Scoop: Gossip Happily Outside The Polar Vortex.

  1. THE END IS NAY: The Bitter End Pub, the onetime Timbers Army hangout on West Burnside Street that closed for the second time at the end of 2012, has languished in remodeling limbo ever since, despite plans to reopen last summer when the Portland Timbers were in the middle of their season. In December, the Bitter End launched a Kickstarter campaign to finally open this winter, with a fundraising goal of $20,000. As of Jan. 6, however, with 11 days left in a 30-day campaign, the numbers have been sour: just $745 raised. >> In more successful Kickstarter news, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art exceeded its $25,000 goal by about $3,000. That campaign, which ended Jan. 2, was a fundraiser for the annual Time-Based Art Festival. It’s relatively small change for the avant-garde art organization, a 17-year-old nonprofit that brings in more than $1 million annually in grants and donations.
  1. CAT SCRATCHED: The Black Cat Cafe on Northeast Alberta Street quietly changed hands in December, and will get a new name later this month. New co-owner Travis Hendricks of the band Souvenir Driver (and former stage manager for the Dandy Warhols) says they’ll be fixing up the space without shutting it down for longer than a few days. The new owners have picked out a name for the place, but Hendricks declined to divulge it, saying he wants all changes to be gradual to avoid losing clientele. “The place has a lot of history,” he says. “Eleven years of it, good and bad. Locals love the place.” >> Cinemagic, Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard’s old-school grindhouse, finally intends to join the ranks of movie theaters serving alcohol, recently applying for a beer and wine license.
  1. BOOK LOOK: The 2014 Oregon Book Awards finalists have just been announced. The fiction category includes the collected short fiction of Portland sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin, author of the Wizard of Earthsea cycle. The poetry contenders include National Book Award winner Mary Szybist and New Yorker mainstay Matthew Dickman. Graham Salisbury will compete for a record seventh Oregon Book Award in the children’s category. In the graphic category, works by journalists Joe Sacco and Steve Duin will go head-to-head with Craig Thompson’s 672-page opus, Habibi. The awards ceremony is March 17 at the Gerding Theater.
  1. HAIRY SITUATION: Anger continues to bubble online about inconsistently carbonated brews from Portland’s legendary Hair of the Dog. In recent days, customers have launched threads complaining about flat Doggie Claws and Fred on and on the brewery’s Facebook page. Brewmaster Alan Sprints remains unmoved. “Conditioning creates uneven results, especially with high-alcohol beers,” he writes. “That is why I have always marked each batch with a special number. Some of the batches that I have not been happy with have turned into the most popular ones after a few years. Beer is more than bubbles.”

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