than the normal tattoo shop.” The location’s design will embrace the classic tattoo shop with a lot of flash on the walls. Platis describes the look as “retro with checkerboard floors and 70s colors, oranges and a lot of natural woods, so it’s just stuff that I enjoy.”

The shop will open by appointment only at launch, allowing Christina Platis to work through a backlog of appointments. She expects the shop will open some weekdays and weekends but has not finalized the hours yet. Keep an eye on the company’s website and Instagram for updates or email your inquiries to info@highwaytattoo.com.

Pole Dance Studio Opening on NE Glisan

On Monday, The AERO Space pole dance studio will open its second location at 7202 NE Glisan Street. Over the last few weeks, workers installed a new dance floor, mirror wall, and nine stainless steel poles. Beginning the evening of March 7th, new and transfer students will attend regular classes at the NE Glisan street location.

By opening this newly remodeled location, owners Rachelle Rhoe and Ashley Madison will celebrate their business’s seventh birthday. Rhoe created The AERO Space Pole Dance Collective with a previous business partner in 2015. They wanted to create a fun and positive atmosphere accessible to a range of customers. Beginning with a small three-pole studio in a basement boiler room of Portland Cement Studios, the business expanded. “We grew out of the basement pretty quickly and took over another space in the building in 2016 for classes and kept the boiler room for our members. Classes continued to fill, and staff grew, so in 2017 we opened up our third space inside Portland Cement,” remembers Rhoe. Ideas of expanding into a second location started just before the pandemic closed gyms and dance schools, postponing any growth plans. Eighteen months ago, Madison joined Rhoe as a co-owner, and the team began looking at expanding again.

The new space offers several enhanced amenities over the original location. At the new facility, students enter the studio through a side door on NE 72nd Avenue that leads to a lounge area. This location offers changing rooms, a bathroom, and a water station. The lounge and studio are filled with natural light to provide comfort and support the planned addition of live plants. The side entrance allows students to gather and change before entering the pole room that occupies the 19-foot by 40-foot room at the front of the shop. The tall ceiling accommodates the 11.5-foot poles spaced evenly across the dance floor. Curtains will cover the front windows during classes, and the Glisan street door will serve as a dedicated exit for students. Most of these features are missing from the original space. However, a planned remodel should bring parity between both studios. 

A rollup door is replaced by a new entrance on NE 72nd Avenue

The AERO Space offers classes to all interest levels, gender identity, and body types. “We have everything from a taster or an introduction to poll all the way through… level 5 classes,” explained Madison. “We have central movement classes, flexibility classes, low flow classes, heels specific classes. There are classes where you don’t even ever have to get up off the floor if you don’t want to.” Madison and Rhoe work with a range of experienced instructors, ensuring that all students can find an educational path fitting their needs. “It’s one of the beautiful things about pole dance; it can go in so many different directions,” remarked Madison.

Instructors schedule classes on weekends and weekdays with a mid-day break. Currently, instructors work 10 AM to 1 PM and start back up at 4 PM until 9 PM. Increases in enrollment will expand operating hours as needed. AERO Space will offer an equal balance of all classes in both studio locations. Still, students following a particular instructor can switch between this location and the other space at 111 SE Madison Street. When the studio is unoccupied, it is available for instructor-led bachelorette parties, birthday parties, office parties, or private lessons.

Studio mid construction. Photo courtesy of The AERO Space

Space for Monday’s inaugural classes are currently available but filling up. They offer a single introductory 60 minute class for $30 so people can assess if pole dancing is something they would like to pursue. “It’s pretty easy, low cost to get into,” said Madison. “The clothing needs to be form-fitted, but it could be a swimsuit that you have volleyball shorts that you have. Any tank top that you have is just fine… sports bra or comfortable bra.” They recommend that male-bodied students have a dance belt, but most workout attire is acceptable beyond that.

The owners, instructors, and staff strive to create a safe environment that is comfortable for all types of people interested in this form of dance. Individuals interested in joining a class can look for availability and register at the company’s website or through their mobile app (iPhone / Android). Email staff at hello@aerospacestudios.com with specific questions not covered in the FAQ.

