It still can be.
Longtime, well-loved East Burnside karaoke dive Chopsticks II will move, but it wonât die, says owner David Chow.
He's found a new location in a large space at Northeast 33rd and Sandy Boulevardâthe former location of Diamonds Gentleman's Club.
"This time, no Chopsticks one, two, three," says Chow. "Just Chopsticks. With my face on the sign." Chow's face already adorns the bar's T-shirts, along with the thought bubble "How Can Be?"
As WW reported in November, the 20-year-old karaoke hangoutâa onetime hangout of Elliott Smith and Sleater-Kinneyâwon't be allowed to renew its lease this August and would otherwise have to close. It was among many classic bars that announced their closings last year, including Produce Row, the Matador, the Gypsy, the Fish Grotto, and Eastbank.
Chow had taken over Chopsticks II when it was a much more rough-and-tumble neighborhoodâoutlasting multiple landlords.
His planned new Chopsticks location on Sandy Boulevard is another rough-and-tumble stretch of pavement on its way up. The previous business, Diamonds Gentlemen's Club, was owned by a suspected pimp from Washington, and was not granted a liquor license. Mynt Gentlemen's club had preceded it there, and an adult video store sits on the north side of Sandy Boulevard, two blocks away.
But multiple nearby industrial spaces, once vacant, are being converted to mixed-use retail, urban wineries and housing. The neighborhood is also home to multiple new medical marijuana dispensaries. Nearby Laurelhurst residents have held meetings to determine whether they will contest Chopsticks' new location, which includes a 24-car parking lot.
Chow says he hopes to come to an agreement with neighbors over parking and noise, but pending Oregon Liquor Control Commission and city approval, he plans on a June or July moving date.
âEverybody wants to know whenâs the day,â he says, âso we can have a party.â