TOTALLY TUBULAR: It took two tries, but Portland finally holds the world record for the longest floating tube chain. Last week, Will Levenson of the Big Float got official word from Guinness World Records that the July 5 event set the record for âMost People in a Floating Line.â A group of 620 tubers joined hands on the Willamette River to break the record previously held by the Italian city of Viareggio, which gathered 542 tubers in 2008. Levenson, co-owner of Popina Swimwear, founded the Human Access Project to promote swimming in the Willamette. Thereâs more information about the Human Access Project on page 53 of todayâs Give!Guide insert.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND: Some pizza places celebrate their anniversaries with a coupon. But Phil and Lauren Geffner, brother-sister co-owners of longtime shop Escape From New York Pizza, are taking their entire 13-member staff on vacation to Hawaii in honor of the pie-slingerâs 30th year. They did the same thing for the 25th anniversary. âWe went on a boat last time to see some manta rays,â says Phil, âbut they didnât show up. So maybe theyâll show up this time.â The Geffners have kept in touch with most Escape veterans over the years, so while the current staff is snorkeling or taking a helicopter ride this month, ex-employees will keep the shop running. âTo my mind, youâve got to be grateful,â Phil says of the trip. âYou look at your life and you go, âThatâs 30 years. Thatâs a long time.â Who wouldâve ever thought 30 years?â
LITTLE BIGGERBURGER: The Blue Pig Cafe closed its location on Southeast 20th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard last week. The brunch spotâs previous location on Division Street became Nick Zukinâs Mi Mero Mole when it moved three years ago. This time? Hot on the heels of Micah Camdenâs opening of Boxer Ramen in the West End, sources at Camdenâs Little Big Burger have confirmed that the local chain is in talks to open a seventh location in the Blue Pig space. >> Dwayne Beliakoff, former owner of closed restaurants Roux and Violetta, is listed as manager on a liquor application for a to-be-named bar and restaurant at 4703 N Lagoon Ave., formerly Swan Island Pizza. The business would be co-owned by Jonathan Cobbs of the Bitter End Pub (currently closed) and Jenna Kiker. They plan to install video lottery machines.
THE PRO-EST AM: Letâs have a hearty round of applause for Sasquatch Brewing, which won the top prize at the first Portland Pro/Am beer festival Nov. 2. Hillsdaleâs Sasquatch teamed with homebrewer George Dimeo, a certified cicerone and 18-year employee of Maletis Beverage, to make a vanilla bourbon creme ale flavored with oak chips soaked in Evan Williams bourbon and served on nitro. The brew took first place with both festivalgoers and judges. As for the fest? Weâll let The Oregonianâs John Foyston, dean of Portland beer writers, sum it up: âI heard from a lot of people yesterday at Willamette Weekâs inaugural Pro/Am that this was one of the nicest festivals theyâve been to, and I agree.â