A Portland man has inadvertently become the unofficial mascot for one of Korea's biggest pop acts. After earnestly asking why a member of the group Twice was trending on Twitter, entrepreneur Jack Phan was flooded by responses from fans who adopted Phan as a sort of familial elder: His follower count exploded, there are memes photoshopping him into the group's press photos, and he's being swarmed by Korean news outlets. It's all a bit hard to explain, frankly. But Phan is embracing his new role: He recorded a piano cover of Twice's single "Feel Special," which has received more than 20,000 views on YouTube in less than a week.
The Goose Is Loose
A local video game publisher's latest release has become a viral phenomenon. Panic Inc.'s Untitled Goose Game—in which players control an unruly goose terrorizing a small village—became an instant hit when it dropped on Nintendo Switch in late September, inspiring a slew of memes and celebrity co-signs from the likes of model and presidential antagonizer Chrissy Teigen. It's getting great reviews, too: The Guardian called it "a whimsical little game full of charm and joy."
The Trail Blazers have announced the end of a controversial partnership with Beaverton sniper-scopes manufacturer Leupold & Stevens. Several groups, including the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, have protested the Blazers' relationship with the company, which supplies rifle scopes to the U.S. military and other armed forces, including the Israeli Defense Forces: "We are relieved that the Blazers have done the right thing and finally ended this completely unnecessary partnership," DSA co-chair Olivia Katbi Smith said in a statement.
Dame Stops the Reign
Damian Lillard is embroiled in another rap beef, this time with Shaquille O'Neal. Nineties kids will remember that Shaq was, if not the first NBA player to sideline into a rap career, then the first to achieve some level of success: His first album, 1993's Shaq Diesel, actually went platinum. Of course, it was always debatable whether Shaq was actually a passable rapper, and when asked his opinion on a recent episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, Lillard didn't hold back: "I think I rap better than Shaq." In response, O'Neal came out of rap retirement to drop a diss track on Instagram mostly made up of rich old-head bragging and questionable hot takes: "Talkin' like you're Bron/You ain't even Trevor Ariza." Lillard followed up with a track of his own, dismantling Shaq's playing career with some hot takes of his own ("Kobe won you those rings") and calling him an "Icy Hot poster boy." No references to The General, unfortunately, but maybe he's saving that for Round 2.
Two Stumps Up
ABC TV's adaptation of the Portland graphic novel series Stumptown premiered last week to a mostly warm reception from critics, with most of the kudos going to Cobie Smulders' starring role as rogue private investigator Dex Parios. The AV Club called the show "a Cobie Smulders vehicle—and in that respect, it's everything it needs to be," while The New York Times wrote that the show's "appealing mix of wisecracking humor and underplayed, credible action…could blossom if it's given precedence over the melodramatic back story."
Once Again a Great Notion
Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House—known for beers with bold flavors that inspire devotees to wait in line every Saturday to buy special releases—just announced that it is opening a third location in Cedar Mill. Founds James Dugan, Andy Miller and Paul Reiter signed a lease for a storefront in a plaza on Northwest Lost Springs Terrace, which is anchored by a Market of Choice, joining locations on Alberta and Northwest Portland. The goal is to open in January 2020, but while the buildout is underway Great Notion plans to start operating a pop-up beer garden tent during weekends as early as November.
Pour One Out
Henry's Tavern, the long-standing Pearl District beer bar located in the former Weinhard Brewery Complex, closed suddenly last weekend, making the announcement in an Instagram post thanking patrons for "15 years of fun memories." Parent company Restaurants Unlimited, which declared bankruptcy in July, was recently bought by Houston-based Landry's Inc., though it's unclear how much the sale factored into the closure. The Henry's location at Portland International Airport remains open.
Pour Two Out
Another classic beer bar shut its doors this week. Laurelwood Brewing decided to close its Sellwood location, blaming a rent hike. While its flagship brewpub on Northeast Sandy Boulevard continues to do well, the brewery's location at PDX is also closing in November as part of the airport's plans to redesign Concourse A.
Pour Three Out
Sorry, one more: Yen Ha, one of Portland's oldest Vietnamese restaurants and a hotspot for karaoke, is set to close later this month. Yen Ha opened 6820 NE Sandy Blvd. in 1984, and over the years became as known for hosting wild karaoke nights as its stiff drinks and expansive menu. The owners made the announcement Saturday on Facebook, and while no explanation for the closure was given, a farewell party is in the works before the bar shuts for good on Oct. 21.
Video showing a confrontation between Morrissey and a protester at the former Smiths frontman's concert at Moda Center went viral this week. On the video, an audience member can be seen holding a pair of signs: one depicting a crossed-out logo for the far-right British political party For Britain, the other reading "Bigmouth Indeed," a reference to the Smiths song "Bigmouth Strikes Again." Morrissey halts the show, asks for the lights to be turned up, and refuses to continue playing until the protester is kicked out. Morrissey has expressed support for For Britain, which espouses anti-Islamic views. He later, um, "clarified" his position, arguing that he isn't racist because "everyone ultimately prefers their own race."
Worst Year of the Ride
The percentage of bike commuters in Portland is the lowest it's been in more than a decade. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey, only 5.3 percent of Portlanders get to work by bike. Though it's still a high figure for a U.S. city, that's the lowest it's been since 2007, and a steep drop from its peak of 7.2 percent five years ago.