Did Portlandia Really Change Portland?

We assess Portlandia's legacy by seeing what became of its most iconic filming locations.

Carrie and Fred are headed for a hospice. Portlandia, whose seventh season debuts Thursday, Jan. 5, will end its run next year. How will it be remembered? We assess its legacy by seeing what became of its most iconic filming locations.

Related: Portlandia's Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Deny Responsibility For Portland Changing

Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade

BFC (Before Fred and Carrie): The city's crowning achievement in charming livability—bike lanes on a river! Vera's statue looks out proudly on God's work.

On the show: In the first episode, the esplanade was home to the show's sales pitch, the short-shortsy, beardy, tatted, high-bikesy, artsy, craftsy, sing-songy vision of Portland as a place for the young to retire—the sort of thing we once, maybe, in 2011's kinder moments, might have even believed ourselves.

The Portlandia effect: Now, the esplanade's mighty Dock is home to angry river-warrior turf battles between vicious dragon boaters and peaceful pot smokers, there are people slashing each other with machetes, and somebody spray-painted a swastika on Vera. Thanks, Portlandia.

Gilt Club
(306 NW Broadway)

BFC: Home to pointless luxury's raised middle finger, a $20 foie gras burger.

On the show: In Season 1, the Gilt Club was home to perhaps the series' best-realized sketch, in which the restaurant's chickens are so humanely treated you can visit Colin the Chicken's Mansonian-cult farm to see how he lived, before chewing, swallowing and digesting him.

The Portlandia effect: Within three years, the Gilt Club succumbed, and is now closed. The darkened storefront serves only as a black mirror for homeless people displaced by Portlandia.

Voodoo Doughnut
(22 SW 3rd Ave.)

BFC: Quaint, regional doughnut shop in Portland and Eugene—home to unregulated nonprescription drugs, countless weddings and family-friendly activities involving fluffers.

On the show: In Season 2, Episode 4, Voodoo co-founder Tres Shannon appeared as God, while in a later sketch the doughnut shop was a component in a very high-pitched scavenger hunt.

The Portlandia effect: Voodoo goes global, bringing its confectionary penises to locations in Austin, Denver, Universal Studios, Taipei, and soon Tokyo. The Ankeny Alley becomes the Ankeny "Plaza," whatever that is. Coincidence? We think not.

Good Neighbor Pizzeria
(800 NE Dekum St.)

BFC: Casual Woodlawn pizza shop.

On the show: With the Dekum neighborhood branded as "Brunch Village," the entire Season 2 finale takes place waiting in a brunch line for Good Neighbor, which has been renamed "The Fisherman's Porch."

The Portlandia effect: Google review, Oct. 12, 2015: "A nearby recommended restaurant had an hour wait, so we wandered across the street into Good Neighbor…and so glad we did!"

In Other Words
(14 NE Killingsworth St.)

BFC:  Feminist bookstore and community center of long standing (est. 1993).

On the show: Feminist bookstore and community center of long standing (Seasons 1-6).

The Portlandia effect: Briefly became the most famous bookstore in Portland after putting up a "Fuck Portlandia" sign.

Land Gallery
(3925 N Mississippi Ave.)

BFC: Twee gallery. Twee store.

On the show: "Put a bird on it!"

The Portlandia effect: Land Gallery is so steadfast, one suspects it may be the divine, unmoved mover behind all of Portlandia. The most recent exhibit, by onetime K Records mitten artist Nikki McClure, featured intricate clamshell paper-cuts created for a children's book about appreciating the sea.

Willamette Week Office
(2220 NW Quimby St.)

BFC: Pulitzer-winning investigative journalism.

On the show: In Season 3, our offices played the role of the Portland Tribune during a hostile takeover. Beleaguered editor George Wendt, while sitting at reporter Nigel Jaquiss' desk, is harangued into embracing "sideboob" as clickbait.

The Portlandia effect: WW's web traffic is up 179 percent from 2012, when this episode was filmed. Thanks, Portlandia!

Portlandia's seventh season premieres at 10 pm Thursday, Jan. 5, on IFC.

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.