6616 NE MLK

This house at 6616 MLK, until recently adorned with a pro-queer sticker on its front door, is one of the only residential properties directly on MLK that consists of a ‘single-family unit’:

What now is a queer-friendly residential dwelling was a hot spot in Portland’s night life less than ten years ago. Melanie Goldberg and friends ran Fast Forward, a late-nite spot for bands to play in, as well as a weekend breakfast cafe called 6616 Martin Luther King Boulevard. I remember Melanie telling me, in 2002 or so, that the eatery operated under the city government’s radar, presumably permitless, etc.

Author Jonathan Tilove mentions the club at 6616 MLK in his book “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Main Street,” a travelogue put together by himself and photographer Michael Falco of various MLK Boulevards that they visited in the early 00’s across the United States.

Tilove quotes 6616 MLK/Fast Forward patron Joel Hanson on the improvements evident already on MLK by 2001: “People call this the ghetto still, but that’s a joke.”

The property is owned by Richard Probasco, Senior Pastor at New Song Community Church, which is located at 2511NE MLK. He paid $27,500 (!) for the property in 1991.

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