The Montavilla business district will host the final free movie night of the season tomorrow evening. For all of August, the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) presented weekly group viewing events in the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. Local businesses sponsored one movie each Wednesday, with other area businesses offering special concession packages. The 1986 film Labyrinth by Jim Henson will close out the successful community entertainment series on September 7th.
Chantel Chinco of Redwood organized the evening events for METBA, growing the audience weekly. This year, movie nights shared the street space with another first-time Plaza program presented by Montavilla Farmers Market. The 79th Avenue square features an evening min-market on Thursday nights, running through September 29th. This public street venue is supported by the Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program.
For the second year, the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street has driven community engagement into the business district’s core with events like the movie night and market. Public support for these events will influence their return in subsequent seasons.
METBA invites the public to view David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the Labyrinth this Wednesday, September 7th. The Show begins at 8:30 p.m., and people are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to the showing.
Aug. 10th: The Sandlot (Mr.Plywood)
Aug. 3rd: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Natural Furniture)
Aug. 17th: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead (Wink Vintage)
Aug. 24th: Dazed and Confused (The Observatory)
Aug. 31st: The Princess Bride (Redwood)
Sep. 7th: Labyrinth (Bonus Screening)
Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.
After a two-year hiatus, the Montavilla Street Fair returns this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with family-friendly entertainment. Event organizers will block automotive access to SE Stark Street from 82nd Avenue to 76th Avenue on July 31st, making way for the expected 10,000 visitors. Attendees can eat, drink, and shop at 122 vendor booths. Nine music acts span two stages, and a pair of beer gardens offer adult beverages.
Since 2011, the street fair has welcomed Portlanders from all over the city to the historic Montavilla Downtown. Organized by theMontavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA), this yearly event highlights the unique businesses and groups in the neighborhood. This year’s Montavilla Street Fair is presented by Adventist Health Portland and Mr. Plywood, with sponsorship by over a dozen other businesses.
METBA invites everyone to stop by throughout the day and take in all that Montavilla has to offer. Organizers will provide public portable restrooms in mutable places along SE Stark street, and food vendors will offer many options to eat at the event. Drivers should expect detours starting at 6 a.m. on July 31st and continue through the evening up to 8:30 p.m. Anticipate crowded street parking in the surrounding area and plan for extended walking to and through the event.
Plaza Stage Music Schedule:
10:00 AM – Tallulah’s Daddy (for kids!) – Matt Lynch (Tallulah’s Daddy) is a children’s music entertainer active in the Kindie Music scene in PDX.
11:30 AM – Mo Phillips (for kids!) – Mo Phillips is a teaching artist and a fun time maker who teaches songwriting in schools and shreds ukulele for the people.
1:00 PM – Norwester Sky – Original tunes that feel timeless while making the Americana songbook feel new again. These fellas take great pride in their craft and love to jam.
2:30 PM – Jermaine – Hailing from gospel choirs in the midwest, Jermaine’s charismatic energy and passion for music is reflected in all of his solo and group efforts.
4:00 PM – Friends of Noise – Friends of Noise provides resources, support and mentorship to youth that have something to say.
Main Stage Music Schedule:
11:00 AM – Hiroki – Hiroki is a force of friends focused solely on grooves, vibes, the result is something smooth; something tasty.
12:30 PM – Five Letter Word – Mix three singer-songwriters, several stringed instruments, and a variety of percussive techniques, and you get Five Letter Word.
2:00 PM – Reb & the Good News – Rebecca Conner’s heart-centered, velvet vocals are delivered with a vulnerability that unravels listeners down to their core.
3:30 PM – Moorea Masa & Friends – “Irresistible and staggeringly beautiful, Masa displays a delicate balance of restraint and raw power.”- The Oh Es Tee
Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, 82nd Avenue Business Association, and Montavilla Neighborhood Association Boards. All three groups have booths at this year’s street fair.
Last night at 4 p.m., the first Thursday Night Farmers Market opened to customers in the recently reopened Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. Representatives from Montavilla Farmers Market, Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA), and vendors gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by the traditional bell ringing to open the market. Visitors quickly filled the square to shop the five booths and refreshments providers at this min farmers market.
