What’s New in Portland, Oregon – 2016

AT A GLANCE

FOOD & DRINK

New food hall | Cookbook city | Spirited growth | Urban wineries | Brew news

LODGING

New lifestyle hotels | Project pipeline | Try something different

DESTINATION NEWS

BIKETOWN | Tokyo-Portland connection

ARTS & CULTURE

Portland Makers | Design community | Native fashion | Funny ladies

TRANSPORTATION

New flights, food at PDX | Tilikum Crossing

NEIGHBORHOODS

Orange Line | Central Eastside

MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS

OCC is solar charged | New venues

REGIONAL

Historic Columbia River Highway

TRAVEL PORTLAND MEDIA CONTACTS

FOOD & DRINK

Food hall prepares for grand opening

Pine Street Market; photo by Alan Weiner

Foodies near and far have applauded the transformation of Old Town Portland’s historic Carriage and Baggage building into Portland’s first food hall: Pine Street Market.

Eight food and beverage vendors (with an unannounced ninth vendor on the way) rub shoulders in 10,000 square feet (929 sq m) of renovated space, with communal seating allowing patrons to enjoy fare from multiple establishments in one visit. Mike Thelin, culinary curator behind the market and co-founder of Feast, has drawn from a deep pool of primarily local talent, challenging each restaurateur to create a new concept and fusion of flavors. Market vendors include:

  • Brass Bar – Brass Bar marks the fifth location for Billy Wilson’s Barista coffee empire and is dedicated to a new line of house-branded and sourced beans.
  • Common Law – A fusion of Asian and European influences from Langbaan’s Earl Ninsom and Paley’s Place’s Patrick McKee, Common Law provides food hall denizens with adventurous dishes like beef tongue banh mi and short rib with foie gras.
  • Marukin Ramen – Portland boasts the first stateside outposts for this famed Japanese ramen chain, with a second standalone location in the Central Eastside.
  • OP Wurst – Olympia Provisions’ “wacky” hotdogs live up to the quality and originality fans have come to expect from Portland’s most prolific purveyors of meat and sausage. Toppings are in no short supply, including bacon, peanut butter sauce, smoked apple butter, banana, creamed corn and macaroni.
  • Pollo Bravo – Showcased at the latest venture from John Gorham (Tasty n Alder, Tasty n Sons) are Spanish-style rotisserie chicken and assorted tapas by chef Josh Scofield.
  • Shalom Y’all – Another expatriate addition from the mind of John Gorham, Shalom Y’all features Mediterranean and vegetable-centric street food and a cocktail program by MEC’s Jamal Hassan.
  • Trifecta Annex –Ken Forkish (Ken’s Artisan Pizza) has anchored his breakfast-minded eatery with baked goods and a toast bar in the morning, followed by Roman-style pizza (whole pies and slices) in the evening.
  • Wiz Bang Bar –Wiz Bang Bar is Kim and Tyler Malek’s Salt & Straw, reimagined as a 1950s soda shop with experimental soft-serve ice cream flavors. Concepts include new takes on childhood staples, including choco tacos and milkshakes, as well as seemingly zany but refined soft serve flavors, like smoked Oregon ham dipped in a chocolate raspberry shell.

Recreate Portland dining with new, classic cookbooks

Portland Farmers Market Cookbook

You’ve made the rounds, sampling Portland’s food and beverage bounty. Now, bring your experience back home with  cookbooks by the city’s culinary pros.

Ken Forkish (Ken’s Artisan Pizza) just followed up a James Beard Award-winning bread-baking book  (Flour Water Salt Yeast) with a new volume dedicated to the origins and art of pizza: The Elements of Pizza. Using his guide, cooks can attempt to recreate his lauded pies at home. Having just hit shelves May 2016, the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook: 100 Seasonal Recipes and Stories that Celebrate Local Food and People marks the market’s 25th anniversary with a collection of recipes from local chefs such as Jenn Louis (Lincoln, Sunshine Tavern), Jason French (Ned Ludd) and Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen, Bent Brick). This September, James Beard Award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy (Beast, Expatriate) shares her tricks of the trade in Taste and Technique. This tome is filled with 140 recipes spanning sauces and salads to meats and desserts and is available for pre-order in advance of its September release.

Other recent must-have culinary companions include Mark Bitterman’s Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari, providing novices and pros alike with insights into the array of bitters on the market and how to incorporate them into both dishes and drinks; Beer Bites from Christian DeBenedetti (Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery) and Andrea Slonecker (The Picnic; Eggs on TopPretzel Making at Home), who pair recipes with particular beer styles to create  foolproof tasting menus; and Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie, which offers step-by-step recipes for Portland’s most celebrated charcuterie. Greg and Gabi Denton’s Around the Fire elevates backyard barbecue with recipes from OX Restaurant, and The Country Cat’s Adam and Jackie Sappington help quell comfort food cravings with Heartlandia.

A Portland recipe collection wouldn’t be complete without certain classics. Gabriel Rucker’s inaugural cookbook Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird entrances with French-inspired fare and tales of the restaurant’s history. John Gorham and Liz Crain partnered in Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull., bringing 95 of the perennially popular restaurant’s recipes to the page. Kyra Bussanich, who took top prize on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” with her gluten-free creations, draws in pastry lovers with Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-free Lifestyle. Andy Ricker helps recreate authentic Thai flavors with Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, while The Paley’s Place Cookbook by Vitaly Paley (Imperial, Portland Penny Diner) and Kimberly Paley sheds light on how ingredients and technique have created a now decades-old icon in Northwest Portland.

Portland’s culinary library continues to flourish. Next year, watch for a fresh installments from Andy Ricker and Jenn Louis, as well as debuts by Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s) and Bonnie Morales (Kachka).

Spirited growth for Portland distillers

Photo courtesy House Spirits Distillery

Developments along Portland’s Distillery Row and beyond have sip-takers and drink-makers in high spirits. Production facilities and tasting rooms have expanded, introducing more space for experimenting with recipes and methods.

