- CROWD CONTROL: Portland rapper Illmaculate stormed out of his own headlining show March 1 at the Blue Monk in Southeast Portland in protest over police presence at the gig. Officers, including members of the gang enforcement team, converged on the Belmont Street club after a call from the fire marshal reporting the venue was overcrowded. Police blocked off the street and barred attendees, including members of Illmaculate’s entourage, from re-entering the venue, while about a dozen officers entered the club, taking photos and “creating an atmosphere of tension,” Illmaculate—whose real name is Gregory Poe—tells WW. After opening sets from Luck-One and Mikey Vegaz, Poe took the stage to announce he would not perform. According to the police report of the incident, officers estimated the venue was over capacity by approximately 35 occupants and stated that “our goal was to merely get the basement crowd to a safe number,” not shut down the show. Later, Poe declared on Twitter that he “will not perform in this city” as long as “black culture” is a target of law enforcement.
- BELLY UP: North Portland bar the Foggy Notion will be on the small screen this summer. The Lombard Street dive was the site of a television shoot March 2. The owners are under a confidentiality agreement to not reveal the name of the TV show, but sources outside the bar told WW that it’s Belly Up!, the Cooking Channel show that reinvents bar-food menus. “If people come to the bar, they will see that changes were made, but we are under strict confidentiality agreement not to talk about what they are or why they were made,” says co-owner Kevin Scullin. He also asked Foggy Notion patrons not to badger the bar staff, which has been instructed not to comment when asked about the TV show.
- NEW MILLENNIUM: Music Millennium, the long-standing East Burnside Street record store, is planning a remodel to give the 45-year-old institution a new cafe. The store is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to install a coffee, beer and wine bar in the shop, and much of the $60,000 fundraising effort will go toward repairing the leaky roof. If the campaign is successful, construction is scheduled to begin in May and be completed by the end of summer. “It’s been very humbling to see the outreach and support in the community,” says owner Terry Currier. “It’s been an amazing first four days.”
- SEATTLE STRIKES BACK: Portland’s reputation as the best coffee city in the country may be in jeopardy, after our baristas failed to take home a single title at the North West Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup on Feb. 23. More embarrassingly, both contests were dominated by Washington baristas. The best Portland performer was Corey Critchfield from Case Study Coffee, who placed third in the barista competition, behind two Seattle competitors. In the Brewers Cup, no Portland barista reached the final round, though the Beaver State was at least represented by Lisa Halcom from Gladstone’s Happyrock Coffee, who placed sixth. The results may say more about our caffeine slingers’ thriftiness than talent, however: The annual regional competition had previously been held in Tacoma, but this year it was run in conjunction with the South West Regional as part of a larger event called Big Western, held in Los Angeles.
CORRECTION: The published version this piece incorrectly referred to Gregory Poe as being African-American. Willamette Week regrets the error.