The world isn't ending. It just feels that way.
Certainly, for Oregon businesses big and small, the past two weeks have felt like the apocalypse. Overnight, the rapid spread of coronavirus turned out the lights at bars and restaurants across the state, and any store, service or attraction that thought it could continue to operate like normal quickly found out that "normal" no longer exists.
It's too premature to assess the long-term damage, but the early indications don't look good. Giants like McMenamins and Powell's have laid off nearly their entire workforce, and the Portland Art Museum reported it will lose $1 million a month for the length of the shutdown.
It's a scary time. But it's in the darkest moments the soul of a city shines brightest.
To put it another way: Necessity, it's said, is the mother of invention—and in Portland, people are inventing like motherfuckers.
In this issue, we've captured snapshots of 10 local businesses adapting on the fly to stay afloat during the pandemic. Some of the adjustments are small but impactful, such as the nightclub throwing virtual dance parties on YouTube, or the record store owner spending his nights dropping vinyl records on customers' porches. Others are complete 180s: You may have already heard about the strip club that rebranded as a food delivery service, and received national attention.
Each case is an example of the scrappy nature of this city, and a glimpse of the independent verve that has long defined Portland.
Stability is a long way off. With the governor implementing further restrictions this week, some of the businesses in this issue are already being forced to pivot a second time. But there's hope that many of them will continue to adapt, and find creative ways to survive—because it's what we do here.
A Southeast Portland Strip Club Has Given Out-of-Work Dancers a New Way to Make Money—Topless Food Delivery
Holocene Throws Virtual Club Nights so You Can Literally Dance Like No One Is Watching
Portland Baroque Orchestra Helps Other Arts Organization Livestream Performances
Browsing for Comics Is No Longer an Option—but at One Portland Comics Shop, the Owner Does the Shopping for You
A Portland Salon Owner Wants to Keep the City From Making Bad Hair Choices During Quarantine
QuarterWorld's Classic Pinball Machines Are Now in Basements and Apartment Buildings All Over Town
Base Camp Brewing Will Bring Beer to Your Door via a Custom Cargo Bike
Andrew Neerman Will Bring Vinyl Right to Your Door, Sometimes in the Middle of the Night
Portland's Professional Cuddler Is Figuring Out How to Connect With Clients in the Era of Social Distancing
One of Portland's Buzziest New Restaurants Opened and Closed the Same Week—but the Owners Aren't About to Give Up