House Spirits Distillery has happily settled into its new 14,000 square foot (1,301 sq m) facility, with six times the capacity of its former location and an expanded tasting room that’s open daily. Visitors enjoy cocktails on tap, tasting flights, classes (focusing on cocktails, whiskey and distilling) and tours, not to mention bottles and local products for purchase. This year marks the tenth anniversary of its flagship spirit, Aviation American Gin, and partnerships with local makers help commemorate the milestone; Portland Bitters Project is releasing Lavender Bitters as a salute, and Bull in China is lending a hand in cocktail classes. Also catering to DIY sensibilities, nearby New Deal Distillery leads hands-on whiskey making classes with distiller Tom Burkleaux. The five-hour tutorial includes coffee and lunch and covers fermentation, distillation and barrel aging.

Eastside Distilling’s new 40,000 square foot (3,716 sq m) digs are now open and dispensing tastes and bottles, with tours to come as expansion is completed. Once operating in full swing, the distillery will be the largest in the Pacific Northwest. And for something a little different, the Thomas & Sons Distillery tasting room offers the full line of tea-based spirits as well as limited-edition distillations.

Across the river in Northwest Portland, a new distillery district has taken hold, anchored by Bull Run Distilling, Clear Creek Distillery (celebrating 30 years as the leader of Portland’s distilling scene) and the newly opened Aria Gin tasting room. Formerly housed in Bull Run’s facility, Aria Gin’s tasting room offers mini cocktail flights and provides additional space for distiller experimentation. Neighboring Bull Run Distilling expects to release its Oregon Whiskey this year (or when it’s “good n’ ready”), a project more than four years in the making that incorporating only local water and grains.

Urban wineries pour forth

Southeast Wine Collective; photo by Jamie Francis

Interspersed among Portland’s famed craft breweries and distilleries are new urban wineries producing small-batch wines that highlight the Pacific Northwest’s diverse climate and wine grape varietals.

At Urban Crush (open Thursday–Sunday), four artisan producers share a production facility, tasting room and lounge in a space recently outgrown by House Spirits Distillery. Angel Vine focuses on zinfandel-based wines from fruit acquired in nearby Washington, while Cinzia Bella Coure delves into Italian heritage to create amarone-style wines. D’Anu Wines gives careful attention to each signature wine using highest quality grapes, and Willful Wine Co. hones Oregon’s signature Pinot Noir.

Nearby, Teutonic Wine Company’s wine bar gives off a tavern vibe, selling glasses and bottles while a vinyl soundtrack plays, and partnering with The Wild Hunt food bus by Viking Soul Food for tasty victuals. Stop by on Seafood Sundays when guest chefs pop in to craft seafood meals that pair with the winery’s cool-climate, German-style wines. The Mosel region-inspired roster includes Riesling and Gewürztraminer, and all but one wine derive from a single vineyard. In the same quadrant, the Southeast Wine Collective pours artisanal wines from about a dozen member wineries as well as other producers. Watch for events by their Cuisinières Supper Club, where the collective’s chef Althea Grey and co-founder Kate Norris team up to create multi-course meals that marry with current releases.

Tucked away inside Northeast Portland’s Cork wine shop, Viola Wine Cellars welcomes oenophiles to its Friday tastings of wines inspired by Northern Italy. Viola’s wines are produced un-fined and unfiltered, with native yeasts and very low sulfur additions. In North Portland, new wine bar Garagiste (open Friday–Sunday) features tastes from Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, which celebrated its first crush in a two-car garage in 2003. Experience Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Riesling sourced from the hills of south Salem and warm climate varieties, such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon from the eastern Columbia Gorge. The cozy space also serves up bourbon, whiskey, beer and cake.

For a full-bodied experience of Portland’s wine scene, PDX Urban Wineries offers a passport through nine local tasting rooms and special events year-round. The PDX Urban Wine Experience (May 1) kicks off Oregon Wine Month with 12 wineries offering tastings and discounts on bottle purchases.

News in local brews

Culmination Brewing; photo by Alex Frane

Portland boasts more breweries than any other city on earth, and the taps aren’t running dry anytime soon. Bend-based 10 Barrel Brewing set up shop in a spacious Pearl District outpost, complete with a 20-tap rooftop bar featuring inspiring views of the West Hills. Toast with pints of their flagship, piney Apocalypse IPA or a brand-new Belgian from the city’s first female head brewer, Whitney Burnside. Conveniently located next door, new nanobrewery Back Pedal doubles as the headquarters of BrewCycle, a fun-loving tour company that leads brewpub crawls via giant 15-seat, pedal-powered vehicles. No time for a tour? Settle for a refreshing, cycle-themed Pump Head Pale or 1st Gear IPA.

Using an innovative digital brewing system, Culmination Brewing produces three or four beer styles in a single day, creating plenty of opportunities to experiment with (and sample) different varieties. Fresh events are always on tap, as are Sunday savories from pop-up, plant-based eatery Of Roots and Blooms. The Alberta Arts District’s new Great Notion Brewing is helmed by two homebrewers-turned-pros who specialize in fruity IPAs and creative sour ales, blending with Oregon summer fruits and aging concoctions in oak barrels for up to two years. Swing by on a summer day for sipping Juice Box Double IPA during a game of bocce ball.

Portland Kettle Works, a company that crafts equipment for many local breweries, has opened Labrewatory, a first-of-its-kind brew lab for the city. Rather than employing its own brewers, Labrewatory serves as a testing ground for experiments from creative minds all over the country. Visit the 50-seat North Portland taproom for a taste of Pale Ale by local Lompoc Brewing, an Abbey Dubbel from New York or anything in between.

Tucked away in Southeast Portland’s up-and-coming Lents neighborhood, Zoiglhaus Brewing is thoroughly German-inspired, from its traditional brewing techniques to its name, which refers to a European communal brewing system. No lederhosen are necessary, however, to chow down on schnitzel, spaetzle and oversized soft pretzels paired with a Cologne-style Kölsch or spicy Hefeweizen.

