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Every Portland Thing That Dies Someday Comes Back

The next time your favorite dive or fried chicken joint or cat lounge closes, just remember: In Portland, death is not the end.

It was a warm night in October when one of Portland's best soul-food spots died for the second time.

"It is with a lot of sorrow that I write to tell you that Dub's St. Johns is closing its doors for good," owner William "Dub" Travis III wrote on Facebook. "Shocker. I know. I never thought that we'd be leaving this location. I thought that we'd be here forever!"

The reasons for the closure were much less dramatic than the first time around, when the restaurant, then known as Mack and Dub's Excellent Chicken & Waffles, burned to the ground in an apparent hate crime. According to Travis, the restaurant simply wasn't making enough money to stay open.

Four months later, though, you can still get Dub's excellent fried chicken, along with his equally delicious ribs, brisket and cheesesteak; in January, Travis took over as chef-in-residence at Marie's, a bar in St. Johns one block away from where his diner once stood.

Two months earlier, another Portland soul-food destination rose from literal ashes. Reo's Ribs, the Hollywood neighborhood rib shack owned by Snoop Dogg's uncle, which also caught fire under suspicious circumstances in 2016, reopened in November, in the same location on Sandy Boulevard.

We're not sure if someone found a Necronomicon at a yard sale in Kenton or what, but this year, the dead have been rising all over Portland.

Dean's Scene, the Northeast Fremont Street speakeasy that died along with its namesake, homebrewer Dean Pottle, is being revived by some of his old buddies. Smallwares, chef Johanna Ware's "inauthentic Asian" restaurant, returned in summer on the same street. Plans are in place to bring back legendary jazz club Jimmy Mak's and long-gone family diner Ye Olde Towne Crier. Purringtons, the cat cafe that replaced Mack and Dub's on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., cashed in one of its nine lives, seemingly shuttered in December, then announced an impending comeback under new ownership.

Portland has spent much of the past decade mourning the passage of its history. But in a city that clings so fiercely to the memories of itself, the past is never truly past—and now, we can say that literally.

So the next time your favorite dive or fried chicken joint or cat lounge closes, just remember: In Portland, death is not the end.

1. Because we're not afraid of public displays of affection…

2. Because women are in charge…

3. Because our local theater scene tells true, inspiring Oregon stories…

4. Because Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd make even Blazer losses fun…

5. Because we're still No. 1 in semi-factual superlatives…

6. Because we have a sixth quadrant now…

7. Because the hottest rapper in the game is obsessed with us…

8. Because Oregon is gradually getting more diverse, and in unexpected ways…

9. Because we can work it out…

10. Because we helped jump-start the movement that's changing the tech 
industry…

11. Because if you want to, you can dance to…

12. Because we're so sex positive, you can take a class on…

13. Because we're working to become a bike haven again…

14. Because after walking across Antarctica, I can still come back 
to my favorite dive bar…

15. Because the Blazers' game-day posters are the coolest collectibles in sports…

16. Because our airport is Beervana…

17. Because our fake fast food beats the real thing…

18. Because the Big Pipe is keeping poop out of the river…

19. Because we're making an effort to diversify the cannabis industry…

20. Because we finally have a virtual reality playland…

21. Because we have nicer weather than Hawaii (no, really)…

22. Because Basic Rights Oregon is fighting for LGTBQ+ rights—and winning…

23. Because Portland State's gym just underwent an awesome makeover…

24. …and the courthouse is getting one, too.

25. Because our hotel bars are some of the best bars in the city…

26. Because you'll spend less time in jail here than the national average…

27. Because we make some of the best guitar pedals in the biz…

28. Because our Curry is better than that other Curry…

29. Because we're Raptorville USA…

30. Because ICE hates us…

31. Because everything that dies someday comes back…