The Grain & Gristle crew has a massive project in the works in the
Concordia neighborhood. The group has applied for a liquor license at
what is currently a 5,800-square-foot office and warehouse at 5027 NE
42nd Ave., just a couple of blocks north of the Spare Room, under the
name Old Salt. According to co-owner Alex Ganum, plans are still hazy
but probably will include a bar, a market, a butcher and a baker (but no
candlestick-maker), with notions of also setting up an afternoon
farmers market. Which is to say, it’ll basically be a porn store for
neighborhood foodies. Ganum and his group hope Old Salt is operational
by the end of March 2013.
CALLING FOR BACKUP: It sounds like the plot to a Step It Up
sequel: Backspace—the last remaining Portland all-ages music venue
that, after more than nine years in business, could conceivably be
called a local institution—must raise $10,000 by early January or face
eviction. According to owner Eric Robison, the club’s landlord has
continually raised the rent since buying the Old Town property in 2007.
“When I moved into this neighborhood, it was the dark zone,” Robison
says. “But it’s come up around me, and the new owners can’t believe
they’re not getting some mythical market rate.” (David Gold, an investor
in the property, says Backspace has frequently been delinquent with its
payments and that a potential tenant has expressed interest in the
space.) The cost to stay open includes next month’s rent, late fees owed
to the property management company and music-licensing fees. Robison
and booker Arya Imig are hoping to raise the money via an Indiegogo
campaign and through three 12-hour benefit concerts on Dec. 23, 28 and
LAUGHING AGAIN: A
year ago, Scoop published predictions for 2012, which included the sale
of Laughing Planet to the company formerly known as Philip Morris.
Well, we were half right. Laughing Planet has been sold, but the new
owners are a group led by the burrito seller’s current CEO, Franz
Spielvogel. No major changes are planned, though Laughing Planet is
planning to expand with new locations and special seasonal offerings.
Don’t be shy about feedback. “People here really take ownership of their
companies and they let us know when we’re doing it right and when we
aren’t, which is great,” Spielvogel says.
Local musician and Tu Fawning (and 31 Knots) co-founder Joe Haege is leaving Portland.
Haege raffled off the belongings of his dead cat at a going-away party
at Bunk Bar on Dec. 16 (the cat died while Haege was away on tour), and
he’ll be departing for Los Angeles within two weeks. Meanwhile, Portland
mall-punk outfit Smoochknob will be reopening the long-defunct Viper
Room at 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. as a new space called the Analog Cafe;
lead guitarist Javier Canteras will be handling the victuals.