Starting on July 7th, farm and food vendors will set up in the Plaza on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Moorish Roots, Kulfi, Sebastiano’s, and Threshold Brewing & Blending are some of the inaugural participants making a regular appearance. An assortment of vendors will return weekly this summer, with the final evening market held on September 29th.
This mid-week market is possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program. The Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) is hosting this public space in partnership with Montavilla Farmers Market, which will program the Plaza Thursdays, in addition to its regular market held on Sundays at 7700 SE Stark Street.
The Plaza will also feature live music and other entertainment events throughout the summer. Plaza organizers will post updated information on the METBA events calendar. Visitors can shop at the Montavilla Thursday Night Farmers Market throughout the summer or sit and relax on the shaded seating. All people, families, dogs, and outside food are welcome in the Plaza.
Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.
Tomorrow, July 1st, the Montavilla Public Plaza reopens for its second year at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. The public gathering space will feature outdoor furniture and event space for community use. Last year, the space coordinators provided musical-themed programming to activate the area. This time, in a partnership with Montavilla Farmers Market, the Plaza will feature an evening min-market on Thursday nights.
Starting on Thursday, July 7th, five farm and food vendors will set up in the Plaza from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Moorish Roots, Kulfi, Sebastiano’s, and Threshold Brewing & Blending are some of the confirmed participants making an appearance. An assortment of vendors will return each Thursday this summer, with the final evening market held on September 29th.
This mid-week market is possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program. As with last year, the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) is hosting this public space to encourage outdoor recreation in the center of the neighborhood’s historic downtown area. All people, families, dogs, and outside food are welcome in the Plaza.
Drivers who use SE 79th Avenue should plan an alternate path, as the roadway is closed to through traffic from SE Stark Street to SE Pine Street. Local vehicle access to homes and businesses on the Street is permitted. This year, METBA staff expect the Montavilla Public Plaza to repeat last year’s success, attracting residents and visitors to the area during the warm season. Look for activities to begin in the space next week and continue through September.
At a press conference Monday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced plans to extend two pandemic relief programs and work to make them permanent. PBOT Director Chris Warner joined Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty to highlight the successes of the Healthy Businesses permits and Portland Public Street Plazas program. The free Healthy Businesses permits will extend through August 31st and then require businesses to pay a fee for parking space seating.
At this week’s event, Neil Mattson spoke about Montavilla’s successful Street Plaza and how both programs supported the neighborhood during difficult times. As president of the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, Mattson led the development of the community plaza on SE 79th Avenue. PBOT staff recognized this public gathering space as one of the program’s success stories and welcomed its return this season. Mattson confirmed the plaza’s restorative influence on the area. “It really showed that when we take back the street and we use it as a place for coming together, that it does build community.”
Mattson further explained the essential service provided to the community through PBOT’s free permits for parking lane dining areas. “In Montavilla, we have 24 businesses currently offering outdoor seating. If we hadn’t had the ability to have the Healthy Businesses permits, those businesses, I’m pretty confident [they] would all be gone today.” The success of these fresh-air extensions of restaurants and bars is evident through how they transformed over time. What began as roped-off parking spaces soon grew into three-sided sheds dotting curbs throughout the neighborhood.
When PBOT first rolled out the program, they envisioned umbrellas and tents, not wood structures with corrugated roofs. The sturdy construction that indicates success could conflict with the Healthy Businesses program’s transition into a permanent City amenity. Starting September 1st, all permit holders will need to renew their permits for the program. The renewal process will include a compliance review that will likely require modifications to what businesses have constructed over the last two years.
Dylan Rivera, PBOT’s Public Information Officer, explained how businesses might need to adjust as the Healthy Businesses program matures. “There are people out there, businesses who put tables in the street without even coming to us for a permit, even though the Permit was free,” said Rivera. For those establishments, compliance will start with a permit application and reworking their space within the guidelines.
