Bunk Sandwiches has sold its location under the Wonder Ballroom on North Russell Street. Here's why that's actually good news: Owners Tommy Habetz and Matt Brown have turned the restaurant over to longtime bar manager Josh Luebke and his wife, Sierra Kirk-Luebke. Starting this week, it'll be known as Cliff's. And while the Bunk staples will no longer be sold there, several of Luebke's specials that frequently popped up on the menu—like the smoked fried chicken and smoked beef sandwich—will now be available full time. The bar's pretty much nonexistent cocktail program will also be expanded to include takes on classic drinks and seasonal specials. Beyond some minor aesthetic tweaks, not much else will change. "So much stuff is shutting down in that neighborhood," Kirk-Luebke says, "it's important to maintain what it is."
Movie Madness, one of the city's last video rental stores, now has its own tiny movie theater, too. The Southeast Belmont institution has opened its long-awaited screening room, an 18-seat microcinema that will host series and one-off screenings of gems and oddities from the rental store's massive collection. Construction began on the screening room last year with extra money raised during Hollywood Theatre's crowdfunding campaign to buy the store after Movie Madness founder Mike Clark retired. The screening room won't hold regular public programming until next year, but it's holding screenings for Kickstarter supporters throughout its opening weekend, and is available for private rentals for Movie Madness and Hollywood Theatre members.
Out to Pasture
Portland's favorite therapy llama is calling it quits, but not before his handlers throw a retirement party in his honor—and the public is invited. Rojo the Llama has spent 12 years making more than 600 visits to local schools and hospitals in Portland and Vancouver. His retirement was announced last June, and to celebrate, he'll make what may be one of his last public appearances, at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Sunday, Oct. 27. It will feature music, prizes and a who's who of local animal celebrities: a dog team from DoveLewis, Curly the Camel, and the beloved Belmont Goats.
Grind to a Halt
The coffee shop that's always open is about to close for good. After caffeinating Portlanders every hour of every day for the past decade, Southeast Grind on Powell Boulevard is shutting its doors next week, according to a post on the shop's Facebook page. In the era of white-walled third wave coffee shops, Southeast Grind retained a well-worn charm, and served as a living room of sorts for college students and addled patrons working on their laptops late into the night. No reason has been given for the closure, but the shop's last day is Saturday, Oct. 26.
Running on Empty
A suspected "serial marathon cheater" from Portland has allegedly struck again—this time at the second-biggest marathon in the country. At last week's Chicago Marathon, 28-year-old Emily Clark crossed the finish line with the highly competitive time of 3 hours 59 minutes. But according to the blog Marathon Investigation, Clark's pace changed dramatically at around the halfway point, drawing accusations of course-cutting. Only three weeks earlier, Clark was disqualified from a half-marathon in Vancouver, Wash., after an organizer reported seeing her riding a bicycle for part of the course. She eventually confessed to cheating in that case and in five previous races, attributing her actions to an anxiety disorder. But Clark told the New York Daily News the inconsistent splits in Chicago were the result of two asthma attacks. Clark must provide marathon organizers with details explaining the inconsistencies by Oct. 25 to avoid being disqualified.