Co-owner Rachelle Rhoe working on the space with assistance from Joshua. Photo courtesy of The AERO Space

Featured image courtesy of The AERO Space

Pho Kim Reopens Sunday After Long Closure

After a successful soft reopening this week, Phở Kim Vietnamese restaurant and grill will host a grand opening celebration on March 6th. In 2020, an early morning rooftop fire closed the establishment for repairs. Years later, the work is complete at 2204 SE 82nd Avenue, and the staff is eagerly awaiting their customers’ return. Visitors this Sunday are encouraged to arrive by noon to view the White Lotus Lion Dance performance planned for the event. 

Located in what became the Jade District, this family-owned business launched in 2013 with owner Kim Lam managing the front of the restaurant and her husband Chef Tony Tien running the kitchen. For seven years, the couple earned high praise and loyal customers. The June 1st, 2020 fire occurred as the business was recovering from pandemic closures and navigating seating restrictions. Repeated attempts to open Phở Kim met delays, keeping the doors shut longer than everyone expected. Now donning a new all-metal clad roof and an updated sign, Phở Kim is ready to welcome old and new customers inside again.

Visit the restaurant’s Instagram for some appetite-inspiring photos and head over to Phở Kim for their renowned Vietnamese beef noodle soup or another tasty dish. They are open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily for indoor seating or takeout. Groups needing to schedule a reservation should call (503) 954-2535.


Pho Kim with new roof 2022
Pho Kim after fire in 2020

Arthur’s Automotive Opens Second Location

At the end of 2021, Arthur’s Automotive opened a second Montavilla location at 8804 SE Stark Street. The four-bay repair shop was the former location for J & S Automotive Repair. Now, new paint covers the 1960’s era cinder block building matching the company color scheme. This location is a mile from their original shop at 104 NE 80th Avenue and speaks more to the need for space than a regional expansion.

The shop’s owners submitted plans to expand the repair center on NE 80th Avenue in May of 2021. After eight years in this location, they had outgrown the existing space and needed to increase the building’s capacity or risk turning customers away. The addition would double their available workspace, giving them an extra 3,120 square feet of floor area. After nine months, the permits for the new all-metal structure sit in Under Review status with the city.

The new SE Stark Street location offers Arthur’s Automotive an instant 2,240 square feet of workspace on a highly utilized street. Unlike the somewhat hidden NE 80th building, the new space should generate more exposure for the auto shop. It is unknown if the owners still plan on expanding the original location. This added store did provide the expansion space the business needed. However, if the company continues to grow, it will require more shop space than the two sites offer.

Both locations are open from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. To schedule service, contact the NE 80th shop at (503) 760 6466 or the SE Stark location at (503) 517-0950. Alternatively, you can contact them online at the company’s website or by email at ArthursAutomotive@yahoo.com.

BoneJax Furnishings on SE Stark

Next month, Shari and Todd Cerreta will open BoneJax home furnishings and curiosities at 8040 SE Stark Street. The store features used furniture, sculptural lighting, and eventually pieces from local artists. Over the years, the owners transformed their shared hobby into a successful vendor business for furniture stores. Now they are opening a shop dedicated to their home decor curations.

The new shop replaces the former CrossFit Montavilla gym in the historic Montavilla business district. BoneJax’s owners are excited to find ample space available in an area they know well. “Oh my God, we just love that little strip. It’s a neighborhood we’ve been going to for many years, and we just love it. We can’t believe our good luck in actually finding a place on that strip,” said Todd Cerreta. Shari Cerreta believes Montavilla will become a destination for vintage furniture and similar items. In their frequent visits to the area, they’ve observed the growth in thrift stores and antique shops opening along SE Stark Street and feel BoneJax is complementary to that trend. “We appreciate all kinds of furniture, and we just want to be able to bring all of those styles together in a really fun kind of eclectic way,” said Shari Cerreta. Todd Cerreta added that “eventually we’ll probably do a couple of new pieces of furniture here and there, but we just really like older stuff and how it works together.”

The shop will house a wide assortment of furnishings and curiosities for the home, going beyond the fashionable mid-century modern to include contemporary and traditional styles. “We have a lot of neat fun things that we like,” commented Todd Cerreta while exclaiming the value of their eclectic blend of furniture, lighting, and decor. He explained that there are few rules to what they offer other than the item’s quality. “We will have a gorgeous leather Chesterfield, or we’ll have a deco era vanity or something older. Then we’ll have a brand new locally made peace.”

The couple will make minor alterations to the storefront, opting to let their products shape the space. “The way we’re viewing the interior is kind of how we view our business. We like taking things that exist already and kind of emphasizing things about them that we like. Whether it’s the cement floors that we love there and the basic structure, and then we’re just going to add more color,” said Todd Cerreta.

