Coming, and going, on the boulevard.

King Boulevard has seen plenty of change this summer, with businesses and organizations moving into, and out of, buildings all along the boulevard.

Here’s some of what I’ve seen:

  • Nicole Cathcart’s Javarama (3907 NE MLK) shut down:

Patron and nearby resident Jacob describes Javarama thus: “It was a place to drink excellent coffee, to work, to study, to read, to hang out, and it hummed with the energy unique to independent businesses that are fresh and pleasant and alive.  It was a Portland coffeeshop — in the very best sense.”

  • Elevated Coffee opened in Vanport Square, 5261 NE MLK, serving up an interesting blend of coffee, shakes, waffles, art, author readings, and live music:

Check youtube here and here for performances at Elevated Coffee by Nick Z. Robey.

  • Alu Winebar has re-opened at 2831 NE MLK, under new ownership and new philosophies of food and drink, but with the same gorgeous interior.
  • Shaver Green is now open, with condos below, apartments above, and a “solar electric car charging station”:

I think Shaver Green has turned out to be a handsome building; some of the low-income housing on the boulevard built in the past is considerably more painful on the optic nerve.

  • Forever A Lady salon replaces Ray J’s barbershop at 7048-50 MLK.
  • A cute lunch cart called “Patty’s Wagon” has been setting up shop in the parking lot at MLK & Mason on Saturdays:

  • Yoga Mandiram in the Heritage Building is now called Yoga Mandapa, with new ownership.
  • The Tierra Educational Center has opened up at 2915 NE MLK, in the same building as SCRAP. From Tierra Center’s website:

The mission of Tierra Educational Center, LLC is to provide quality and affordable language, cultural, and technological education and services to the Portland community. The organization developed out of the shared belief of its owners that communication and cultural barriers between the growing immigrant population and the community at large can be broken down with the availability of affordable education and small group integration amongst the communities.

  • Michelle Kopper has opened Vanport Square Studio (5229 NE MLK, Suite 102). The Studio’s website describes Michelle as “a professional actor/singer with over a decade of yoga & dance meditation to bring unique insight to her classes and workshops. Michelle is a certified teacher of both Rasa Yoga and The Nia Technique. Breath, movement & sound are an integral part of all her work. Michelle also teaches the Summer Teen Musical Intensive at Portland Center Stage.”

The studio is currently hosting classes in theatre audition and singing, and is available for rental for rehearsals and performances.

  • Payless Shoe Source at 6359 NE MLK has gone dark:

  • After just a couple of months selling mattresses out of the storefront in the current building at Mason and MLK that houses the Miracles Club, the Bed Guyz have closed up shop, abandoning a couple of leftover mattresses to the sidewalk and the vagaries of fate:

  • After months of work rehabbing the two-story empty building at Alberta and MLK, It’s About Me Fitness is ready to open. At present, its owners are expecting to open the 24-hour facility tomorrow! It will be nice to have a gym on the boulevard, especially since it appears extremely unlikely that 24 Hour Fitness will ever open a gym on MLK.
  • Strut Salon has opened up in the Boxlift Building storefront most recently used by Dirty Little Secret Salon, 1909 NE MLK.
  • Caviar clothing has had a storefront on MLK for at least fifteen months, but it hasn’t been ready for shoppers… and now it is. The “illest boutique in the entire city” is “ready to introduce you to being fly.”
  • Growing Seeds Child Development Community, with one location already on the boulevard at 6505 NE MLK, is opening a second day care center in the Standard Dairy Building, where Billy Reed’s (followed by Venue) used to be:

Read more about Growing Seeds here.

  • Adjacent to Growing Seeds in the Standard Dairy is  gdiapers, a vendor of  ‘eco-friendly’ diapers:

  • Broadway Kia has moved into the two lots on either side of Broadway and MLK, used until recently by Broadway Toyota.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Review reports that Community Warehouse will, in fact, be moving into 3961-69 NE MLK, in the building that most recently housed Hannah Bea’s Poundcake and More. Community Warehouse is a nonprofit that helps supply low-income families with free furniture household items. Community Warehouse is leasing the building currently and has begun renovations on it, and is fund-raising in hopes of buying the building outright from Ward Smith. This particular building has its own stories to be told, and I’m planning to write about it soon.


MLK boulevard in the news.

The Oregonian has a new article discussing Portland Development Commission projects that are going forward at this time, and those that are stalled because of funding issues. The article includes  several sites on MLK Boulevard, including the long-rumored 24 Hour Fitness at MLK and Alberta, which is listed as “delayed.” That now-empty block, of course, sits directly across Alberta from the building undergoing rehabilitation that will hold It’s About Me Fitness.

Also, a nice review of belly (in the King’s Crossing building at Fremont and MLK) ran in last week’s Oregonian. Read it here. A review of Bridges appears on this website; the author is right about Bridges’ incredibly tasty bacon.

It’s About Me Fitness

It’s About Me Fitness has opened a new branch of their fitness centers in the southernmost building being renovated at Alberta:

My roommate joined this gym as soon as it opened (and before it was fully operational), and he seems pretty happy with it. Also, I haven’t told him this, but he does look thinner now than before he joined.

The address is 4943 NE MLK, although the entrance is currently in back of the building, on Garfield.