Other business owners have permits but obstructed the public right-of-way or constructed outdoor seating beyond what is allowed. PBOT has concerns that pedestrians and wheelchairs can not navigate the sidewalk through some seating configurations. Corrections will mostly center on maintaining the required six feet of sidewalk clearance. The more challenging conflicts will arise from overbuilt outdoor seating. “There are people out of compliance right now, and we need to have a conversation with them,” said Rivera.
PBOT will have conversations with permit holders throughout the spring and continue into the summer. The goal is to contain outdoor seating in temporary movable structures. “This summer, we’re hoping to start talking about what are some sensible guidelines to help with vision clearance, especially close to crosswalks and intersections, and what does temporary look like?” Said Rivera. “There’ll be lots of conversations and then warnings.”
PBOT’s primary concern is for the preservation of safety and to maintain access to public spaces. Much of Portland’s infrastructure runs above the sidewalk or below the street, and utility workers need access along the road within a few days’ notice. Healthy Businesses seating areas must be able to move out of the way within that timeframe. PBOT is taking a soft approach to this transition. As the year moves closer to September, PBOT staff will speak to Healthy Businesses permit holders and provide guidance for the new rules. Dylan Rivera assures business owners that they are not pursuing imidate changes.
Although PBOT intends to make both programs permanent, the continuation of Healthy Businesses permits and the Street Plazas Program are contingent on funding from the Portland City Council. The long-term success of these community-strengthening initiatives is dependent on their inclusion in the City’s 2022-23 budget. Commissioner Hardesty encouraged Portlanders to voice their support for these PBOT programs to her fellow City Council members. Over the next six months, look for the return of Street Plazas and subtle changes to outdoor seating as businesses prepare for compliance requirements.
Disclosure – The author of this article serves on the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association Board.
Starting today, a small portion of SE 79th Ave north of SE Stark Street is transforming into a Public Plaza. Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) will create the car-free gathering space as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Safe Streets Initiative. The program designates safe outdoor areas in neighborhoods across Portland, connecting communities and supporting economic recovery.
The Plaza will open to the public starting this weekend and remain accessible through Labor Day, September 6th. METBA plans to host several entertainment events in the space over the next few months. When not used for events, outdoor furniture in the Plaza will be available for spontaneous community use. The permit for the Plaza lasts through October, allowing a potential expanded season for events if residents express interest.
Unlike the Parking Plazas used by businesses along local streets, this temporary installation will block traffic flow through SE 79th Ave. METBA coordinated this project with local businesses and homeowners ahead of the closure. Although adjacent establishments support this new Public Plaza, patrons of those nearby businesses are not the only ones able to use this space. Similar to a public park, it is a family-friendly location for everyone to eat and gather. However, the PBOT permit prohibits the consumption of alcohol within this Plaza. Drinking outdoors will remain limited to licensed Parking Plazas.
Funds for live entertainment in the Plaza come from Travel Oregon. Earlier this year, they distributed grant money towards activities in Oregon that would increase tourism. METBA is currently developing an entertainment schedule consisting of daytime entertainment that won’t disrupt nearby business activities. Live music performances will play a significant role in programming for this Plaza, creating paying work for musicians.
Today volunteers are painting the road mural ahead of the outdoor furniture delivery tomorrow. An assortment of picnic tables, bistro tables, and Adirondack chairs will fill the street. By Saturday, crews will have completed the setup and have the space ready for public use. Keep an eye on METBA‘s website and social media accounts for information about Plaza events. Send questions or comments to Montavilla.Biz@gmail.com.
Yesterday, volunteers cleaned litter from SE Stark Street and NE Glisan Street as part of a Montavilla and East Tabor Business Association (METBA) event. Half of the group began work at 9:00 AM, starting on Stark Street by I205 and working towards Montavilla Town. The second crew started an hour later at the Fred Meyer Grocery Store and moved east along NE Glisan, ending at 82nd Ave. Over twenty-five business owners and community members participated in the three-hour-long clean-up effort.
The Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) started a nine-week long contest this week. Its goal is to support local businesses by encouraging residents to patronize shops in the area. Dubbed Bingo, this program enters contestants into a weekly drawing for one $100 gift card.
METBA will post a list of business locations on their website for the current contest period. New lists post to the site at the beginning of the week. Participants need to make a purchase or complete a task at four businesses on that list. Emailing proof of participation or purchase to email@example.com will enter participants in that week’s drawing. Then the gift card is awarded to a selected contestant each week, providing nine chances to win.
Due to its cancellation this year, local businesses missed out on the community exposure they receive from the Montavilla Street Fair. This Bingo event is an opportunity to explore local businesses and provide support during a challenging time. Participants will even have a chance to win something for their efforts. The first week’s activities are already underway, ending this Sunday.
This years Montavilla Street Fair has been canceled in response to COVID-19. The annual event was set to occur on July 26th and would have been on SE Stark street, as it has for many years. The event is hosted by the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA). METBA President, Pete Dills, announced the cancelation at the June 16th association meetup.
The decision to cancel this years fair was driven by many factors. Concern for everyones health was the primary reason. Beyond that concern, the States reopening guidelines would also prohibit any event like the street fair. In past years the event has attracted thousands of visitors. Any social distancing plan would be complicated and hard to monitor. “I do not know how we would ‘police’ something like that,” said Dills.
Logistics alone were not the only reason to cancel this years fair. METBA Board member, Carmen Wilson, added that the issues were also financial. The Permits for closing Stark street, from 76th Ave to 82nd Ave, is a large cost to METBA. They would be unlikely to recoup that cost through in donations this year. Instead, METBA wishes to use the funds they have to support local businesses in other ways.
Dills presented a few ideas of how METBA could help local businesses, instead of hosting the street fair. One idea, would try to replicate the business exposer from participating in the fair. The structure of the program would spread out participation over a month, to allow for COVID-19 related restrictions. Currently it’s referred to as “Montavilla Passport.” The Passport would be a mobile-device friendly why to interact with or patronize local businesses. This may be though in person visits or no-contact ways of interacting.
Dills’ other idea, had METBA creating a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Both ideas have the goal to help the residents know “what businesses are open and provide opportunities for the Montavilla community to support their local business district in fun and unique ways.” Wrote Dills in an email to Montavilla News.
METBA is seeking advice and feedback from the community about what can replace the Montavilla Street Fair this year. You are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and thoughts on what METBA should do. Local businesses need extra support this year and now is the best time to start work on how the community can band together.
On June 2nd, Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) held the second of four online business-owner meetups. During the evenings conversation, business owners and community members discussed how they plan to reopen. The presenter reviewed Oregon’s Statewide Guidance with attendees. Each participant then outlined what they are doing, or will do, as part of opening to the public.
Safety for staff and customers was the overwhelming theme surrounding reopening procedures. Each business had their own method for exceeding the minimum standards set-out in the Statewide Guidance. In those documents, masks for staff are required but optional for customers. However many business owners at the meetup said they are requiring masks for everyone who enters their business, customers included. This is to insure workplace safety for their staff and the safety of other customers.
While many business owners in Montavilla have an idea of how to safely open, some are not comfortable with opening yet. Two people, one representing a Montavilla church and the other who’s an owner of a co-working space, said they are keeping their spaces closed for the foreseeable future. For some businesses there is just not a safe way have face to face contact but they are developing online and outdoor options.
Pete Dills, METBA President, summarized the meetup in a few key ideas. The number one thing is to keep staff and customers safe. Keep businesses viable. Keep employees employed. Continue to offer products and services to Montavilla residents.
Dills went on to offer a message to the patrons of Montavilla, “Be patient with us.” For all the business owners, they are trying to figure out how this will work. There is no one procedure for all businesses and the processes will need to change as the situation changes. For questions about what stores are open, METBA encourages you to check their COVID-19 resource page.
METBA business owner meetups are Tuesdays from 7-8pm. If you are a Montavilla or East Tabor business owner, you are encouraged to participate. Pleaser register to join the last two meetups. Participation is free and open to all business owners.
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