Shari Cerreta expressed how special they feel to open this store after many years in the industry. “We’ve been involved in doing this for a very long time, and so we’re just really excited to be able to figure out a way to do something that we love doing.”

They plan to open in mid-March. Watch the store’s Instagram site for insight into what they will have in stock and for announcements regarding an opening date.

Cactus closes on Stark Street, New Business Opening

On December 31st, Cactus Vintage & Consignment staff packed up the shop located at 7910 SE Stark Street. The store opened in this space in February of 2015 as the combined effort of three friends bringing their separate businesses together. At the end of the lease, the last remaining owner opted to end the store’s seven-year span and focus on family and a simplified worklife.

Cactus began when Adrienne Seely of Autopilot Empires Jewelry joined John Healy of Cactus Records and Sonya Petroff of Yours Vintage in a combined store. The partners sold a unique combination of goods from the space and became a frequented shop along Stark Street for three years. John Healy and Adrienne Seely left the business at the end of 2017. Sonya Petroff managed the shop for the remaining four years on her own while maintaining a second job at Trader Joe’s.

The lease on the storefront expired at the end of 2021. Changes in Petroff’s life and general issues over the last few years made continuing to run the store less appealing. “I had quite a load, and with Covid and the rise of crime decided to call it quits. I’m grateful to have reached my goal of paying off my debts and now concentrate on one sustainable job only and raising my nephew,” explained Petroff. 

Although her years of working in the neighborhood are ending, Petroff maintains a fondness for the community. “I love Montavilla and hope to keep some of my connections and, of course, visit as well.” The 900 square foot 1928 storefront will soon become home to another business. Donald Hanna of the Real Estate company Hanna Network represents the building and confirmed that the storefront is unavailable. “We already have a new tenant for it. I can’t reveal yet, but I think the community with be very happy,” said Hanna.

Look for 7910 SE Stark Street to become active as the new shop owners work to create a space fitting for their business.

Futura Coffee Roasters Opening on NE Glisan

Update – January 30th 2022: Futura Coffee Roasters officially opened this weekend. The cafe hours are 7 AM to 5 PM weekdays, with weekend service from 8 AM to to 1 PM.


Next month, Futura Coffee Roasters will open at 7201 NE Glisan Street in the former Fillmore space. The creators of this new coffee producer and cafe believe sustainability is the future for the industry and have woven that value into every aspect of their business.

Futura Coffee Roasters is the vision of CJ Speelman and a group of coffee professionals who share a common perspective. For ten years, Speelman honed his skills in the industry, first working at the counter as a Barista and eventually creating the roasting company Tanager Coffee Roasters. Speelman owns The Arbor Lodge coffee shop in North Portland, making this NE Glisan location his second store. His partners in this new venture bring many years of retail coffee experience and respect for the art and delicate science of good coffee.

The group behind the cafe feels that flavor and brewing are only part of a perfect cup of coffee. Speelman explains that a simple morning ritual like drinking coffee can impact the environment. “As a company, Futura Coffee Roasters see regenerative agriculture, the rehabilitation of soil and increasing of biodiversity among many things, as one of the key forces in combating climate change.” The company is committed to building relationships with farmers and sourcing coffee as ethically and sustainably as possible. Additionally, food items on the menu include a mix of locally sourced pastries and bagels.

Since August, crews have reworked the corner coffee shop into a new space. The team took the same approach to the renovation as they have with their menu, making for a slightly prolonged process. “We took a lot of time making sure that we used as much sustainable materials as possible, from handmade tiles and eco-friendly wall plaster to fixtures and furniture. Because of these commitments to sustainability alongside the supply chain issues, it has taken a bit longer than we had hoped,” said Speelman.

Although the cafe will no longer resemble Fillmore, Speelman recognizes its role in the community and wants to welcome back those regular customers. “I have been a big fan of Fillmore and the special connection they had with the neighborhood. We hope to capture that same spirit and add our own unique vibe. I am extremely excited to share the space with the neighborhood. It is looking incredible and will look and feel like a whole new space.”

Expect Futura Coffee Roasters to launch midway through January, opening daily from 7 AM to 5 PM. Follow the cafe’s Instagram for updates and to learn more about the treats that will soon become available on NE Glisan.