Coming soon (though not soon enough for beer fanatics) is Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery from renowned beer writer and brewer Christian DeBenedetti. This one requires dedication with a drive into what’s traditionally been known as Oregon’s wine country. Sprouting in Newberg (21 miles southwest of Portland), the operation is crafting small batches of American interpretations of European-style brews, particularly Belgian-style ales, using wild yeasts and heirloom fruits and nuts sourced from its own farmland. The brewery has been stoking anticipation with collaborations (Oregon Truffle Festival, Jester King Brewery, The Commons Brewery and Heater Allen Brewing), while putting the finishing touches on its barn-turned-tasting room.

LODGING

Experience new national lifestyle hotel concepts

Courtesy of The Hi-Lo Hotel

Given Portland’s reputation for launching original concepts, from its innovative food and beverage culture to its out-of-the-box transportation solutions and sustainability initiatives, it’s only natural that major hotel brands are eyeing the region as a testing ground for emerging lifestyle brands within their portfolios. To experience the latest trends in accommodations, travelers will be able to hunker down in styles that reflect the Rose City without sacrificing the attention to service and detail on which luxury brands hang their reputations.

Marriott is opening two distinct properties downtown this year. The Hi-Lo Hotel debuts this summer, the latest in the hotel group’s Autograph Collection, which is distinguished by each property’s striking individuality. The 120-room boutique hotel occupies the historic Oregon Pioneer Building at Southwest Third Avenue and  Southwest Stark Street, retaining Huber’s Café (the city’s oldest restaurant, with a dining room on the National Register of Historic Places) and  introducing a new eatery. Modern organic furnishings and locally handcrafted amenities will be featured throughout. At the AC by Marriott, opening this fall, the 13-story structure will contain 204 rooms, a breakfast area, lobby bar, and fitness and business centers. Located at Southwest Taylor Street and Southwest Third Avenue, the hotel is anticipated to incorporate local sensibilities, including cocktails, craft brews and reading materials.

Meanwhile, Hilton is gearing up to open the Porter Hotel in downtown late this year. Built under the luxury boutique brand Curio, the hotel will offer 299 rooms, a rooftop restaurant, a bar, a market and take-out window, and a subterranean pool, sauna and spa. Portland is one of the few locations to nab one of these distinctive, new four- and five-star properties. Hilton is also bringing its Canopy lifestyle brand to Portland’s Pearl District, making the city one of only 11 worldwide to develop a property in this particular portfolio. No Canopy hotel will be like any other, and when it opens in 2017, this particular site at Northwest Glisan Street and Northwest Ninth Avenue will offer 153 rooms; local craft beer, wine and spirits; artisanal breakfasts with fresh, local ingredients; and various other touches to offer an authentic Portland experience.

Finally, the review process continues for the proposed Broadway Tower in downtown, set to be the second U.S. site of a Radisson RED property. The tower, which will break ground this summer, will include 180 hotel rooms on multiple floors with office space in levels above. Unlike traditional properties, Radisson RED has no front desk, but relies on technology to simplify the overnight experience (guests use an app to enter rooms and order food). Designs include a bar, restaurant, fitness center and conference rooms.

More lodgings in Portland’s pipeline

Photo courtesy The Grove Hotel

Boutique lifestyle brands aren’t the only up-and-coming hotel properties. Portland is expecting more than 1,700 rooms to come online by the end of 2017, and there’s no slowing down. Upwards of 1,600 rooms are slated to enhance the lodging inventory in 2018 and beyond. Here’s a rundown of more projects in the pipeline:

  • Hyatt House Hotel (RiverPlace, opens July 2016) Ground has been broken for this extended-stay property with 203 rooms just a block from the Willamette River. The hotel will feature a fitness center, pool, bar and meeting rooms.
  • Rodeway Inn & Suites Jantzen Beach (Jantzen Beach, opens summer 2016) Currently under construction, this 126-room property near the Columbia River offers executive conference facilities, family suites and comfortable rooms with an abundance of natural lighting.
  • Harlow Hotel (Old Town Chinatown, opens Fall 2016) Dating to 1882, the abandoned Harlow Hotel is set to undergo a complete renovation and reopen as a budget-minded boutique hotel.
  • Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (Washington County, opens late 2016) Pending design approval, McMenamins will be building a 47-room hotel at its complex which dates to the 1840s, while converting the Imbrie House to an 11-room B&B.
  • Woodlark Cornelius Hotel Project (Downtown, opens mid 2017) Provenance Hotels and Portland-based NBP Capital have partnered to create a 150-room lifestyle hotel with the purchase of city’s historic Woodlark Building and adjacent Cornelius Hotel. The adaptive reuse project will connect the Woodlark Building (built in 1912 and located on the corner of Southwest Alder Street and Southwest Park Street in downtown Portland) with the adjacent former Cornelius Hotel (built in 1908).
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel (Lloyd District, opens late 2019) Plans are in the works for the 600-room Oregon Convention Center hotel with amenities including a full-service restaurant, room service and meeting and banquet rooms.
  • Hampton Inn (Pearl District, open date TBD) Currently undergoing permit review, this eight-story, 243-room property will sit at Northwest Ninth Avenue and Northwest Everett Street in the Pearl District.
  • Grove Hotel (Old Town Chinatown, open date TBD) Local developers are proposing a 112-room boutique hotel with a restaurant and retail on the ground floor in this 1907 building located at the Chinese gate on West Burnside Street.
  • Beam Development Project (Central Eastside, open date TBD) Beam Development is forming plans to return the Shleifer Furniture building to its past use as a hotel. Located on Southeast Grand Avenue, this architecturally unique building dates back to 1906.

And now for something completely different…

Courtesy of the Society Hotel

Portland is no stranger to salvaging history-rich properties. The Society Hotel, recently opened in Old Town Chinatown, inserts affordable accommodations into the downtown scene while providing guests with an experience brimming with character, history and local lore. The 36-room boutique hotel restores an 1881 building to its original purpose as a lodging house, and comfortable bunk rooms, private rooms and suites are geared to a range of budgets. A street-level café brings local color to the fore, while downtown and West Hills views from the rooftop terrace are breathtaking day and night.

