BOILED DOWN: Bagel-shaped-object-maker Einstein Bros has announced plans for re-branding the Kettleman Bagel Company stores the company acquired in November. Real bagels are boiled; Einstein Brosâ are not. Happily, three varieties of bagels, to be determined by customer vote, will be boiled âkettle style.â Making them, um, actual bagels. Not everyone is impressed. âPlease just make your own garbage bread disks with holes in them that you call bagels,â says one Facebook commenter. âKettlemans has already died for me...this will only continue the pain of the loss.â
BECK TO BECK: Talk radio has a new Beck. Former WW columnist Byron Beck will launch a two-hour talk show Feb. 13 on KXL 101.1-FM. Bailey and Beck, which Beck will co-host with Shel Bailey and producer Zak Kindrachuk, will air from 7 to 9 pm Monday through Friday. KXL is best known as the home of always-angry radio personality Lars Larson. Beck, who also hosts the online TV show Have You Heard? and blogs at ByronBeck.com, authored WWâs âQueer Windowâ column from 2001 to 2008. âItâs a talk show thatâs just going to be a little bit different than what KXL has done beforeâmore culture and less politics,â Beck says. âItâs a new direction for the company. I mean, come on, from Glenn Beck to Byron Beck? I think thatâs a huge leap forward.â
CHAMPâS CUP: Competitive coffee-making exists and involves music and costumes. Portland baristas headed up to Tacoma last weekend to flex their tamping muscles in the regionâs premier coffee-making competitions, the three-day Northwest Regional Barista Competition, which is focused on espresso, and the Brewers Cup, which is all sorts of coffee brewing. Coava Coffeeâs Devin Chapman took first place in both competitions. Portland scored all six spots in the finals of the espresso competitionâsecond place went to Stumptownâs Laila Ghambari and third to Baristaâs Tyler Stevens, while reigning champ Sam Purvis from Coava, Baristaâs Marty Lopes and Sterlingâs Colin Schneider made up the rest of the final six.
REUNITED (AND IT FEELS SO GOOD): Hazel, the legendary Portland rock band that disbanded in 1997 and hadnât been onstage since a 2005 MusicfestNW reunion show, reassembled last Saturday. Playing immediately after a two-hour drag show at Alâs Den, the tiny basement bar at McMenaminsâ Crystal Hotel, the band billed as âPete Krebs and Jody Bleyleââplayed eight classic tunes, with Team Dresch frontwoman Donna Dresch filling in for bassist Brady Smith, and with performance artist/dancer Fred Nemo roaming the club in a bathing suit. âWeâre trying to keep it really low-key since itâs a small place and we might suck,â Krebs told WW a few days before the show. In fact, the show found the band sounding better than ever, with 40 to 50 awed audience members cheering and singing along. Plans for (larger) future engagements are forthcoming, Krebs says. Itâs worth noting that the group got through its entire set without an onstage fight. See photos and more info at wweek.com.