MY SADDLEâS WAITING, COME AND JUMP ON IT: Dig A Pony, the bar set to replace the old Nikiâs Restaurant at the east end of the Morrison Bridge, is starting to look like a thoroughbred. Co-owner Aaron Hall showed WW around the space Sunday, and from the huge horseshoe bar with room for 40 people to the new decor (a 110-year-old piano, church pews, custom stained-glass work), it looks promising. â[Itâs] a place that has a lot of class for us younger people, but without reflecting it in the price,â says Hall. Pony will feature nightly DJs and a budget-priced menu from Departure chef Gregory Gourdet. While thereâs still plenty of work to be done, Hall says that Dig A Pony hopes to open July 20 with some of PDXâs finest electronic and pop bands slated to help celebrate.
A LOTTA TALK: Drum/viola/beats/pieces duo Talkdemonic has just announced that it is leaving Arena Rock Recording Co.âthe label that released the bandâs last two albumsâin favor of Glacial Pace Records, the imprint run by Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock. Itâs a fitting move for both band and label. Brock is a huge fan of Talkdemonic, taking it along with his band on a recent tour, and helping out with some mixing duties on its upcoming LP (out this fall). Mutual admiration between these musicians is a longtime thing, according to Talkdemonic drummer/programmer Kevin OâConnor: âI put on a show for Modest Mouse in Tri-Cities in 1997,â he told WW. âIsaac...stayed at my house and I remember my dog peed on [him].â
ATTACK OF THE SMARTIES: Just know that you are simply smarter than the chumps around you? Make it official at the 2011 Mensa National Convention, taking place at the downtown Hilton this weekend. Itâs the first time the group of smarty pants have held a convention in the Northwest (more than 2,000 are expected to attend), and includes an appearance by native Portland Mensan and author Jean Auel. Want to join in the epic high-IQ fest? Mensa holds its $40 admission tests at 6:30 pm Thursday and 9:30 am Saturday, June 30 and July 2, during which they will expect you to answer questions like the following....for reals: âTabitha likes cookies but not cake. She likes mutton but not lamb, and she likes okra but not squash. Following the same rule, will she like cherries or pears?â WTF. (Download more Mensa quiz questions here.)
GRUB ALERT: In downtown Portland, the MAX-side spot last held by AJ on the Rails is becoming an Italian eatery called Mucca from chef/sommelier Simone Savaiano. Weâve got word of a new Mexican place just off Southeast Foster and 60th Avenue called âTorta-landiaâ owned by the folk behind Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria in Oregon City. And in Northeast, the short-lived Clementine Bistro space on 28th Avenue is slated to be reborn as a âsmall platesâ placeâno name just yet.