If a communal vibe speaks to you, consider Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel, the first lodging property of its kind in the U.S. Six custom-fabricated “tiny houses” in the Alberta Arts District range from 100 to 200 square feet (9.3 to 18.5 sq m) and each has a kitchen, bathroom and space to sleep one to four guests, as well as local artwork, games, coffee and snacks. The nearby Radio Room provides room service, and a central fire pit draws visitors outdoors. Unlike many tiny houses, Caravan also features accessible accommodations for guests with limited mobility. The Pacifica House has a very unusual design and is built on a 10-foot-wide, single-axle trailer, allowing it to be universally accessible to accommodate wheelchairs. Also in the vicinity, the bike-friendly Travelers’ House Hostel welcomes guests seeking a private room, dorm-style accommodation or private outdoor yurt, all sharing facilities and reasonable rates.

The first city to partner with Airbnb in its “Shared City” initiative, Portland has a plethora of private rooms and accommodations that reflect the alternative culture and style of its neighborhoods. San Francisco-based retailer Marine Layer is getting in on the fun, creating “The Loft” rental above its N.W. 23rd Ave. store. Tierra Soul Urban Farm & Guesthouse in the Mississippi Avenue Historical District offers comfortable stays on a permaculture farm. Along with well-appointed rooms in the farmhouse, visitors can book a stay in a 1969 Barth Caravan. Behind Yakuza Lounge in the Alberta Arts District, Kuza Garden Cottage sits in an oasis of a Japanese garden with service from the lounge and close proximity to other destination restaurants like DOC, Beast and Autentica. The MakerFlat – A Living PDX Gallery situated on Southeast Division Street features furniture and accessories by Portland makers and artists, all of which is available for purchase. Travelers can get close to nature in the Ultimate Glamping Tent at Urban Farm, located off Southeast Powell Boulevard and within walking distance of Southeast Division Street eateries.

DESTINATION NEWS

Portland teams with Nike for BIKETOWN

The Nike-influenced design for BIKETOWN.

Getting around Portland like a local is going to be much easier with help from local sneaker and athletic wear powerhouse Nike. The homegrown company is giving the city of Portland’s fledgling bike share program an infusion of $10 million for a 1,000-bike system, dubbed BIKETOWN, which is poised to be “the most accessible, flexible and sustainable bike share system in the world.” The five-year partnership will propel Portland to the top of the national heap, becoming the largest “smart bike” share system in the U.S.

BIKETOWN wheels will be available to rent 24/7 starting July 2016. Bike stations will first appear in high density areas to feed the strongest demand, and the public is weighing in on 100 other locations in the central city area. Stations, equipped with 20 bike racks on average, will be positioned in downtown, Old Town Chinatown, inner Northwest, Goose Hollow, South Waterfront, West End, Pearl District, Central Eastside, Rose Quarter, Lloyd District and inner North Portland.

Look for a fleet of eye-popping “Nike orange” bikes carrying the brand’s signature style and swoosh. Supplied by Social Bicycles of Brooklyn, New York, the smart bikes will be fitted with communications and locking technology, making them easy to find, reserve, park and ride anywhere around town. Unlike other systems that rely on motorized vehicles to transport bikes back to high demand areas, BIKETOWN will use a combination of GPS data and financial incentives to encourage riders to return bikes to their stations. The program will also offer the lowest price point for a one-time use fare in North America – just $2.50 for 30 minutes – making it one of the most affordable transportation options for visitors and locals alike.

Odnarotoop: Portland in Japan

Travel Portland’s Odnarotoop

From embracing a Japanese sister city to instituting direct flights to Tokyo, Portland has long shared a connection with the Pacific Rim.

To celebrate this cultural connection, Travel Portland is introducing Tokyo to “Odnarotoop”— a derivative of the Japanese pronunciation of “Portland,” spelled backwards. Anchored by a whimsy-filled song about Portland, written and performed by a Portland –based Ages and Ages, Odnarotoop is Travel Portland’s first consumer marketing campaign in Japan.

The campaign kicked off with media events, a content partnership with VICE Japan, social media and grassroots promotions and a temporary installation at T-Site in Tokyo from May 10–26, 2016. The campaign also features an animated music video (“GIFeo”) that allows users to upload their faces and put themselves into various GIFeo scenes — which can then be shared on social media channels.

The campaign has found success thanks in part to a wide array of Portland-based businesses that now have presences in Japan. Blue Star Donuts, with its unexpected and creative flavors, has found a following in Japan’s upscale Daikanyama neighborhood through a partnership with retailer Fred Segal. Meanwhile, Voodoo Doughnut continues to do brisk business in Taipei, Taiwan, with plans for expansion to Japan. Tastes have also transitioned beyond the allure of fried dough to decadent artisan chocolates, with both Alma Chocolate and Woodblock Chocolate gaining shelf space in Japanese stores.

Of course, this is a game of give and take, and Portland isn’t coming away empty handed. A handful of famed Japanese ramen shops have recently set up shop in the Rose City, and locals and visitors can’t get enough of these bowls of hand-formed noodles and rich, savory broths. Plus, for many of these eateries, Portland is their first foray into the U.S. market, meaning American consumers only need to venture to Portland for these authentic Japanese flavors. Marukin Ramen has opened  its first stateside outposts  in Portland’s Central Eastside and Old Town Chinatown’s Pine Street Market, garnering great acclaim for its Hakata-style ramen. Afuri, another Tokyo chain, commands lines around the block back home and promises to do the same in a proposed Central Eastside location. Shigezo Izakaya serves modern and traditional Japanese pub fare and handmade ramen noodles downtown, on Division Street with Yataimura Maru and soon at Izakaya Kichinto in North Portland. Yet another ramen joint, Kizuki (formerly Kukai) has one of its first U.S. locations just outside Beaverton in Southwest Portland.

For a taste of Japanese culture beyond the bowl, the Portland Japanese Garden serves as a tranquil oasis in the West Hills. The garden is currently undergoing a $335 million expansion that will add 3.4 acres (1.4 ha) to its existing 9.1 acres (3.7 ha) and provide a stronger cultural experience for visitors. Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is completing his first public commission in the U.S. with the project, designing a cultural village outside the main gate as well as a 20-foot (6.1 m) Japanese-style medieval castle wall. A new courtyard will serve as a venue for performances and events, and a cultural education center will double as a tea café. Upon completion in spring 2017, the project will add three new garden spaces to the original garden, which will remain untouched and open to visitors during construction.

