Portland-based hat manufacture Flipside Hats is relocating to Montavilla later this year. In late February, the company purchased 7850 SE Stark Street to become the new production hub and retail showroom for the nineteen-year-old clothing maker. Upgrades to the company’s future location are in the planning phase, with a tentative opening date in the fall.
Although the hat maker sells most of its products through wholesale channels, the showroom will offer direct-to-consumer sales. Flipside Hats owner Jacob Wollner expressed his enthusiasm for the new location, “We are super excited to move to Stark Street and the Montavilla area.” The showroom’s placement at the center of Montavilla Town will increase walk-in traffic, spotlighting the American-made and sustainably produced work from this apparel manufacturer.
Efforts to restore the former home of Electronic Claims Services into a retail location are already underway. Issued April 8th, permit 20-227665 changes occupancy for the building from Business to Mercantile and proposes a reconfiguration of interior walls. Demolition of two front rooms will create an open area street-side, eventually becoming the showroom. Crews will remove the drop grid ceiling above the front area and expos the entire vertical space to the retail floor below. New LED track lighting replaces the older fixtures to create commerce-friendly lighting. Other alterations are likely as the new owners begin the redesign process.
People interested in a preview of Flipside Hats’ showroom should visit their current location at 4438 SE Belmont Street. They are open seven days a week, from 11 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and weekends from 11 AM to 4 PM. That location will stay in operation until the business and its eight staff relocate to the renovated building on Stark Street.
Mixed manufacturing and retail historically perform well in the area. Located just a block away from Flipside Hats’ building, Union Rose successfully combined clothing production with an existing storefront business. Montavilla retail is known to favor locally created products, and this latest addition strengthens that reputation. Look for activity at the site to increase over the summer as staff prepares the space for opening.
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.
Masonry workers are actively repairing the damaged wall of the McDonalds located at 8149 SE Stark Street. On March 2nd, a silver 2003 Infiniti attempted to turn onto Stark Street from northbound 82nd Ave at an unsafe speed. The car lost control and collided with the fast-food restaurant, causing damage to a fence and the building. Last week, crews broke up the damaged concrete deck and replaced it.
Building repairs will restore the broken brick and tile on the building’s exterior. Portions of the wall shifted inwards in the collision, and crews must move it back into a vertical position. A new fence around the outdoor seating area is expected within the next few weeks, fully restoring the damage caused by the crash.
A fire broke out early morning at the Portland Garment Factory located at 408 SE 79th Ave. The 1931 era building suffered a complete structural collapse of its wood structure. The masonry portion of the building remains intact, but the building’s internal structure is a total loss. Representatives from Paul Davis Restoration, who are securing the site, indicated that the whole building is likely unsalvageable and requires demolition.
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a fire around 3:30 AM Monday. They found the building engulfed in flames and worked to contain the fire from spreading. The two-story commercial building is surrounded on both sides by parking lots. A single-story building on SE 80th abuts the rear wall of the Garment Factory. Damage to that building is not apparent.
Portions of SE Stark Street, SE 80th Ave, and SE 79th Ave are closed while fire crews continue to monitor the extinguished fire and prevent flare-ups. A GoFundMe donation page was established to help Portland Garment Factory rebuild their business ( https://gofund.me/19ab100f ).
Customers visiting Monti’s Cafe will soon enjoy a fenced courtyard with many amenities. Crews have created brick pillars around the former parking lot in front of the eatery. Soon, wrought iron fence segments will link the pillars together, creating a semi-secluded space for people to enjoy their purchases. A street-side gated entry will remain open during Monti’s Cafe’s hours of operation.
The idea to create this outdoor space predates the pandemic. However, owner Kelli Vinther explained that current circumstances made it a priority. “In the past year of COVID, comfortable and comforting outdoor seating has become extra important to our customers.” Vinther seeks to create an outdoor oasis for Monticello and Monti’s Cafe guests in this space that once served as a three-car parking lot.
The loss of parking was an easy sacrifice, according to Vinther. “The huge majority of parking is, and always has been, on street… The promise of an enlarged eating area far outweighs the loss of a few parking spaces.” Unlike the temporary outdoor seating created throughout the neighborhood in response to COVID-19 restrictions, this change is permanent, with substantial structure added to the property.
Eight umbrellaed tables will fill the newly enclosed area. Additional seating will surround a fire pit. The sounds of a fountain and an array of potted plants will further shape the space. The fencing and decorations will provide a buffer from the heavy traffic on SE Stark Street. “It’s going to be a beautiful, inviting courtyard for our customers to enjoy Spring, Summer, and Fall,” proclaimed Vinther.
Monticello Antique Marketplace and Monti’s Cafe are located at 8600 SE Stark Street. Both are open during construction.
The Montavilla branch of Riverview Community Bank will close permanently on May 20th. Having commissioned the building in 2003, Riverview owns the property and has not announced plans to sell the location. This closure is the third bank to leave Montavilla within a year. Both US Bank and Chase Bank closed their Glisan Street branches.
The Riverview Montavilla branch, located at 9415 SE Stark Street, is near the I205 off-ramp and Multi-Use path. After May 20th, the bank’s members can use the Gateway branch, located 1.6 miles away at 10401 NE Halsey Street. Only one other bank exists within Montavilla’s boundary, Bank of the West, at the corner of SE 82nd Ave and Division Street. As the banking world continues to evolve, physical locations are in decline. However, the lack of banking services within the area will likely impact small businesses that rely on teller services.
Yesterday, painters replaced the marquee logo at Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine. The updated sign adds color behind lowercase “ya hala” text. The previous text featured a thin monochrome font reading “Ya Hala Lebanese Plates – Established 1999.”
Located at 8005 SE Stark Street, the staple of Montavilla Town last painted their building in 2016. The update is an inspiring indication of our community’s gradual reopening after a year of COVID-19 restrictions.
Early Tuesday morning, a vehicle collided with McDonald’s on the corner of SE Stark Street and 82nd Ave. The silver 2003 Infiniti attempted to turn onto Stark Street from northbound 82nd Ave at an unsafe speed. The car lost control and collided with the fast-food restaurant, causing damage to a fence and the building. All occupants of the vehicle fled the accident, leaving the wrecked sedan and a loaded handgun behind.
Yesterday’s Oregonian detailed the events of the incidents that began around 2:55 AM Tuesday, March 2nd. Little is know about the people involved in the incident, other than the damage caused by their car. At the time of the article, Portland Police had yet to locate the occupants of the vehicle.
Damage to the McDonald’s building is contained to a small portion of the facade. An exterior metal fence received the brunt of the car’s impact, breaking up the concrete where anchors had once secured it to the ground. The four-foot-high barrier surrounded a slightly raised outdoor area that is mostly unused. The collision forced the building inwards, distorting the wall. Glass near the impact looks to be intact.
This McDonald’s is open 24 hours a day, with only drive-through service at night. The staff inside were likely alarmed by the incident but unharmed. Due to the damage, more substantive repairs may be necessary to restore the structure. Look for repair work to begin in the following months.
The 4000 square-foot storefront is currently for lease through Hanna Realty. Businesses interested in this space should call 503-774-8893 or message info@HannaNetwork.com about seeing the space. Look for information regarding American Agriculture’s new location on the company’s website. After the move, Montavilla residents can continue to shop with them through their online store or a short drive to Oregon City.
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.
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