Downtown’s West End

Downtown's West End comes into its own.

RubyJewel_DowntownCraft your own unique, handmade ice cream and cookie sandwich at Ruby Jewel.
Catalina Gaitán

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, Bridge & Burn and denim clothier Self Edge have high-profile spaces, and eateries include Wailua Shave Ice, a traditional Hawaiian shave ice 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, Adorn and Tender Loving Empire feature local designers and artisans, while Woonwinkel offers a curated selection of housewares and jewelry from local and international artists.

Dayna Pinkham, an internationally recognized couture hatmaker, has moved her Pinkham Millinery into the neighborhood. Homegrown Poler features camping gear and clothing suitable for exploring natural areas nearby and afar. (Editor’s note: Poler is temporarily closed as of December 2018.) The lauded drinking chocolate of Cacao gives visitors plenty of energy for the next adventure, and to further sweeten the location, 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.

 


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