To complete the Japanese experience in Portland, Toyoko Inn Economy Hotel is poised to make its West Coast debut on a vacant parcel downtown at S.W. Oak St. and Third Ave. If approved, the hotel would be a limited service, modern Japanese inn akin to its other 240 hotels, mostly located in Japan.

ARTS & CRAFTS

The makers among us

ADX; photo by Jamie Francis

Portland’s cadre of creators is as diverse as the stories behind each individual’s passion for a craft, but a common thread running through the city’s growing maker community is a dedication to collaboration.

The Central Eastside’s ADX/Portland Made houses a variety of makers in a 14,000 square foot (1,300 sq m) space encompassing a makerspace, learning center and custom fabrication shop. Public tours are available, as are classes for a deeper dive. Seasonal markets provide an opportunity to peruse and purchase ADX makers’ creations, and the collective’s success stories showcase the broad range of crafts and skills its members have cultivated. Portland Razor Co. co-founders Scott Miyako and Alex Pletcher know how to achieve a super-smooth shave and offer a full line of straight razors built to order, as well as strops and skincare products. Kyle Deoria creates functional yet fabulous-looking butcher blocks and cutting boards and has expanded his Deoria Made line to include tables, countertops and wall art, while Josh Mabry lights up Portland with his unique, sculptural Made by Mabry lamps.

For year-round local shopping, head to MadeHere PDX where the quality merchandise includes edible and apothecary items, apparel, accessories and home goods. Take home the flavor of Portland with Buddha Chocolate, Hot Winter hot sauces and Three Little Figs jams, or bring back the scent of the city with Portland Mist and NW Cedar candles from Bridge Nine Candle Co. Get the local look and keep warm with jackets and sweaters made locally from Dehen 1920 and Wild Outdoor Apparel. Pick up a one-of-a-kind wallet, bag or belt by Minnie + George; each piece of hide is hand-selected and individually fashioned. Salvaged hardwood never looked as good as on sunglasses made by Shwood, whose limited-edition eyewear features signature patterns from Portland heritage brand Pendleton, known for its quality wool blankets and clothing.

Several other shops around town, including Crafty Wonderland and the three Tender Loving Empire storefronts, showcase the fruits of Portland artisans’s labors. Beam & Anchor offers a curated assortment of goods, including many locally produced items, such as boutique eyewear from RAEN, handmade jewelry from BLTN, ceramics from Mazama, leather goods from Tomahawk and cutting boards from Marrow Goods, to name a few. Slip into Workshop Vintage on North Williams Street to find resilient and stylish barware from Bull in China, or make a beeline for their Northwest showroom for their full line of mixing glasses and ice mallets made in Portland.

Numerous local artisans have increased their production enough to support their own retail spaces. In Portland’s West End, the founders of Pigeon Toe Ceramics, Nell & Mary and Make It Good showcase their products at North of West while Maak Lab offers natural soaps, salves and candles made from local ingredients.

If Portland’s culture of creativity ignites inspiration to craft your own souvenir of the city, check in with ADX for classes from wood and metal working to jewelry making and screen printing. For aspiring tailors, a trip to Modern Domestic may be in order. The sewing studio, which also doubles as a gallery, offers classes for all levels and interests. Or, do some tinkering at a Thursday evening open house at PDX Hackerspace; The collective on North Interstate Avenue features a wood shop, electronics lab and craft lab alongside general purpose space for individual or group activities.

Design community flourishes

Photo courtesy Poler

The great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest has inspired countless designers and brands big and small are continuing to invest in the potential of Portland’s creative community. Big name athletic brands are upping their game. Nike, whose world headquarters sits just west of the city in Beaverton, is in the midst of a massive expansion that will add 3.2 million square feet (297,000 sq m) of space to its office and parking facilities, in order to accommodate for increased growth. In North Portland, Adidas is extending its campus to make room for an estimated 120 new employees anticipated to sign on this year, capitalizing on the momentum of recent North American sales. Baltimore-based Under Armour is moving its footwear design and development teams to town, biding time in the North Park Blocks while renovating a 70,000 square foot (6,500 sq m) structur (a former YMCA) in Southwest Portland, adjacent to Duniway Park and its track.

Outdoor gear and apparel brands have also found a welcome home in Portland. Columbia Sportswear continues to test its products against the most challenging conditions in the Northwest, and products that pass the “Tested Tough” test can be found at the company’s flagship store downtown. Also downtown, Poler’s flagship location carries all the gear adventure seekers may need in the city or in the wild, designing fun and functional clothing as well as camping equipment and accessories. Finally, Portland Gear, launched in 2014, offers ideal souvenirs of the city, with a range of apparel and accessories celebrating utilitarian, classic and clean design. The brand has moved from an online shop and Portland Saturday Market presence to a brick-and-mortar store in Southwest Portland.

Fashion goes native

Diné [Navajo]; Cape and dress from “Desert Heat” Collection, 2012

Native American culture, rich and diverse, has made an indelible impression on American design. This summer, the Portland Art Museum enables visitors to explore the influences, from the most subtle to the overt, of native tribes on contemporary fashions spanning everyday street wear to haute couture. Native Fashion Now (June 4–Sept. 4) features nearly 100 garments, accessories and footwear from the past half century that demonstrate the far-reaching impact of native cultures. Organized by the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, Massachusetts, and curated by the Portland Art Museum’s curator of Native American art, Deana Dartt, the exhibit represents a range of genres and materials as well as Native and non-Native designers.

For a compelling juxtaposition of Native American cultural expression, museum-goers can slip into Portland Art Museum’s permanent exhibit of Native American art in its Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde Center for North American Art. The museum’s expansive collection of prehistoric and historic pieces exceeds 5,000 pieces and represents 200 cultural groups throughout the continent. In addition to a world-renowned representation of Northwest Coast and Arctic art, the permanent collection incorporates elements from the Plains, Woodland, Southwest and California regions, not to mention a healthy dose of Western Oregon and Columbia Plateau works.

