- SO LONG, SHANE: Comedian Shane Torres is decamping to New York City, as WW first reported last week. The Texas-born Torresârunner-up in WWâs Funniest 5 and last yearâs winner of Portlandâs Funniest Person contest at Helium Comedy Clubâsays he plans to leave in mid-October and gig across the country on his way to the East Coast. âI hope there will be a day when a comedian can stay here and be Dave Chappelle,â Torres says. âThere are quite a few comedians that have made their home in the Northwest and done well, but theyâre sadly not household names.â Torres is the latest in a line of comediansâMatt Braunger, Ron Funches, Ian Karmelâto depart Portland. Those three all chose L.A. Why did Torres opt for New York instead? âYou can do five or six sets a night,â he says. Also? âBetter pizza.â >> Speaking of Funches, his NBC sitcom, Undateable, aired its final episodes in early July. No word yet about a second season, but The Washington Post reported the show wrapped âits first (and probably last) season.â
- GREAT, BUT FOR THE O: Portland is the only American city worth living in, according to Londonâs Monocle magazine, which just dropped its annual list of the most livable cities in the world. Portland again makes the list at No. 23. Portlanders have âa somewhat self-satisfied glow,â according to contributor Zach Dundas, who moonlights as the editor of Portland Monthly. The one thing Monocle editors would fix? âA better daily newspaper.â Dundas says he didnât write that swipe directed at The Oregonian.
- CITRUS DRUNK: Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead Co. plans to open a taproom and winery at 6719 NE 18th Ave. in Woodlawn, offering a type of wine that owner Ken Bonnin Jr. says he invented after seven years of experiments. Hi-Wheelâs wines are carbonated, 7 percent ABV citrus wines fermented wholly from lime, lemon or grapefruit. In the same space, Nathan Mattis is starting Portlandâs first meadery, Fringe Meadery. Mattis had been enlisted as a distiller for Still Life Spirits at the same addressâa distillery making vodka with rainwaterâbut when Still Life ceased operations, Mattis began his own mead company. The Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead Co. taproom plans to open in September, with 10 taps of wine and cider. Fringe plans to bottle and sell its mead in the same space. >> Timothy John Clark has filed an application to open a bar, Pour Sports, in the former Grand Cafe space at 832 SE Grand Ave. The Grand Cafe was presided over by Frank Peters, former manager of the Portland Mavericks baseball team. >> Eastside Distilling, maker of Burnside Bourbon, has filed a liquor-license application to open a tasting room in the restaurant basement of the Modern Man barber shop at 3956 N Mississippi Ave.
- NEW TURNS: Oregon Ballet Theatre announced July 28 the hiring of a new executive director, Dennis Buehler, formerly of the Milwaukee Ballet. The stateâs premier ballet company has been without an executive director for more than two years, since Diane Syrcle left in May 2012 for a position at the Oregon Symphony. The executive director is in charge of managing the companyâs operations, including its finances, which for the past several years have been unsteady. Buehler spent seven years at the Milwaukee Ballet. OBTâs artistic director, Kevin Irving, who arrived at the company last summer, will stay on for three more seasons.