Montavilla’s Stark Street cycles through times of flourishing community and empty obscurity. It could be hard to remember what the street looked like 20 years ago by walking it today. However vibrant the town is now, the area was deep in a down cycle two decades previous. Fortunes started to change for the neighborhood thanks in part to businesses betting on the community’s resurgence.
Bipartisan Cafe is one of the earliest businesses to see the regrowth potential. For 17 years, the cafe stood as the cornerstone of foodservice prosperity in the area. It is a safe place for residents to gather and meet with friends.
Now, after years of supporting the neighborhood, the Bipartisan Cafe needs support from the community. They are seeking donations to bridge the gap caused by COVID-19’s economic impact. The Help keep the Bipartisan Cafe open campaign on GoFundMe details the full explanation for their fundraising efforts. If you can afford it, consider visiting the GoFundMe page and keep the core of Montavilla on an upward cycle.
Disclosure – The author of this article serves on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board with Peter Emerson, one of the owners of Bipartisan Cafe.
As a pioneer of the 15-year-old Stark Street revival, the Bipartisan Cafe is again driving innovation in Montavilla Town. Yesterday they installed a dedicated To-Go window on SE 79th Ave. The small side sliding window is similar to units seen at drive-through restaurants.
The To-Go window is not yet in use, waiting on the final glazing installation and other interior adjustments. “We only have to rearrange some equipment and work out a few logistical details.” Said Peter Emerson, owner of the Bipartisan. Emerson hopes to serve customers from the window by the end of the week. Until then, customers can continue to pick up orders at the front door.
Bipartisan has not allowed customers inside the cafe since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were in-place but have been able to remain open for pick up orders. They are now encouraging customers to order and pay online before visiting, to minimize interactions. The separation provided by the new To-Go window will further protect the cafe’s staff and customers.
Emerson sees pick-up orders as a longterm addition for Bipartisan. “Our plan is for this to be the new normal. We don’t plan on opening our dining room until there is a vaccine. Even after then, we can see shutting down the dining room early in the evening and having only window service.”
Expect to see socially distanced lines along SE 79th Ave when the pick-up window is fully functional. Such a permanent alteration is a sign of the long-term changes we will see in the coming year, as businesses adapt and reinvent how they serve the public.
Bipartisan Cafe is located at 7901 SE Stark Street503.253.1051
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