Comedic geniuses: Portland’s funny ladies

Photo courtesy All Jane Comedy Festival

Bike shops and video arcades usually don’t go hand-in-hand with good laughs — but then again, this is Portland. Making their home in both traditional clubs and more obscure corners of the city, the local comedy scene has thrived in recent years, with much credit due to the city’s funny ladies.

Portland’s comedic geniuses are versatile performers, showcasing their stand-up, sketch and improvisational comedy at various venues about town. Stacey Hallal covers all the bases and much more. She not only founded the Curious Comedy Theater, which puts on diverse shows and offers improv classes, but also organizes the annual All Jane Comedy Festival, a fall showcase of all female comics. Another crew of dedicated women is instrumental in putting on the Bridgetown Comedy Festival (June 1–5), which draws performers from around the nation and Portland’s own backyard. This year’s line-up includes Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award-winner Rachel Bloom of CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Oscar nominee Aimee Mann and stand-up greats like Martha Kelly and Karen Kilgariff. Local comedians on the roster include Joanne Schinderle, who opened for Lena Dunham at Portland’s Newmark Theatre, and Barbara Holm, noted for her “clever, unique, idiosyncratic and exuberant” style.

Year-round, find side-splitting action at comedy venues like the long-standing Harvey’s Comedy Club and the more recently opened Helium Comedy Club, where national headliner Amy Miller has hosted “Stand-up For Yourself.” Miller, who won the 2013 and 2015 Willamette Week Readers’ Choice for Best Portland Comedian and reached the semifinals in season 9 of “Last Comic Standing,” works clubs and festivals nationwide. At Velo Cult bike shop, find Bri Pruett co-hosting the weekly Wednesday night comedy show, Earthquake Hurricane.

Watch the calendar listings for shows by other top performers, including Caitlin Weierhauser, Whitney Streed, Jenna Zine, Katie Brien, Jen Tam, Andie Main, Belinda Carroll, Virginia Jones and Susan Rice. Check out Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, where No Pun Intendo attracts comics the third Thursday of every month. On two Sundays a month, Alberta Street Pub hosts “Control Yourself,” and Al’s Den under the Crystal Hotel schedules frequent comedy nights. Bookmark the Curious Comedy Theater’s calendar to keep tabs on the latest stand-up, open mic and improv shows.

TRANSPORTATION

New flights and delights at PDX

Courtesy of the Port of Portland

Portland will be easier to visit than ever in 2016, and the latest developments in the airline industry are likely to keep that momentum rolling. The parent company of Pacific Northwest favorite Alaska Airlines is pursuing a $2.6 billion purchase of Virgin America. If approved by regulators, the deal will make Alaska Airlines the country’s fifth largest airline (1,200 daily departures with a fleet of 280), shore up its West Coast base and increase access from the East Coast, likely giving travelers more routes than ever to Portland International Airport (PDX). The deal is anticipated to close in early 2017.

Meanwhile, expanded direct service and international connections to PDX complement the daily year-round non-stop flight from Amsterdam offered by Delta Airlines/KLM. As of May 11, Icelandair resumes twice-weekly direct flights from Reykjavik until Oct. 26; during peak travel season (June 5–Oct. 16), service increases to four weekly flights. Icelandair plans to extend the season through January 2017 and will resume service in March 2017. Germany’s Condor Airlines operates direct flights from Frankfurt to PDX twice weekly June 10–Oct. 25, and four times weekly during peak season July 3–Oct. 2. Air Canada offers daily nonstop flights from Calgary year-round, and a new daily nonstop from Toronto will fly May 27–Oct. 16.

Thanks to a new seasonal flight from Alaska Airlines, travelers landing in Atlanta will have an easier time getting to PDX via daily direct flights. Frontier Airlines will run nonstop flights from Chicago, Cleveland and Phoenix this spring and summer, while Sun Country Airlines has added flights from Minneapolis/St. Paul, operating four to six times per week starting June 9.

PDX’s iconic Portland elements, including food carts, farmers markets, craft beer and local spirits, will expand this summer to offer a microcosm of local culture via a number of Portland-born and -bred brands. A good cup of coffee is close at hand, as local favorite Portland Roasting Coffee and legendary Stumptown Coffee Roasters join the scene. Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen & Market showcases local products and old-fashioned bagels, while Capers Farm-to-Table Market delivers farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses and grab-and-go items. New food carts are poised to offer vibrant flavors for summer: The Whole Bowl serves bowls of wholesome grains adorned with fresh toppings like avocado and salsa, while Aybla Grill prepares gyros, kebabs, Greek salad and other Mediterranean specialties. Visit Vino Volo for tastes of Pacific Northwest wines by the glass, flight or bottle.

Meanwhile, Concourse C is becoming a hub of Portland’s craft culture and entertainment. House Spirits Distillery is building the world’s only airport distillery tasting room, complete with tasting flights, specialty products and educational experiences. Made in Oregon will grow to make room for more craft goods and will be joined by Timberline Lodge’s locally designed and printed apparel and souvenirs. The marquee lights of Northeast Portland’s Hollywood Theatre have been assembled in miniature to adorn an 18-seat theater and performance space, spotlighting independent artists and screening short films at no cost to travelers.

Tilikum Crossing: a testament to Portland values

Tilikum Crossing; photo by TriMet

Open since last September, Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People has quickly won a place in Portlanders’ hearts. The first new span over the Willamette River since 1973, Tilikum Crossing is more than a connection of east and west: it’s a testament to values that locals hold dear by representing a commitment to sustainability, responsible growth and artistic expression — all in one bold, eye-catching structure.

The first and only multi-modal bridge of its kind in the country, Tilikum Crossing welcomes pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit (the Portland Street Car, Tri-Met buses and the MAX Orange Line), but not private automobiles. It’s a way to encourage alternative commuting and cut down on carbon emissions. The 1,700 foot (518 m) bridge is built of materials chosen to reduce pollution during the construction process, such as unpainted concrete and stainless steel railings and cables that eliminate paint toxins from the equation. And, unlike the city’s other bridges that divert rainfall to sewer overflow facilities, storm water on Tilikum Crossing is directed to treatment facilities.

