Portland’s historic West End has emerged as a center of creativity, fashion and nightlife. Tucked between Powell’s City of Books and the downtown retail core, the area is home to a growing number of local and international design shops, fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafés and hotels. Newest on the block is Union Way, a galleria that opened in summer 2013. Portland’s Danner Boots and denim clothier Self Edge have high-profile spaces, and eateries include Quin, a handmade candy shop, and Boxer Ramen, a noodle bar.
The West End’s redevelopment was spurred by the arrival of the Ace Hotel, Stumptown Coffee and Clyde Common (home of the world’s first barrel-aged cocktails). The new McMenamins Crystal Hotel has enlivened the lodging scene and nearby boutiques such as Frances May, Parallel, Tender Loving Empire and Radish Underground feature local designers and artisans, while Canoe, Flora and Woonwinkel offer curated selections of housewares and jewelry from local and international artists.
Dayna Pinkham, an internationally recognized couture hatmaker, has moved her Pinkham Millinery into the neighborhood, and Solestruck, the largest online shoe retailer in the nation, entered the mix with on-trend shoes in its only retail location. Tanner Goods offers Portland-made belts, bags and footwear while homegrown Poler features camping gear and clothing suitable for exploring natural areas nearby and afar. Meanwhile, Grüner sustains shoppers with Alpine-inspired fare while its sexy sibling Kask showcases local cocktails. Around the corner, the lauded drinking chocolate of Cacao gives visitors plenty of energy for the next adventure.
A steady stream of businesses have brought vitality to the neighborhood, including Animal Traffic, which offers quintessential new and vintage Western wear, and the gallery/performance space of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). To further sweeten the scene, sister-owned local favorite Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop opened its second location at Southwest 12th Avenue and Stark Street, offering decadent handcrafted flavors, ice cream sandwiches and a vintage soda fountain.
The neighborhood’s website, WEPDX.com, offers an interactive map, business listings and social media feeds to help visitors explore this booming area with ease.