A New Music Venue Is Opening in the Former Greek Cusina Space

The as yet unnamed club hopes to assist in revitalizing a downtown area ravaged by the pandemic.

Greek Cusina Greek Cusina's famous purple octopus. IMAGE: Patrick Haney.

After sitting empty for a decade, the building at the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street is finally getting a new occupant.

This fall, a music and entertainment venue will be opening at 404 SW Washington St., the onetime home of Greek Cusina, the restaurant famous for the giant purple octopus perched above its entrance.

Chris Pfeifer, a former entertainment director at now-shuttered Old Town bar the Barrel Room and managing partner of ownership group 404 Entertainment, says the as yet unnamed club hopes to assist in revitalizing a downtown ravaged by the pandemic.

“I’m from Portland. My whole life, I’ve lived no more than 2 miles from the city center,” Pfeifer says. “Knowing that we’ll have Kelly’s [Olympian] on one side and Jack London on the other side, I’ve been talking to those guys about creating a music block between us.”

A Portland landmark for 36 years, Greek Cusina closed in 2010 after years of conflict between the city and owner Ted Papas. The building later underwent a full-scale remodel but never brought in a new tenant.

Pfeifer says he hopes to have some kind of performance every night of the week, “whether it’s a guy with a banjo or a full band.” While the focus will be live music, Pfeifer hopes to eventually expand into comedy and podcast tapings, and later make use of its 3,000-square-foot basement.

The venue aims to launch in the fall.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.