In addition to its eco-conscious aspects, Tilikum Crossing addresses the impacts of a growing metropolitan area. Running along the span is the new MAX Orange Line, which connects downtown Portland and Portland State University to Southeast Portland communities, neighboring Milwaukie and smaller communities in Clackamas County. With 10 stops and 400 bicycle parking spaces, it’s estimated that the Orange Line will take at least 9,000 cars off the road every day.

Finally, the bridge reflects the city’s commitment to public art, using the cable stays as a canvas for an innovative lighting system. Portland’s largest public art display, “Tilikum Light: An Illuminating Conversation between a River and a Bridge,” is the only aesthetic art feature in the country to be controlled by river data. Powered by renewable energy and activated at dusk, 178 LED lights along the bridge’s span shift in movement and color based on river conditions collected in real-time by the United States Geological Survey. The base color varies with water temperature and season, while a second color’s vertical movement along the bridge’s four towers and 40 cables responds to the river’s height. The colors’ pace of movement ebbs and flows with the river’s speed. The permanent lighting display is the work of artists Doug Hollis and the late Anna Valentina Murch.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Orange is the new track

Courtesy of The Gantry at Zidell Yards

Stretching from Portland State University in downtown across the Willamette River to neighboring Milwaukie, the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) Orange Line introduces a new route for exploring the city’s growing Southeast neighborhoods.

Start at Portland State University at the food carts, where Ole Latte Coffee will get you fueled up for the day before hopping the Orange Line heading south. First stop is at South Waterfront/Southwest Moody Avenue, at the foot of the new Tilikum Crossing. Hop off for a quick trip on the Portland Aerial Tram, which offers unbeatable views of the city. On the way back down, stop in for a dose of culture at hair salon Oranj Studio, which offers rotating exhibits by renowned local artists, and peek inside Oregon Ballet Theatre’s new studio space, where the main rehearsal studio is visible from the lobby.

Head back to the MAX stop and either catch the train for a trip over Tilikum Crossing, or take a leisurely stroll over its scenic span. On the east side, stop in at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, which displays a collection of Portland’s historic locomotives and passenger cars. If time permits, see why the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) delights all ages with hands-on activities, mammoth IMAX movies and after-dark events for the 21 and older crowd.

Ride the Orange to the Southeast Bybee Boulevard stop and explore the nearby Westmoreland City Park. Join the Portland Pétanque Club at the park on Sundays and Wednesdays for tossing boules (a sport in the same family as bocce ball). Walk west along the boulevard for shopping at independent boutiques and Stars Antique Malls, where more than 75 dealers congregate under one roof. Recharge with local brews and bites at the Southeast outpost of Laurelwood Public House & Brewery or at Lompoc Brewing’s Oaks Bottom Public House.

Continue on the Orange Line to Milwaukie/Southeast Main Street, where comic book fans can peruse collections and collectibles at Things From Another World, an outpost of Dark Horse Comics (think Sin City, Hellboy, The Atomic Legion, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many more).  End the day’s exploration on a high note with wine and live jazz at Arrivederci, or jump back on the Orange to make your way downtown, taking in the dining scene at the South Waterfront along the way. Try The Groaning Board for pub fare from Lincoln alumnus Cory Chunn of “Top Chef” fame or Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen for modern, fresh cuisine before returning to your downtown hotel.

Artisan producers, restaurateurs flock to Central Eastside

Chef’s counter at Renata; photo by Jamie Francis

Easily accessible from nearly any corner of the city (and by MAX light rail, now that Tilikum Crossing is open) Portland’s Central Eastside is brimming with locally sourced products and an edgy vibe that simply can’t be duplicated.

Ancient Heritage Dairy’s production is in full swing at its urban creamery. Large street-side windows let you observe the artisans producing outstanding sheep’s milk cheeses, and you can sample and buy cheese at the retail counter inside. In the same revamped building, Alma Chocolate creates decadent creations that scream Oregon, while Quin Candy Lab crafts their own sweet treats nearby. Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t neglect a stop at Jacobsen Salt Co. Although the company is known for its hand-harvested salts from the Pacific Ocean, Jacobsen is a local favorite for salty caramels and black licorice, not to mention small-batch, urban-farmed honey from Bee Local.

Central Eastside dining options are also on the rise. The acclaimed Renata, the brainchild of French Laundry alums Sandra and Nick Arnerich, churns out wood-fired Italian cuisine by chef Matthew Sigler. The menu is rounded out with a cocktail program by Daniel Shoemaker and Sean Hoard of Teardrop Cocktail Lounge and Commissary fame. Chef Aaron Adams has taken on a new venture, Farm Spirit, creating intimate 14-seat dinners with plant-based menus. Hot spot Kachka is rubbing elbows with Holdfast Dining, a former pop-up that has taken over the front room of Fausse Piste Winery. Taylor Railworks transports diners on a journey through America’s fluid culinary landscape. Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz of celebrated Biwa join Bunk Bar and Boke Bowl on Southeast Water Avenue with ramen shop Noraneko. The area is also home to one of two U.S. outposts of Japanese ramen joint Marukin (the other is at Pine Street Market). Expect to see more of Portland’s collaborative nature shine through, from the recurring Salt Fire Water dinner series at Jacobsen Salt Co. to Cup & Bar, a new coffee and chocolate tasting café (also serving wine, beer and small bites) from Trailhead Coffee Roasters and Ranger Chocolate Company.

Photo courtesy The Commons Brewery

You’ll also find Portland’s renowned craft beverages here. Steven Smith Teamaker’s expansive warehouse and production facility on Southeast First Avenue and Southeast Washington Street includes a retail café and offers daily tours. Nearby, Coava Coffee Roasters pursues an unrivaled blend of quality, complexity and balance in every cup, while Water Avenue Coffee microroasts craft coffees sourced from around the globe. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a fixture in Portland’s caffeine culture, sourcing beans from small farms and roasting them to perfection since 1999; visit its Annex for a guided tasting, tour or brewing class.

