Afgoye Halal Meat & Grocery recently moved out of its storefront at 7202 NE Glisan Street after seven years in business. The grocery store suffered several setbacks during the pandemic, prompting the owner not to renew the lease. This store was one of only a few reaming retailers serving the Islamic community in the area.
Owner Abdullah Shareef started the business in June of 2014 under the namer Bakaal Halal Meat & Grocery Store. However, by November 2014, the store changed its name to Afgoye Halal Meat & Grocery Store. Afgoye is a town and region in southwestern Somalia. The store offered foods and ingredients from Asia, India, and Africa. The shop also specialized in fresh-cut Halal meat. Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal meat is butchered in accordance with Islamic law, as defined in the Koran.
Jamal Dar, Executive Director of the nearby African Youth & Community Organization, provided some insight into the business closure. “They were struggling due to the pandemic and lack of economic stability. That being said, they have closed the business and are looking for another opportunity for future business.”
This two-story wood-framed building contains two storefronts and six apartments. Supposedly built in 1890, this unassuming building has a long history of accommodating renters. The actual date of construction is uncertain as the 1909 Sanborn map does not show any structures on the property. V. Cladek, a notable Montavilla figure, owned the rooming house in the early 1900s according to a 1918 plumbing permit when it had an address of 1840 E Glisan Street. Portland renumbered its streets in the 1930s to create a consistent address structure throughout the city. The 1924 Sanborn map shows the building in its current footprint with a label of “Housekeep’g R’ms” at the 1840 E Glisan address, suggesting that a later remodel added the storefronts to the ground floor.
Although Afgoye Halal Meat & Grocery’s time at the building was cut short, they added to the property’s extensive history and provided specialty foods for the community. The property owners have not yet listed the vacant retail space as available to lease. Expect to see a new shop in that location sometime in the future.