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.
Neighborhood watch-repair and timepiece retailer The Clock Shop is for sale. Located at 8426 SE Stark Street, both the business and building are available to purchase. The shop remains open while on the market.
The property is represented by More Realty who’s listing describes the benefit of buying both the building and business. “This 15-year-old business will be sold separately. Great opportunity for a live/work arrangement where someone can learn a trade that will last a long time. Most revenue comes from the repair of clocks. All client lists will be included. The price is negotiable.”
The structure is positioned forward on the property, creating a substantial space at the back of the lot for further development. A back alleyway to the property would provide access for a new residence behind the shop.
Dedicated specialty shops are harder to find in Portland. Having such a shop part of Stark Street attracts people to the commercial core of the neighborhood. Hopefully, a new owner will come forward and continue the legacy of this shop.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
A parked Portland Police van showed commuters on SE Stark Street their vehicle’s speed. Parked in front of Mr. Plywood, the van is near the corner of 78th Ave. The police vehicle contains equipment to capture vehicle speed and display it on a reader-board cut into the driver side rear door.
Thursday morning, vehicles slowed as they noticed the police van and the reported speed of traffic. Stark and Washington street cut through the center of Montavilla town, and vehicle speed continues to be a hazard for people trying to cross those busy streets.
It is unknown if this police effort will have lasting effects on reducing speeders along this roadway. However, the police presence indicates that speeding is a concern in the area that Portland would like to address.
This Sunday, Montavilla Farmer’s Market opens for the first day of their new winter schedule. This expanded season marks the start of year-round availability for the Market. Previous winters only offered customers four stock-up events between November and February.
Beginning on November 8th, the Market will open the second and fourth Sunday of the month. This twice-monthly schedule will run November through April, with a special Holiday Market on December 20th. The Market will be closed for the holidays on December 27th. Market hours are 10:00 AM through 2:00 PM.
The winter market is located at its regular space in Montavilla town, 7700 SE Stark Street. Moving to a year-round schedule demonstrates the successes experienced by the Farmer’s Market and offers constancy to their patrons. Winter vendors include:
4 Hearts Kombucha
503 Distilling, LLC
Back To Broth
Baird Family Orchards
Bliss Nut Butters
By George Farm
Crooked Furrow Farm
Deck Family Farm
Felton and Mary’s Artisan Foods
Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels
Kiyokawa Family Orchards
New Deal Distillery
Quiche Me If You Can
Radiant Coffee Roasters
Red Bird Acres
Red Truck Homestead
Shoofly Vegan Bakery
Spice of Africa
Stone Barn Brandyworks
T Bee S Honey
Urban Acre Homestead
Westward Whiskey Distillery
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