If a cup of Joe isn’t the brew you had in mind, stop at one of the area’s many craft breweries or distilleries. The Commons Brewery operates a seven-barrel system and taproom, pouring proprietary beers (and sometimes guest brews) from 13 taps. Steve Jones’s Cheese Annex provides curated cheese plates to complement the latest offerings. Oregon beer fans will find a new bastion of local craft brew pride at Loyal Legion, which boasts the world’s largest selection of Oregon beer (99 taps), complemented by sausage from neighborhood favorite Olympia Provisions. For a nip of something stronger, visit Eastside Distilling or House Spirits Distillery, both of which are getting comfortable in expanded new facilities.

Urban wineries also dot the neighborhood. Clay Pigeon Winery specializes in Pinot Noir and Syrah and pours libations at Cyril’s, its restaurant and wine bar. Coopers Hall, the first Oregon winery dedicated to keg production, invites oenophiles into the winemaking experience with its open-concept winery and tap room. Finally, for something out of the ordinary, pair Northwest beer and wine with good food and ping pong at Pips & Bounce, a former pop-up gone brick and mortar.

MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS

Oregon Convention Center harnesses the sun

Two new initiatives at the Oregon Convention Center, a leader in sustainability and LEED Platinum Certified since July 2014, will help convention groups significantly reduce their carbon footprints. Installation began this summer of a new array of 6,552 solar panels, which is anticipated to be the largest solar array among U.S. convention centers and will cover roughly half of the OCC rooftop. The panels will generate an estimated two megawatts of electricity — enough to offset 25% of the OCC’s power usage. The other 75% will be purchased through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Renewable, ensuring that 100% of OCC energy use comes from renewable sources.

Additionally, the OCC is taking waste diversion to the next level through a new, refundable waste deposit, which provides conferences an incentive to use reusable and recyclable materials. The deposit policy will take effect Jan. 1, 2016, and will prohibit the use of certain environmentally harmful materials. This policy supports the OCC’s goal of diverting 80% of potential conference waste by the end of 2016. The OCC provides information on its ongoing sustainability efforts to convention goers and interested parties through placards on site and in a dedicated sustainability section of its website.

Special events stand out in exciting new spaces

Photo courtesy Hotel Eastlund

New event spaces in the City of Roses are guaranteed to add flair to private gatherings and leave lasting impressions on guests. The new Hotel Eastlund in the Lloyd District features the Cosmopolitan Grand Ballroom, offering sweeping views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows. The 3,600 square foot (335 sq m) space provides ample room for large events, as well as the flexibility to break into smaller salons for more intimate settings.

Revolution Hall (formerly Washington High School) was given new breath as a mixed-use and performing arts center, boasting an extensive rooftop deck with 360-degree views of the city. The deck, auxiliary rooms, halls and auditorium may be rented for a range of private events, from luncheons and weddings to speaking engagements and awards ceremonies.

Tucked into the Central Eastside Industrial District, the 4,000 square foot (372 sq m) Plaza Del Toro is the latest in a string of establishments from Chef John Gorham, known for Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder and Mediterranean Exploration Company. Billed as a “private event space, gastronomic society and modern test kitchen,” the space is used for special dinners, by staff to experiment with recipes for Gorham’s restaurants and rented for private parties and events. The former furniture warehouse now features a 6 foot long (1.8 m) wood-fired grill from Spain, whole-animal rotisserie, oyster bar, cocktail bar and DJ booth.

Just south of Portland in Wilsonville, the new World of Speed Museum, dedicated to America’s obsession with speed racing, offers the Atomic Lounge for special events. At 2,450 square feet (228 sq m), the lounge accommodates up to 120 in its mid-century modern surroundings.

REGIONAL

Centennial celebrations in the Gorge

Photo courtesy Friends of the Vista House at Crown Point

This year, the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail (Historic Route 30) will have been transporting adventurers along its picturesque path for 100 years. Extending from Troutdale (14 miles [23 km] east of Portland) to The Dalles, the roadway provides eastbound travelers with breathtaking vistas, lush forests and majestic waterfalls. Built to emulate the Axenstrasse in Switzerland, it has earned recognition as both America’s first scenic highway and the first modern highway constructed in the Pacific Northwest. Constructed from 1913 to 1922, the highway was officially dedicated at Multnomah Falls on June 7, 1916.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the route’s dedication, a series of Centennial Celebration events are in the works. The official rededication is slated for June 7 at Multnomah Falls and Crown Point’s Vista House. On the same day, a new bronze monument by Rip Caswell will be unveiled in Troutdale’s Visionary Park as a salute to two men with the foresight to see the draw of a scenic way; Engineer Samuel Lancaster and entrepreneur Sam Hill were instrumental in convincing the Oregon Legislature to support the project. Also in Troutdale, visitors can stop by the Troutdale Historical Society any time this year for the “King of Roads” exhibit, featuring photos and stories of the highway.

Although the historic highway follows 73 meandering miles (117 km), not all are open to the public. To date, 63 miles (101 km) have been reconnected and opened to vehicular, foot and bicycle travel through dedicated preservation work. Come September 24, another five miles will be opened to bikes and pedestrians as the segment from Lindsey Creek to Starvation Creek, near Hood River, is dedicated.

Celebrations along the route and in its unique communities are joining the commemoration of the century milestone. Avid cyclists will want to mark their calendars for the 10th Annual Gorge Ride on June 18, and runners can get a true feel for the road during September’s 60-mile (97 km) Gorgeous Relay. Check calendar listings frequently for new additions.

Megan Conway
Vice President, Communications & P.R.
503.275.9795
megan@travelportland.com
Laura Guimond
U.S. & International Communications & P.R. Manager
503.799.4672
laura@travelportland.com
Marcus Hibdon
National Communications & P.R. Manager
503.275.9769
marcus@travelportland.com
Alacia Lauer
Regional Communications & P.R. Manager
503.275.9751
alacia@travelportland.com
Jacob Schmidt
Content & Campaign P.R. Manager
503.275.9794
jacob@travelportland.com
Shandi Muff
Communications & P.R. Assistant
503.275.9794
shandi@travelportland.com

Please visit www.travelportland.com/media for more information. Visual assets are available for qualified travel media. For more information or to obtain access, please contact journalistsonly@travelportland.com.

×