T+L Reports: Portland's New Nightlife
Until recently, the Portland, Oregon, neighborhood of Lower Burnside was best known as an after-hours hangout for unsavory types. In the past few months, however, the strip—concentrated between Northeast Grand Avenue and Sandy Boulevard—has been buzzing with shoppers and, when the sun goes down, night crawlers of a different ilk: party people scouting the city's hottest scene. And in the tradition of transformed neighborhoods everywhere (SoHo, SoMa), it has even been anointed with a clever acronym: LoBu. WHERE TO STAY (AND PLAY) San Francisco has the Phoenix. L.A. has the Standard Hotel. Now Portland has the Jupiter Hotel (800 E. Burnside St.; 877/800-0004; www.jupiterhotel.com; doubles from $89). Carved out of a 1960's crash pad and set around two courtyards, the hotel has 80 basic rooms outfitted with white platform beds and wallpapered in floor-to-ceiling nature scenes. Next door, in a Modernist log cabin, Doug Fir Lounge (830 E. Burnside St.; 503/231-9663; www.dougfirlounge.com) draws an eclectic crowd—artsy urbanites, bikers in black leather, aging hippies—for blackberry Cosmos and late-late-night comfort food (croque-monsieur at 4 A.M., anyone?). Cult rock acts such as Helmet and the Secret Machines play nightly. WHERE TO EAT Shake that hangover with a platter of poached eggs béchamel at Colleen's (22 N.E. Seventh Ave.; 503/546-8796; lunch for two $20), where everything on the menu is made from scratch, from the chai to the focaccia. Tucked away in a Victorian house, the Farm Café (10 S.E. Seventh Ave.; 503/736-3276; dinner for two $44) takes a similarly homespun approach to food, using produce from regional farms and catches of the day from local fishermen. WHERE TO SHOP Two packed-to-the-gills thrift shops attract treasure hunters citywide: Hattie's Vintage Clothing (729 E. Burnside St.; 503/238-1938) has a vast but well-edited selection of cowboy boots and 1940's and 50's cocktail dresses; Atomic Lily (734 E. Burnside St.; 503/380-0284) is the place for affordable movie memorabilia, like retro suits and gowns from the costume closets at MGM. For more up-to-date gear, stop by YES (628 E. Burnside St.; 503/236-7788), where Charlotte LaVictoire stocks edgy yet wearable rock star-worthy pieces by area designers, including Adam Arnold hooded capelets and stenciled vintage bags by the Purse Nurse.
This stand-alone cafe in eastern Portland has practiced a farm-to-table philosophy from its 2003 inception. The former Victorian home with art-lined red walls and a spacious back patio generally shuns meat in favor of vegetables or seafood: especially popular items include an eggplant-based veggie burger. There's also herb-crusted tofu with mushroom marsala, and a seasonally varied selection of Pacific seafood. Dessert includes mascarpone cheesecake and the signature sunken chocolate soufflé, which requires 15 minutes to make. The award-winning wine list primarily focuses on Pinot Noirs from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Syrah from Washington’s Columbia Valley, and some Zinfandels from California’s Napa Valley.
Carved out of a 1960s motel and set around two courtyards, Portland's rock star–worthy Jupiter Hotel has 80 basic rooms (aka crash pads), outfitted with white platform beds and wallpapered in floor-to-ceiling nature scenes. Next door, in a Modernist log cabin, Doug Fir Lounge draws an eclectic crowd—artsy urbanites, bikers in black leather, aging hippies—for blackberry Cosmos and late-late-night comfort food (croque-monsieur at 4 a.m., anyone?). A word to the wise: the party rages on until the wee hours most nights, so if you want to get any sleep at all, be sure to ask for a room overlooking the “quiet courtyard.”