START THE FIRE: Long before Southeast Division Street became restaurant row, Northwestâs âTrendy-thirdâ was the spot to be from the 1980s until the Great Recession slammed it hard. By 2010, the number of empty storefronts along the once-vibrant thoroughfare was a sad sign of the times. The Fireside, a restaurant slated to open in late fall inthe former Music Millennium space vacant since 2007, may portend a turnaround. The 2,200-square-foot, 50-seat restaurant and bar will be built around two large fireplacesâa circular black cast-iron one in the middle of the dining room and a huge open flame intended to mimic âa big bonfire.â Sue Erickson, who tended bar at Ping, Lincoln and GrÃ¼ner, and Wendy Hessel, a veteran local server, are involved. Also interesting is the involvement of Dick Singer, landlord and investor, who controls substantial swaths of Northwest 23rd Avenue real estate and is well known for clashes over parking and development with the areaâs peevish neighborhood activists. The Fireside will feature âoutdoor-inspired cuisineâ based on the ownersâ great affection for the Pacific Northwest.
FUTURE DRINKING: Tilt, a burger place at 3449 N Anchor St. on Swan Island, has applied for a beer and wine license. Paperwork reveals that the businessâs full name is actually âTilt: Handcrafted Food Built for the American Workforce.â >> Beloved Southeast sandwich joint Meat Cheese Bread is expanding to include a bar, which will, of course, be called Beer. >> Exciting news for people who complain about how much better Portland was before the damn hipsters ruined things: Yawâs Top Notch, a reincarnated version of the old Portland drive-in, is open at 11340 NE Halsey St. and has applied for a full liquor license.
ANTI-DENTITES: As the debate over fluoridating Portlandâs drinking water grows into a significant issue in the upcoming city elections, it was only a matter of time before musicians chimed in. And opposition to the City Councilâs vote to put fluoride in the cityâs water supply isnât coming from the sceneâs conspiratorial fringes. The lineup for Public Water Public Choiceâtaking place simultaneously at Rotture and Branx on Oct. 7âfeatures some major local names, including members of the Portland Cello Project, Jeremy Wilson of the Dharma Bums, Marty Marquis of Blitzen Trapper and the Dandy Warhols, whose keyboardist, Zia McCabe, organized the concert. McCabe insists the show isnât protesting fluoridation, but the fact the decision was made without public input. âThis isnât technically a pro- or anti-fluoride event,â she writes in a statement, âjust very much pro-democracy.â