CAPPING LAST THURSDAY: Last week, Scoop reported that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is cracking down on Portland farmers markets, forcing them to pay licensing fees if they have live music. Turns out kale sellers arenât the only new target, as Last Thursday is also in ASCAPâs cross hairs. According to Jeff Hilber of Friends of Last Thursday, organizers of the monthly Alberta Arts street fair received a $3,682 bill from ASCAP. Hilber says volunteers were threatened with lawsuits if the fees were not paid. In an email, Hilber claims the fees collected from nonprofit events such as Last Thursday are only distributed among ASCAPâs top 200 sellers. âNot one dollar collected benefits the local musicians that play at open-air venues,â he writes. âWill ASCAP go after the 7-year-old violin buskers next?â ASCAP had no immediate comment.
PARTY POD: The Green Castle food-cart pod at Northeast 20th Avenue and Everett Street may soon have booze to go with its tobacco smoke. Bryan Killoren, owner of Plow food cart, has applied for a beer and wine license with the intention of opening a four- or five-table beer garden at his cart, next to Nargila Garden hookah cart. âIf the legalities work out,â Killoren says, âIan [Griffonwyd, owner of the hookah cart] is going to have a second 21-and-up area.â The cart pod also has plans for live music, mostly acoustic, it hopes wonât unduly disturb the neighborhood. âItâs going to be an awesome summer,â Killoren says.
NOT AS CLOSED AS YOU THINK: The Bitter End Pub, the popular Timbers fan hangout at 1981 W Burnside St., surprised patrons by closing in the offseason. But apparently the bar is undergoing a renovation and will be reborn this year, according to a liquor-license application. Dwayne Beliakoff, founder of food cart-turned-glass-cube-in-the-park-burger joint Violetta, is performing the facelift and is also part owner. (Note: The defunct Violettaâs website also promises a new downtown iteration.) >> In unrelated news: Rampant Web rumors of the demise of Northeast 82nd Avenueâs critically lauded Simply Vietnamese have also been greatly exaggerated. Simply Vietnamese remains open, though the restaurant is sporting new evening hours, from 5 pm to midnight.
50 SHADES OF GUS: Since scenes of Fifty Shades of Grey take place in downtownâs Heathman Hotel, perhaps itâs fitting that local auteur Gus Van Sant is lobbying to direct the film version of the âmommy pornâ novel. According to Hollywood blog the Wrap, Van Sant has already shot a sex scene with Alex Pettyfer (a stripper in Magic Mike) as part of his bid for the project. Van Sant just missed the chance to direct a Twilight movie in 2011, so helming Fifty Shadesâwhich began as fan-fiction of that vampire seriesâwould be a nice consolation prize.