1801 NE Alberta St., 503-206-8338, solaeslounge.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.

Established: March 2015

Rising from the ashes, quite literally, of disheveled punk clubhouse the Nest, Solae's is a reclamation project in more ways than one. After the aforementioned Northeast Alberta Street dive burned down (and subsequently reopened on Southeast Belmont Street), Jayson and Yosief Embaye moved in, installed a small stage and a long marble-top bar, and transformed the place into a sleek—but not stodgy—jazz club, modeled after the blues bars of New Orleans. But while the aesthetic is New Orleans, the spirit is taken from somewhere much closer to home. Before it was the Nest, the building was home to Joe's Place, one of several black-owned businesses on Northeast Alberta Street, a neighborhood that was once Portland's African-American cultural hub. With Solae's, that community gets a piece of its history back in an area that's been gentrified beyond recognition.

(Solae’s, Thomas Teal)
(Solae’s, Thomas Teal)
(Henry Crommet)
(Henry Crommet)

Of course, holding onto it wasn't going to be easy: Last year, the club successfully dodged having to institute a curfew for live music following noise complaints which, suspiciously, did not dog the previous occupant. But as with any venue, if the neighbors think it's too loud, you must be doing something right. 

Bar story: Joe's Place was the longest-running black-run bar in Portland when its septuagenarian owner, Joe Benjamin, sold the place in 2006. Its closing was considered the final nail in the coffin of pre-bohemian Alberta until a lot of the old crowd came back to Solae's.

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