Brooklyn’s Got Your Late-Night Hangs Ready

Live music at the Aladdin, a sober eve at Rose City Coffee Company, or evening breakfast at the Original Hotcake House all await you.

Original Hotcake House (Michael Raines)

The historic center of Southeast Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood is the railyard on Holgate Boulevard that has been operating there since the 1860s. TriMet Operations Headquarters are in Brooklyn too, just off 17th Avenue. And while the industrial core of the neighborhood has some downsides (noise, primarily), Brooklyn boasts a tight-knit community, swoon-worthy historic homes, and a collection of quirky and beloved local businesses.

Late Night Coffee Stop

The cavernous Rose City Coffee Company (3370 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-956-2211, across the street from Brooklyn Park overdelivers on its promise of caffeine. The shop also offers an impressive array of merch and gallery-worthy paintings, plenty of tables for working, plus it’s open until 11 pm as a welcome nighttime option for sober or underage patrons. The baristas say the most popular orders are the amber latte, featuring Whimsy Chocolates-brand caramel, and the purple haze latte, a dreamy swirl of white chocolate, lavender and blackberry.

Going Like Hotcakes

Even though it was the end of an era when the Original Hotcake House (1002 SE Powell Blvd., 503-236-7402, started closing at 11 pm a few years ago instead of staying open around the clock, the place still draws a crowd of patrons wanting two things: nostalgia and enormous portions. Popular orders include the chicken fried steak ($15.95), two eggs, two cakes ($11.50), and gut-busting three-egg omelets, also served with two thick hotcakes ($14.95), usually with a fruit option, though on a recent morning, the restaurant was out of both strawberries and blueberries. Tread lightly around the noon hour on school days when the place is slammed with Cleveland High students.

Tailor Made

Almost too vintage twee to be believed, seamstress and designer Jennifer Faust runs her Aladdin Alterations and Design (4325 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-839-4999, business out of a 1968 Aladdin camper trailer parked in her front yard. Customers step inside and change their clothes behind a little red fabric curtain, then show Faust how they want their dresses let out, zippers repaired or pants hemmed. Faust has a background in vintage reconstruction and a decadeslong history in Portland fashion—she sold her work at the influential Seaplane boutique in the early ‘00s—and also takes custom design jobs.

Limited-Edition Leather

Judging by the half-dozen women lined up at 11 for the opening of Portland Leather Goods (2512 SE Gladstone St., on a recent weekday morning, the secret is out about the company’s Brooklyn outlet store, which opened in 2022. The company’s popular leather crossbody bags, totes, backpacks and adorable fortune-cookie coin purses are priced to sell, sometimes half off the online price. Shoppers often beeline to the popular “unicorner,” where the store stocks its limited-edition pieces in unique colors, such as teal, lavender and mustard. One section of the unicorner got so competitive the store had to limit customers to purchasing one handbag per week. Cool it, ladies!


The intersection of Southeast Milwaukie Avenue and Powell Boulevard delivers a one-two-three punch of musical resources. The Aladdin Theater (3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-234-9694, opened nearly 100 years ago and took a winding road—from vaudeville to family movies to adult movies—to become the live music and comedy venue it is today. Shows in the next month include a tour stop for the podcast Two Dykes and a Mic, Danish rock band the Raveonettes, and comedian Jim Norton. Next door, Classic Pianos (3003 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-239-9969, is the largest piano showroom on the West Coast, with a handy lifetime 100% trade-up policy (buy from them, always be allowed to swap for a better piano). Located one block east and across the street is The Showdown (1195 SE Powell Blvd.,, Portland’s newish country music venue. Recurring events include square dancing on Mondays and two-step Tuesdays…giddyap!

A Brunchy Beer

Ruse Brewing (4784 SE 17th Ave., 503-662-8325, may be best known for its IPAs, but do not sleep on its smoothie beers. The brewery, which also has a location on the Vancouver Waterfront, snagged both the gold and silver medals at this year’s Oregon Beer Awards in the fresh hop hazy pale ales category. But Ruse also almost always has a “smoothie-style” beer on tap and it never misses. Right now, it’s Fluorescent Farm Vol. 33, a tart ale with tangerine and mango. It’s got a thick mouthfeel, a casual 4.5% ABV and should be all wrong but is somehow completely right.

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.